From the 100-year-old billiards table in the Vice Regal Palace to the ultra-modern fitness centre and hydrotherapy centre, Ananda (meaning ‘bliss' in Sanskrit) is a beautifully constructed combination of history and modernism. Established to promote wellness and a holistic lifestyle in its purest forms, Ananda skilfully and effortlessly blends together the best of East and West.
TREATMENTS AND ACTIVITIES
The basic principle of Ananda is Rejuvenation through Ayurveda (Body), Yoga (Mind) and Vedanta (Soul). One of the most perfect aspects of Ananda is the ability to dip in and out of individual treatments or group classes to your heart's content. This is a wellness resort that caters both to those in search of intensive treatments as well as those who simply want to rest and recharge their batteries. From intensive myofascial repatterning therapy to advanced Pranayama, the list of available treatments and yoga instruction is impressive.
For those who seek a more cerebral approach, the Vedanta classes offer a dynamic and interactive opportunity to explore the fundamental values of life such as knowledge vs. wisdom. Attendance at the ‘Aarti' ceremony that occurs at dusk each day beside the Ganges with Swamiji provides some intensive spiritual insight. Fitness training is offered after a consultation with the resident trainer. Yoga can be practiced in many forms and meditation offerings such as Ajapa Japa are grounded in ancient Indian traditions but designed for modern needs.
Every guest on a wellness programme will have a consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner to establish the combination of doshas (the three dynamic living forces) that determine your body type. Thereafter it is possible to tailor private treatments or simply join in the group classes from beginner and intermediate yoga to core stability, stretching and ‘Fab Abs'. There is also a beautiful nine-hole pitch and putt golf course. Outside the resort, mountain walks, white water rafting on the Ganges and the yoga centre of Rishikesh provide some interesting alternative activities.
Ananda employs top experts across the various disciplines but especially in the fields of Yoga, Vedanta and Ayurveda from instructors to therapists. Every practitioner is a delight to deal with and seems to have time to discuss individual needs. These experts are complemented by visiting Masters.
Ananda encompasses a wide area and starts with the Vice Regal Palace where the reception is based together with the billiards room and a lovely library where daily tea is served. Going down the hill you pass the yoga temple before reaching the massive spa, heated outdoor pool, beautiful restaurant, the amphitheatre, golf course and accommodation. There are also plenty of benches hidden under shady trees to sit quietly and read a book or, for those more inclined, an area for private cooking lessons.
The crème de la crème is the private suite in the Vice Regal Palace with its magnificent wrap-around terrace. Next in line are the three private pool villas (two with two bedrooms and one with one bedroom). These are situated amidst beautiful forest between the Palace and the Spa. In the main accommodation block there are five suites and 70 rooms with views either down the valley or into the garden.
Perhaps one of the best attributes of the Ananda is the delightful restaurant with its modernist interior and stunning outdoor Tree Top deck overlooking the valley. All the food is healthy. That said, the menu is extensive and caters for everything from intensive Ayurvedic wellness to international wellness and more substantive European, Indian and Thai menus. There is a multitude of different juices to choose from as well as alcoholic drinks for those for whom the dark arts cannot be relinquished! In short, it would be impossible not to find a menu that will satisfy and delight. The Pavilion offers drinks and light snacks whilst the Palace Tea Lounge serves tea and soft drinks.