The award winning RAAS Hotels is partnering with Devānya, in the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand, to create a boutique Eco-sensitive hotel based on the principles of sustainability. The 25-key property will have all the contemporary comforts that RAAS Hotels is known for, including central heating. RAAS will also be extending its unique brand of intuitive hospitality to the residents of Devānya.
Designed by the award-winning architectural firm Studio Lotus, the hotel is being conceptualised as a contemporary interpretation of a traditional Kumaoni village. “The hotel will act as an anchor for the property,” says Ambrish Arora, design principal at Studio Lotus. “And, as always with RAAS, luxury will be felt through tactile experiences.” Think heated floors made from Himalayan slate, buildings made of local timber and stone. Innovations in construction will allow for luxury while having a positive impact on the local ecosystem.
“There’s great synergy between RAAS and Devānya on sustainability, community investment and ecological conservation,” says Nikhilendra Singh, MD, RAAS Hotels. “At RAAS Chhatrasagar, for instance, we’ve located the camp in the midst of a re-wilded 1,500 acres that’s now home to over 200 species of birds and several species of animals. Similarly, at Devānya vast tracts of virgin forests, with indigenous species of flora, including fruits, are being conserved and protected.” Devānya is situated on a hill, between Bhimtal and Mukteshwar, and is flush with Deodhar, Oak and Rhododendron forests.
In design and construction at Devānya we are taking into account aspects such as soil erosion control, rainwater harvesting and waste management through ecological sensitive processes. All of which will go a long way towards thoughtful luxury and responsible living. “Our aim has always been to try and give back to nature more than we take from it,” says Devānya’s co-creator, Vikas Srivastava. “And that aim we feel is shared by RAAS Hotels making them the perfect partner in creating a place of luxury and comfort with sustainable principles at heart.” RAAS Devānya is expected to welcome guests in 2024.
At an altitude of 6,700 ft, Devānya is being developed in the Kumaon hills. The location, Matial, is covered in oak, deodhar and rhododendron forests and is a postcard-perfect Himalayan destination between the hill stations of Bhimtal and Mukteshwar. Devānya will have among other things an organic farm, a star gazing pavilion, a recreation centre, a cycling trail and high-speed Internet.
Vast tracts of the hill where Devānya is set on consist of fruit orchards and where endemic species of flora, such as ringal bamboo, Himalayan raspberry and Indian willow, have been preserved. To conserve this habitat and reduce the impact of construction, the energy efficient rooms are being built using a combination of pre-engineered technology and local materials. All rooms will feature design devices like large insulated windows, skylights, verandahs and terraces that will open out to nature. The design process also takes into account topography. Each room is conceived so as to cause minimal obstruction to the flow of rainwater via the network of mountain swales and streams that have been revived throughout the property. The location and design of rooms are such that residents enjoy the best views.
Photography : Noughts & Crosses | André J Fanthome
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