When visiting India, you might naturally find yourself drawn to the serenity of the Taj Mahal, or the timeless and unique charm of the Indian railway, or perhaps the ancient and sacred city of Varanasi, but there’s nothing that can quite match witnessing, in sheer awe, the scale of Himalayan peaks puncturing the sky. There really are few better ways to spend a romantic getaway than in the tranquil heights of the Himalayas, and the luxury spa resort Ananda is a testament to that. Incidentally, the word ‘Ananda’ means a state of bliss and contentment, and as you’re about to find out, it certainly lives up to its name.
Ananda is a 100-acre estate set 3,000 feet up in the forested Himalayan foothills, overlooking the river Ganges. Regarded by the likes of CN Traveller and Forbes to be the world’s best spa, it is not known that way because of its peaceful setting, nor its remoteness from civilisation. Rather, Ananda’s fame derives from its astonishing magic – a phenomenon perplexing many a theory in modern medical science. You will eat tiny, delicious, and well-presented portions of food that somehow satisfy the appetite. To your surprise, a doctor will understand details of your personality based on the shape of your body. On top of that, the ancient techniques and philosophies perfected to soothe and rejuvenate the mind and body will naturally change the way you take care of yourself.
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The Word’s Best Spa
With an extensive array of over 80 body and beauty treatments, Ananda Spa marries age-old therapies with modern spa technology. Personalised itinerates are designed to meet an individual’s needs and targets for improving his or her wellbeing. Whether you’re pursuing a de-stress, detoxification and cleansing, deep relaxation, anti-ageing or weight loss, the on-site nutritionists, spa therapists, and Western and Ayurvedic physicians will guide you towards achieving a better quality of life, while offering their venerable knowledge of nutrition, exercise, and general health.
Delectable Cuisine Cooked by Fastidious Chefs
Indians don’t believe in conventional dieting like we do. According to the principles of Ayurveda (or ‘life-knowledge’ – a 5,000 year-old natural healing system), everything is made out of the five elements; air, space, fire, water and earth. The same goes for our bodies, and so food is prepared specifically to match each and every physique. The cuisine provided at Ananda is not necessarily perceived as sustenance or a way to lose weight; it is considered ‘a way of life’, and chefs relish instructing their guests in Ananda’s kitchens so that they can continue this ‘way of life’ in their own homes.
Rooms with a view
Ananda has 70 of its own rooms, all of which include a walk-in closet, picturesque vistas of the Himalayan mountains sweeping down below, and a private balcony providing as the perfect romantic setting for dinner, should the guest choose. TRULY’s packages come with the additional option of the Garden Suite or Villa with Private Pool.
Other things to do
During the time that’s not spent under the direct therapeutic care of the Ananda staff, guests are encouraged to roam and explore the estate grounds and gardens. Peaceful walks in these areas are a good contribution towards the individual’s inner calm and are to be enjoyed if you want to experience the true extent of what Ananda has to offer.
For those keen for a bit more action however, Ananda has a host of facilities and activities available, including a gym, sauna, swimming pool, 6-hole golf course, billiards, cooking classes, nature walks, Rajaji National Park safari, and, not for the faint of heart, white water rafting.
Though taking the train or driving from Delhi is quite possible, guests are generally advised to travel by air. Flights frequent from Delhi and Mumbai to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, followed by a 40 minute drive in order to reach Ananda. The Ananda estate also owns a private helipad, which you are more than welcome to use by appointment.
Whether you happen to be hunting for an Ayurvedic rejuvenation, a yoga revitalisation, a detox retreat, or if you just want a spa treatment to end all spa treatments, Ananda is calling.