Eco-conscious Indian retreat sits sensitively within a nature reserve

Set in Rajasthan, eco-conscious wildlife retreat RAAS Chhatrasagar, sits sensitively on the edge of an artificial lake

Daytime front entrance image of the RAAS Chhatrasagar, neutral pathway with two lake view seats to the right, trees to the left, lake to the right, hilly mountain to the back, blue sky
(Image credit: Noughts And Crosses)

Designed by New Delhi-based Studio Lotus, this idyllic Indian retreat is set amid the lush nature of Rajasthan. RAAS Chhatrasagar, a project for RAAS’ Walled City Hotels, is located near the historic town of Nimaj, on the banks of an artificial lake. Surrounded in greenery and wildlife, the complex – encompassing a hotel, a bar and a restaurant – is created as an architecturally minded, eco-conscious holiday destination for the 21st century. 

The property is boutique in size, including just 20 rooms. These are flanked by water and a rich forest belt along the lake’s dam walls, which attracts migratory birds. A restaurant, the Baradari, is situated just over the dam at the complex's heart, offering long water views. 

Aerial view of the landscape, trees to the left, wooden segmented building in the centre, lake to the right, hilly mountain in the distance, blue cloudy sky

(Image credit: Avesh Gaur)

Respecting the sensitive ecology of the site, the architects designed their buildings to be erected with ‘minimal impact'. The low structure, toned and textured to blend in with its context, sits on a system of low-impact foundations and light superstructures. The restaurant is made out of a lightweight metal frame with dry infill stone, and is ‘a contemporary expression of the Rajputana 12-pillared pavilion', say the architects. The project was headed by Studio Lotus founder Ambrish Arora. 

The hotel rooms are bright and open to the views, featuring fabric linings in woodblock printed patterns. These were created by hand by Dhvani Behl's New Delhi-based studio Flora for Fauna. Furniture was designed by ethical Indian design workshop Mangrove Collective. Earthy tones and natural materials abound, making this Indian retreat a design-led destination that is perfectly in tune with its landscape. 

Daytime image, row hotel rooms from across the lake, backdrop of trees, blue sky

(Image credit: Avesh Gaur)

Daytime aerial view of the landscape, lake surrounded by forest greenery of trees and plant life, top of the lake dam

(Image credit: Avesh Gaur)

RAAS Chhatrasagar hotel room, yellow settee and side table, white dressed bed to the right, brown ottoman table in the centre, tree illustration on the neutral walls and ceiling, skylight, lamps on side tables, view of the surrounding landscape through the open balcony doors

(Image credit: Avesh Gaur)

Daytime image of the RAAS Chhatrasagar restaurant, wooden slat ceiling, ceiling fans, grey marble floor, wooden frame entrance door and window frames along the side walls, dining tables and chairs, floor standing lamps, surrounding landscape view through the windows and open door

(Image credit: Noughts And Crosses)

RAAS Chhatrasagar hotel room, neutral floor and scatter rugs, white dressed double bed with orange cushions and bottle of red wine and quarter filled glasses on a gold tray, brown ottoman at the foot of the bed, wooden frame glass doors on the left and right walls, yellow settee across from the bed, rustic colour artwork of trees, plants, deer and birds illustrated onto the walls and ceiling, red leather chair to the right, floor standing lamps lit up either side of the bed


(Image credit: Noughts And Crosses)

INFORMATION

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Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).