Worth getting out of bed for
Raas lets guests tap into the surrounding region with a choice of culture-laden experiences. Guided walks offer a gentle introduction to this intimate, yet frenetic city, or if you'd rather zip around the streets, book the services of the hotel's bespoke tuk tuk. A Bishnoi Village Safari introduces you to the no-frills lives of this animal- and plant-loving Hindu sect. Transfers to the villages are of the choose-your-own-adventure type. Opt for a camel trek, open-topped Jeep or a chaffeur-driven air-conditioned car (but then you're missing out on half the fun). A temple-hopping tour of the Ossian desert is also on offer.
It's impossible to ignore the mighty Mehrangarh Fort (www.mehrangarh.org), which looms large over the hotel. Take a guided audio tour to learn all about this fabled fortress. Once you've explored it from the ground, see it from above with Flying Fox zip lines (www.flyingfox.asia), which zig and zag over the walls and around the mountain.
Brave the bustle of the Clock Tower market, where trolleys topped with glass bangles, incense and fruit give way to stores filled with antique fabrics, terracotta pottery, clothing and jewellery.
For Indian classics and barbecued meats, nab a table in the leafy courtyard of family-friendly On the Rocks, near the Raika Bagh train station (+91 (0)291 510 2701). If polo's more your schtick, hightail it to Hanwant Mahal (+91 (0)982 974 4417; www.hanwantmahal.com) on Umaid Bhawan Hill, just beneath the Palace. There's a vista-flaunting rooftop terrace, private-dining nooks and a Champagne Lounge adorned with vintage polo photos. Regional Rajasthani dishes shine at the Raj-tastic dining room in Ajit Bhawan Hotel (Circuit House Road, Jodhpur; +91 (0)291 251 3333; www.ajitbhawan.com).
At the entrance to Mehrangarh Fort, Café Mehran (+91 (0)291 261 2519; www.mehrangarh.org) makes the perfect pitstop after you've scrambled up, down and around the palace. Tuck into a Rajasthani thali plate, a light snack or a refreshing iced tea.
January The colourful Makar Sankranti kite festival comes to town. On the 26th, Republic Day (http://india.gov.in/republicday) commemorates the founding of the Republic of India in 1950. March The start of spring sees vibrant paints being thrown about for Holi. October Mehrangarh Fort transforms into one big concert stage for the five-day Rajasthan International Folk Festival (www.jodhpurfolkfestival.org). October/November Diwali, the 'festival of lights', is marked with oil lamps, gifts and fireworks.
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Smith extra at Raas
A fruit basket. Guests staying two nights or more also get a heritage tour; for three-night stays, you'll also get a cooking class and dinner set-up (food and drinks extra). For four nights or more, return transfers and a bottle of wine are thrown in.