This is where it all started. The ancient practice of yoga originated in Northern India over 5,000 years ago, and Rishikesh has long been heralded as the ‘yoga centre of the world’ and meditation heartland, as well as one of the most spiritual places in India (which is no mean feat), thanks to the sacred river Ganges and its significance in Hindu culture.
Ananda Spa, nestled in the foothills of the breathtaking Himalayas, has established itself as the ultimate yogi pilgrimage site: the award-winning destination resort integrates traditional Indian Ayurveda, yoga and ‘Vedanta’ (Hindu philosophy) with international wellness experiences, fitness and healthy organic cuisine, giving you the full spiritual experience in luxe comfort. We book into the Ananda Spa to review the programmes and facilities and find our own zen…
Located on a 100-acre Maharaja’s Palace Estate in the Himalayan foothills in Northern India, Ananda is surrounded by graceful Sal forests and overlooks the Ganges River valley. Situated close to the spiritual town of Rishikesh, the resort is approximately a 40-minute drive from Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun.
Even the entry levels rooms are understated yet luxurious. Designed with classic elegance in mind, Ananda’s 78 rooms, suites and villas merge seamlessly with the resort’s lush landscape. Blending colonial-style architecture with sophisticated modern amenities, each stylish space is outfitted with private balconies and has panoramic views of the surrounding valley and Maharaja’s Palace.
Each of the three private luxury villas has a personal pool and deck area with comfy—lounge beds perfect for sunbathing or snoozing. They also have gorgeous four-poster beds and roof top gazebos. Encircled by beautifully landscaped gardens, all accommodation features spacious lounge and dining areas, antique furnishings and oversized soaking tubs.
Incorporating key principles from Ayurveda, Ananda’s wellness cuisine is fresh, natural and low in fat and calories. Ingredients include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products, while artificial salts, colours, flavours, and preservatives are avoided.
Personalised health menus are created in conjunction with the in-house Ayurvedic doctor to correct imbalances of each guest’s specific ‘dosha’ (body type), and special dietary needs are catered for. The menu is brimming with Indian, Asian and Western dishes, and the resort also has a tea lounge which is fully stocked with an exotic variety of herbal infusions.
Ananda’s award-winning wellness packages are designed to restore balance and harmonise energy. Falling under nine categories the signature packages include ‘Detox’, ‘Yogic Detox’, ‘Dhyana Self-Realisation’, ‘Ayurvedic Rejuvenation’, ‘Weight Management’, ‘Renew’, ‘Yoga’, ‘Stress Management’, and ‘Active’.
Each programme is all-inclusive and is tailored to meet individual health goals. Overseen by a team of expert Ayurvedic doctors, international health professionals, skilled therapists, nutritionists, yogis and spa cuisine chefs, each retreat runs for a minimum of seven days and guides guests towards sustainable health.
An assortment of holistic spa therapies, ancient beauty rituals and sacred healing experiences are carried out in the resort’s 25,000 square foot spa to ensure mind, body and soul are equally cared for.
Expect to feel… like every cell in your body is positively vibrating with potent energy and vitality.
Keep up with all the Ananda’s latest news on Instagram @anandainthehimalayas