Wellness

Healing Journeys

From Kashmir to Kerala, here’s a selection of the best wellness retreats in India for some much-needed relaxation and rejuvenation.
By PRACHI JOSHI

The past two years have put the spotlight on health and wellness like never before. If you’re looking to unwind and restore your mind-body-soul balance, check into one of these luxury wellness retreats around India. From traditional Ayurvedic treatments to pampering spa experiences, we’ve got you covered.

DHARANA AT SHILLIM, MAHARASHTRA

A guest enjoys energy healing at Dharana at Shillim, Maharashtra. (Image Credits: ©Dharana at Shillim, Maharashtra)

Nestled in the serene landscape of the Sahyadri mountain range in the Western Ghats, Dharana at Shillim is an eco-wellness retreat that hosts a range of wellness programmes, including contactless therapies especially dealing with energy healing and pranic healing. Choose from the short-stay programmes like the five-or seven-day Dharana Rasayana Retreat (for enriching immunity by natural methods), and long-stay programmes like the 14/21/28-day Healing Holiday, which aim to correct lifestyle issues with a combination of exercise and physiology, nutrition and dietetics, preventative medicine, and personalised wellness rituals.

dharanaretreat.com; doubles from ₹1,13,000
for a three-night package.
Nearest Vistara-serviced airport: Mumbai.
Vistara flies non-stop between Delhi and Mumbai.

VANA, UTTARAKHAND

A yoga session in progress in the green environs of Vana, Uttarakhand. (Image Credits: ©Vana, Uttarakhand)

Enveloped in lush greenery, this 21-acre wellness retreat in Dehradun draws inspiration from its literal meaning—the forest—a place that nurtures and nourishes. Begin your spacation with a private consultation with one of the in-house experts who will draw up a personalised programme catered to meet your preferences and requirements. The luxurious offerings here integrate the structured frameworks of Ayurveda, sowa rigpa (an ancient Tibetan healing practice) and yoga, alongside contemporary wellness practices. Apart from private treatments, you can choose to participate in group sessions for meditation, breathing, music therapy, walks and hikes.

vana.co.in; doubles from ₹45,000/night, minimum three nights.
Nearest Vistara-serviced airport: Dehradun.
Vistara flies non-stop between Delhi and Dehradun.

AAHANA–THE CORBETT WILDERNESS, UTTARAKHAND

Immerse yourself in the scenic landscape of Aahana–The Corbett Wilderness, Uttarakhand. (Image Credits: ©Aahana–The Corbett Wilderness, Uttarakhand)

Located on the outskirts of Jim Corbett National Park, this upscale boutique-resort is spread over 11 acres and lies between the dense forest and a local farming village. The elegant rooms feature balconies or patios and beautifully designed, plush interiors with Victorian-style architecture. In addition to jungle safaris, bird-watching excursions, and nature walks, the resort’s Aahana Naturopathy Centre offers a fusion of Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, and western spa therapies. Choose from a range of therapeutic massages, Ayurveda-inspired treatments like shirodhara or kati basti (ideal for lower back pain), or try a mud bath, sunbath, and more.

aahanaresort.com; doubles from ₹16,000/night.
Nearest Vistara-serviced airport: Dehradun.
Vistara flies non-stop between Delhi and Dehradun.

MEKOSHA, KERALA

The luxuriously tranquil setting of the Mekosha Ayurveda Spa suites, Kerala. (Image credits: ©Mekosha, Kerala)

Situated on a palm-fringed riverbank just a short, hour’s drive north of Thiruvananthapuram, this Ayurveda retreat sets itself apart with a uniquely modern appeal. With just 11 luxurious suites, each with a private treatment room and a balcony overlooking the pool, Mekosha boasts an intimate experience and bespoke therapies. Their seven-day Classic Ayurveda package is very popular and includes daily therapies, yoga and meditation, nature walks, excursions and more. Diet is an integral part of Ayurveda and the food here is as delicious as it is healthy and carefully balanced to allow your digestive system to return to perfect health. The retreat also offers highly customised wellness packages, designed to combat skin and respiratory ailments, joint-related pains and problems and all kinds of lifestyle disorders.

mekosha.com; doubles from ₹15,000/night.
Nearest Vistara-serviced airport: Thiruvananthapuram.
Vistara flies non-stop between Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram.

