One of India’s best and only true destination spas

Ananda in the Himalayas

Ananda in the Himalayas

Rishikesh
, Uttarakhand
, India

Ananda is a glorious hotel, clinging to a ridge in the Himalayan foothills. It resides in the former Palace Estate of the Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal with the exquisite Viceregal Suite and various other beautiful public areas situated within the Palace itself. The rest of this magical hotel spa spreads out around the beautiful grounds and gardens. Ananda has been voted ‘World No. 1 Spa’ and ‘Best Overseas Spa Retreat’ by readers of Conde Nast Traveller and other publications, numerous times, and rightly so. The resort boasts unbeatable spa facilities, peaceful solitude and a chance to get back to nature, whilst surrounded by luxury. There is a great deal to do if not enjoying the spa and, unlike some spas, it is not run like a ‘boot camp’ – if you wish to eat chocolate and drink alcohol, you may! The restaurant offers superb cuisine and dedicated spa menus which can be personalised according to the spa doctor’s recommendations. It has staggering views over the valley, and the nearby heated swimming pool is the perfect place to relax, in a climate that is ideal almost year round. The 74 bedrooms and suites in the main building are beautifully decorated in soft colours and each has a balcony or garden overlooking either the valley or the hotel grounds. The bathrooms are state of the art and one is unlikely to find a better valley view from a bathtub anywhere else in the world! The 2 and 1 bedroom villas are scattered around the grounds and are wonderfully spacious and private, with their own pools, living room and butler.

The exceptional spa has 24 excellent treatment rooms, a gym, hydrotherapy facilities, and a team of highly qualified, multigenerational physicians of Eastern Medicine, healers and wellbeing practitioners who bring with them decades of specialised experience and knowledge to customise health oriented wellness programmes that has paved the way for path breaking curative results. The open air treatment ‘room’ allows you to lie and be massaged whilst gazing straight out across the Himalayan foothills and the valley below! Being a fully dedicated ‘Spa’ rather than simply a ‘hotel with a spa’, Ananda integrates traditional Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta with international wellness experiences, Physiotherapy, Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, fitness, emotional healing and healthy organic cuisine. There is also daily, expert instruction in both physical and ‘spiritual fitness’ – yoga, breathing, meditation and the ancient art of Reiki – all of which are very much associated with this particularly spiritual region of the Himalayan foothills. The yoga pavilion is a magical place to spend time in quiet contemplation, guided by some of the country’s finest teachers.

Our Rating: Opulent
Property Type: Spa & Wellness

Destination

Ananda is located in the Himalayan foothills, 260kms north of Delhi, in the state of Uttarakhand.

Lying in 100 acres of land, close to the holy town of Rishikesh, Ananda is situated in the precincts of the Palace Estate of the Maharajah of Tehri-Garhwal, by the town of Narendra Nagar.

Accommodation

2 Two Bedroom Villa with pool (300 sq.m.), and 1 One Bedroom Villa with pool (240 sq.m.). The Villas have their own sauna room & a private temperature controlled pool

1 Viceregal Suite, located in the Palace (220 sqm.), with its own surrounding terrace with an outdoor Jacuzzi.

1 Ananda Suite, (110 sq.m.) and 3 Deluxe Suites (85 sq.m.), each with their own private garden.

70 Deluxe Rooms (45 sq.m.) – Palace/Garden View, Valley View and Valley View on premium floors. Each room has a private balcony, offering magnificent views overlooking the Ganges River and the valley of Rishikesh or the gardens and the Maharaja’s Palace.

Dining

The Restaurant – Multi-cuisine restaurant with emphasis on light healthy Ayurveda cuisine to suit individual ‘dosha’ (body type)

Tree Top Deck – An outer deck of The Restaurant, set within the natural environs of the Himalayas offering stunning views of the Valley.

The Pavilion – A casual and cosy yet elegant setting for private meals and light snacks, located next to The Restaurant and pool.

The Poolside – The swimming pool is heated throughout the year and is set on the edge of a ridge of the Himalayan foothills. Glorious forest and valley views, together with a backdrop of soaring hills, make this a perfect place to relax whist enjoying healthy snacks and fresh juices. It is 28 ft long and ideal for laps.

Estate Picnics –Take a specially prepared hamper out into the surrounding countryside or villages.

Experiences

Ananda Adventure provides a world-class, high-energy balance to the tranquility of the fully encompassing wellness experience. You can enjoy trekking, white water rafting, nature walks, billiards, excursions to Rishikesh and the River Ganges to witness the evening Aarti, and of course, a visit to the nearby Rajaji National Park for wild elephants, tigers and excellent birding is not to be missed.

Why we love this place

Aside from the unparalleled spa treatments that Ananda offers, it is also a place to come and relish the glorious mountain air and setting. The walking opportunities here are fabulous – following winding mountain tracks up into the surrounding hills, passing villages, schools, temples and all the time with sublime mountain views, hearing the happy sound of laughing children and bumping into locals going about their business. If wanting to venture out, only half an hour away is the nearby holy town of Rishikesh, (356m) which stands at the point where the wooded mountains of Garhwal rise abruptly from the low valley floor and the Ganges crashes onto the plains. It is one of the holiest places in India and the Aarti ceremony in the evenings is a must. Alternatively, experience the exhilarating fun of rafting on the Ganges or the joy of wildlife in the jungle at Rajaji Natiional Park.

Responsible/Sustainable Tourism

Ananda in the Himalayas has a comprehensive policy to protect the environment.

Waste & Recycling (Garbage segregation, proper disposal and recycling, Used oil from the spa is sent to bio diesel manufacturers for reuse, All E-waste is recycled)
Food (They grow ayurvedic herbs and kitchen spices in its on-site garden, Food waste is sent to the local municipal corporation, Used cooking oil is sent to bio diesel manufacturers for reuse, They work with local farmers and organic farms to grow a large part of our vegetable and fruit produce)
Water Management (All the recycled water from the sewage treatment plant is used for gardening, without the usage of harsh chemicals, On-site water bottling plant to produce clean drinking water, served in reusable glass bottles, Synthetic grass (turf) at the Golf course which does not need watering, Drip irrigation and sprinklers installed for all the gardens and lawns)
Electricity (Use of heat pumps in place of hot water generators that helps in reducing carbon-di-oxide emission, LED bulbs throughout)
Only Battery operated golf carts are used to transport guests, staff and materials within the property premises, to reduce vehicle emission

Our Recommendation

Dont miss the Hawa Mahal – Nestled in the middle of the Sal forest this area is ideal for the more active forms of Yoga. A tranquil hillside garden is tucked just outside, along the valley’s ridge – a perfect refuge for Himalayan tea after an invigorating Yoga session, or for peaceful meditation.

Can’t find a suitable itinerary that features a destination, experience or accommodation you fancy? All our group tours and holiday ideas can be personalised, or we can create a tailor made itinerary for you.

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