Accor plans two Raffles projects for India

Pictured (l.-r.) are: Gaurav Bhushan, global chief development officer, Accor; Sébastien Bazin, chairman/CEO, Accor; entrepreneur Ratankant Sharma; Michael Issenberg, chairman/COO, Asia Pacific, Accor; Jean-Michel Cassé, COO/India and South Asia, Accor; Lokesh Sabharwal, VP/development and special projects, South Asia, Accor. Photo credit: Accor (Raffles India)

Paris-based hotel company Accor is partnering with Indian business professional Ratankant Sharma to open the Raffles Jaipur and Raffles Udaipur in India. Sharma also is behind India's first Fairmont Hotels & Resorts project.

With a stronger focus on luxury and premium brands, the move signals a new direction for Accor in India. Jaipur is part of the tourist circuit known as The Golden Triangle, which includes New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur; while Udaipur is a natural extension of this given its proximity to Jaipur.

"Today's signing of the Raffles Jaipur and Raffles Udaipur marks an historic moment for Accor in India and certainly for tourism in India," said Jean-Michel Cassé, COO/India and South Asia, Accor. "We are seeing increasing demand for luxury travel in India and are looking forward to expanding Accor's globally renowned portfolio of luxury brands in this incredible country. The addition of the iconic Raffles brand signals a new era for our group."

"Bringing the Raffles India is a perfect fit for our vision to lead both Udaipur and Jaipur, the historic cities of Rajasthan, into their next chapter while keeping their historic values and ties," said Sharma. "The opening of Raffles Udaipur and Raffles Jaipur is a key moment in our strategic growth in India and represents a new era of highly differentiated, ultra-luxury experiences for Udaipur's and Jaipur's residents and visitors. These two hotels will be the jewel in the crown of our landmark developments...We are very grateful to the Accor Group and Sébastien Bazin for giving us the opportunity to bring our vision to both the historic cities of Rajasthan to create new icons in India's most magical cities. This partnership reinforces our foresight of India becoming a global gateway with world-class facilities that set new standards for residents and visitors alike."

The 101-room Raffles Udaipur will be located on a 21-acre private island in the middle of Udai Sagar Lake, one of the five prominent lakes of Udaipur and is expected to open by mid-2020.

The Raffles Jaipur is being built at Kukas in the city of Jaipur as a set of secluded private residences and courtyards adjacent to a larger hotel complex that includes the Fairmont Jaipur. The hotel is set to open in 2022 and is located close to key tourist destinations in Jaipur including the Amer Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort and Jal Mahal palace.