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I thought my holiday would be good but I was unprepared for how brilliant I would feel by the end of the week evening standard
"Thank you all so very much for your energy, expertise and inspiration"
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)
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.
Stay in a room with an even number for a valley view – all odd numbers have a view of the palace.
Ananda attracts well-heeled Indian and western professionals.
Other ideas for wellness retreats in India
5 nights from £1,810 per adult
Price based on two adults sharing a Valley View Room, and includes:
Valid for stays completed by 30 September 2012. 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.
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:
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'.
Not very child-friendly. Under-14 years are not permitted and those between 14 years and 18 years are not allowed in the spa areas. Extra beds aren't supplied so an additional room would be needed.
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.
Ananda Spa, which was rated by Conde Nast Traveller as world’s best Luxury Spa Resort for 3 consecutive years in 2005, 06 and 07, is tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas near the holy cities of Rishikesh & Haridwar. In 2011, it came in at number 18 - but still the best in India. An article in The Times, from May 2011, is an interesting read. See article
There are many activities you can enjoy in and around Ananda in the Himalayas: