Ranakpur, Rajasthan, India

Nestled at the foot of the Aravalli mountains below Kumbalgarh Fort, Mountbatten Lodge makes a luxurious stepping stone between Udaipur and Jodhpur, or points further north along the escarpment of hills forming the rocky backbone of Rajasthan. The location is exquisitely secluded: you’re surrounded by dense forest and stony ridges receding into the distance. The hospitality and overall atmosphere is studiously “Old-World”, with turbaned retainers in starched white cotton tunics serving drinks on silver platters, and architecture that recalls the heyday of the Raj. The gardens and interiors are especially lovely – all dark woods, warm-tones, exposed stone and open fires, while the views through the abundant foliage down the valley are superb. Signature experiences include visits to local tribal villages, Champagne-and-sunset safaris and – most memorably – rides in the neighbouring forest on horseback or by elephant.

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