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Caroline Sylger Jones
Caroline Sylger Jones

Has been visiting and reviewing spas and retreats worldwide for twelve years.

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ananda

5 nights from £1,810 ananda himalayas

Ananda, which means bliss, is a calming sanctuary to escape to, a 100 acre pampering estate high up in the Himalayan foothills with views down to the Ganges and Rishikesh.

Tastefully designed rooms are in a modern block a seven minute walk away from the main palace, with wooden furniture, hand-tufted carpets on the floor and meditation mandalas framed on the walls. There are also three villas with private swimming pools, gardens and valley views. The restaurant has a wooden-decked veranda with views over the Doon valley, and serves a nutritious mix of Asian, Indian and European dishes as well as bespoke ayurveda meals tailored to your dosha.

Programmes in nutrition, exercise, stress management, anti-ageing and detoxification are available, led by an on-site ayurvedic doctor alongside efficient, unflappable therapists, or you can just come here to relax and dip in and out of treatments which include Thai massage, reiki, body wraps, scrubs and beauty treats inspired by Ancient Indian traditions. Enjoy small rituals before each therapy - butter lamps to represent fire, crystals to represent the earth and Himalayan water cymbals for a touch of pre-treatment sound therapy.

The sauna has a window overlooking the Ganges, and there’s a large outdoor pool. Daily set activities include yoga in the open stone amphitheatre, and local treks and Aarti water rafting can be arranged. A visit to Rishikesh is recommended – most especially for the evening ceremony of ariti on the Ganges.

Voted best spa in the world in the Conde Nast Traveller Reader's Spa Awards (UK)

Highs

  • The majestic setting, complete with peacocks and Langur monkeys
  • Excellent talks and one to ones with genuine yogis available   
  • Top notch, dosha-based, calorie counted food

Lows

  • You will feel cut off from the real India here – a bonus for some
  • Some of the rooms could do with a little updating
  • The bedrooms aren’t in the main palace

Healthy Traveller Tip

Don’t miss one of the fascinating talks on Vedanta, an ancient Indian philosophy packed with common sense that forms the bedrock of yoga and promotes self awareness and self control.

Room tip

Stay in a room with an even number for a valley view – all odd numbers have a view of the palace.

Who goes

Ananda attracts well-heeled Indian and western professionals.

Other ideas for wellness retreats in India

  • In Kanartaka, southern India, there's Swa Swara on the famous Om beach on the west coast or for a bit more luxury, there's a Relais & Chateaux country retreat called Shreyas, about an hour from Bangalore
  • In Kerala, on the south west tip of India, we would recommend Kali Kovilakom - minimum stay two weeks for the ultimate in mind / body rejuvenation.
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Price

5 nights from £1,810 per adult

Price based on two adults sharing a Valley View Room, and includes:

  • International flights with Jet Airways in economy
  • 5 nights at the Ananda in the Himalayas based on the Himalayan Romance Offer
  • Transfer to and from the Haridwar Railway Station or Dehradun Airport
  • Morning Wake-Up Signature tea.
  • 3 Ananda Rejuvenation Spa Cuisine meals (breakfast/ lunch/ dinner), per night of stay, per person
  • Spa treatments and other inclusions as per the program

Please contact us for travel / accommodation options and prices pre or post your Ananda visit.

These guide prices are subject to change and are dependent upon travel dates and availability.  Please call our travel specialists to discuss your preferred dates, duration, room type, departure airport and multi-destination options.

Accommodation

All 75 rooms have balconies that overlook the palace or the valley of Rishikesh.  Choose from guest rooms, suites or villas (that come with private pool and sauna).

Features in the rooms include:

  • Kurta pyjamas
  • TV & DVD player
  • CD player
  • Wifi
  • Safe
  • Air-con
  • Minibar

Food & Drink

On arrival, you will receive a Wellness Consultation where you will find out about your personal Ayurvedic body type.  Your diet will be customised to suit your body type and your meals will include ingredients, herbs and spices to optimise your health and help get your body in balance. The restaurant has a wooden-decked veranda with views over the Doon valley, and serves a nutritious mix of Asian, Indian and European dishes as well as bespoke ayurveda meals tailored to your 'dosha'.

Children

  • In order to preserve the tranquility of the Destination Spa, children below the age of 14 years are not permitted at Ananda -In The Himalayas.
  • Use of the spa facilities like Sauna, Steam and the spa therapies are available only to guests who are of the age of 18 years and above. However, those under 18 years can take part in other scheduled activities like yoga, meditation, treks and use of the swimming pool.
  • Extra beds aren't supplied so an additional room would be needed.

Location

Situated in the Himalayan foothills, close to city of Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga.  You can get there by air, train and car but the car journey takes 7 - 8 hours so we recommend taking a convenient connecting flight or experiencing the famous Indian Rail Service.

Fly from Delhi domestic airport to Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun, in the Himalayas - followed by an hours’ picturesque drive to Ananda.

Spa Awards

Ananda In the Himalayas was voted ‘Number One Spa in the World’ at the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Spa Awards 2012. Readers also voted Ananda as a winner in the ‘Best Overseas Spa Retreat’ category. It was awarded top marks for its ambience and design, its body treatments and individual approach. Ananda was voted number 1 in the Conde Nast Traveller Readers Travel Awards ‘Best Destination’ category in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and runner up in 2010. Ananda has also been voted ‘Favourite Spa in India’ and ‘Best Yoga Retreat’ by SpaFinder for several consecutive years.

There are many activities you can enjoy in and around Ananda in the Himalayas:

  • Bird-watching
  • Cooking classes
  • Culture
  • Golf
  • Meditation
  • Spa
  • Swimming
  • Trekking
  • Vedanta classes
  • Walking
  • White-water rafting
  • Yoga

7 night ayurvedic rejuvenation

From £3,015 per person

Reduce stress, improve health and address common ailments or simply delay the ageing process. More