Ananda in the Himalayas will leave you breathless with the enchantment of its surroundings and will most certainly assist you in re-calibrating your life when you return home.
Ashok Khanna, the insightful founder of Ananda, noticed stress levels on the rise and watched people start to lose sight of life’s balance. He envisaged early the need for a new kind of hotel to cater to a new breed of holiday seekers. Together with his wife Neelam, they shaped the pillars of Ananda by basing its philosophy on the ancient Indian tradition of Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta (the philosophy of life). Combining this, with the wellness traditions of other parts of Asia and the West, is Ananda’s successful holistic approach to health and wellbeing. Ananda is the spiritual pathway to the ultimate – discovered through the union of body, mind and soul. Another beautiful aspect of the Ananda philosophy is its commitment to its people, who live and breathe the Ananda philosophy and who deliver exceptional service from the heart. This, in my opinion, makes or breaks a luxury retreat.
The Palace estate, Tehri Garhwal, Narendra Nagar, Uttarakhand, India
Located in the tranquil Himalayas, the birthplace of Yoga where people have visited for centuries to be healed and to find rest and rejuvenation, Ananda is close to the mythological cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, surrounded by graceful Sal forests, overlooking the peaceful Ganga as it meanders into the distance. It is an easy flight from Mumbai or Delhi or you can travel by train, road or helicopter from Delhi. See here for details.
Ananda is built around the 100acre palace estate of the Maharaja ofTehri-Garhwal. The resort features an expansive world-class spa with expert therapists and consultants, several outdoor yoga and meditation pavilions, a temperature controlled swimming pool, state of the art gymnasium, and a mini golf course. Activities include cultural, cooking and Vedanta classes, nature treks and white water rafting. The Spa offers an extensive menu of over 80 body and beauty treatments. It includes Ayurvedic and healing treatments such as Reiki, Reflexology and Crystals integrating traditional Ayurveda with the contemporary Western spa approach.
The Guest Rooms, Suites and Villas make a statement with colour that echoes nature, and views that leave one gazing into the charm of God’s own country. The 70 rooms in all comprise Palace View Rooms, Valley View Rooms and Premium Valley View (top floors) rooms. They feature walk-in closets, perfectly appointed bathrooms with windows overlooking panoramic views and each room opens onto large balconies with picture-perfect views.
I personally love the philosophy of Ayurveda especially when it comes to cuisine – one type of food is not good for all. Ananda provides a customized diet based on body type. The objective is to provide a rejuvenation cuisine for guests, who, whilst relaxing, desire to re-vitalize their body and soul through a healthy approach to diet and lifestyle. This is reemphasized by the show kitchen at Ananda where their chefs instruct in how to make these dishes at home so that one may continue that ‘way of life’. Special care menus are provided in consultation with the in house Ayurvedic doctor, to align the specific imbalances of the various body types.
If you are looking for a rejuvenating escape and wanting to return to your life relaxed, repaired and renewed, then this is the experience for you.
For further details on how to experience this incredible retreat, please click here.