SHREYAS RETREAT, KARNATAKA

The calming Sarvanga Dhara Ayurveda treatment at Shreyas Retreat, Karnataka. (Image Credits: ©Shreyas Retreat, Karnataka)

The perfect getaway, this luxury yoga ashram just outside of Bengaluru is a member of Relais & Châteaux and presents a tempting range of wellness packages, from a yoga retreat to a mouna or silent retreat. The sprawling 16,000-sq-feet. Anaha Spa has dedicated rooms for Ayurveda and panchakarma therapies, international massages, hydrotherapies and sauna. Not sure which treatment to choose? Pick their ‘Wellness for the Soul’ package—a well-balanced itinerary of yoga, meditation and pranayama sessions, along with rejuvenating massages, cooking sessions, community exercises and farming.

shreyasretreat.com; doubles from ₹28,000/night.
Nearest Vistara-serviced airport: Bengaluru.
Vistara flies non-stop between Delhi and Bengaluru.

NAAD WELLNESS, HARYANA

There’s something very luxuriously relaxing about the Turkish hammam at Naad Wellness, Haryana. (Image Credits: ©Naad Wellness, Haryana)

Just an hour’s drive from New Delhi will take you to Naad Wellness, a 39-room boutique retreat that aims to restore the balance of your five senses. The therapies on offer here are rooted in the ancient principles of Ayurveda, yoga, and naturopathy, with packages beginning from a three-day set and going up to 28 days. Many of the packages include an experience of the Himalayan Salt Cave; the heated dry salt here has a detoxifying effect on your skin and helps alleviate respiratory issues. Don’t miss their decadently relaxing Turkish hammam experience, aimed to help you relax, as well as improve your blood circulation and metabolism.

naadwellness.com; doubles from ₹65,000 for a three-night package.
Nearest Vistara-serviced airport: Delhi.
Vistara flies non-stop between Mumbai and Delhi.

THE KHYBER RESORT AND SPA, JAMMU AND KASHMIR

A guest enjoying a massage at The Khyber Resort and Spa, Jammu and Kashmir. (Image Credits: ©The Khyber Resort and Spa, Jammu and Kashmir)

Nestled in the Himalayas, more than 8,000 feet above sea level, The Khyber Spa by L’Occitane is a world-class international spa that offers a fusion of Indian and Mediterranean well-being. Choose from a repertoire of signature treatments specially crafted with home-grown seasonal flora combined with L’Occitane products from Provence and pure water from Himalayan springs. Try the Lemon Balm massage, a blend of Balinese, Swedish, and acupressure massage techniques. Adjoining the spa is The Khyber Wellness Block with steam and sauna chambers, and a stunning heated indoor pool offering dramatic views of the Himalayas.

khyberhotels.com; doubles from ₹37,000/night.
Nearest Vistara-serviced airport: Srinagar.
Vistara flies non-stop between Delhi and Srinagar.

THE WESTIN PUSHKAR RESORT & SPA, RAJASTHAN

The luxurious Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa, Rajasthan, is set against the picturesque Aravalli hills. (Image Credits: ©The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa, Rajasthan)

Surrounded by the picturesque Aravalli Hills and spread across 11 acres, this is one of the few luxury hotels in the pilgrim destination of Pushkar. Choose from a range of contemporary-style rooms and villas; some of the villas feature a private plunge pool. The resort’s 10,000-sq-feet Heavenly Spa by Westin offers an array of treatments that blend ancient philosophies with modern techniques. Try a soothing body scrub and wrap or a revitalising massage, or the popular couple’s package. You can even opt to enjoy your massage in the comfort and privacy of your villa.

marriott.com; doubles from ₹12,000/night.
Nearest Vistara-serviced airport: Jodhpur.
Vistara flies non-stop between Delhi and Jodhpur.

SVATMA, TAMIL NADU

Svatma, Tamil Nadu, is housed in an elegant, century-old mansion. (Image Credits: ©Svatma, Tamil Nadu)

A member of Relais & Châteaux, Svatma is a gorgeous boutique hotel housed in a restored, century-old mansion. While it offers several wellness therapies, its main attraction is Swaram (Sound Spa), which comes as no surprise considering its location in Thanjavur, the heart of Indian music and classical dance. The unique sound bed—Nidra Anantar—is a massage table with 50 strings, carefully tuned, stretched underneath it. As you relax on it, a skilled therapist uses a resonator to create vibrations that nurture the emotional-physical system and create a deep state of relaxation.

svatma.in; doubles from ₹8,000/night.
Nearest Vistara-serviced airport: Chennai.
Vistara flies non-stop between Delhi and Chennai.

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