Destination Discovery: India


best-of-india

Destination Discovery: India

From the vibrant colors and warm spices of the open-air markets to the unique mix of high-energy hustle-bustle combined with peaceful, meditative introspection embodying all who live here, India is a land of exotic mystery. Those lucky enough to have traveled to this country know it’s much more than the home of the Taj Mahal, amazing culture, and rich history: Visitors would be remiss to skip a trip to any of India’s awe-inspiring spas.

We’re highlighting 10 that are sure to make your travel bucket list. Check out our picks in India!

Presented by Jiva Spas at Vivanta by Taj Hotels & Resorts,Vivanta by Taj – Bekal pictured. Vivanta by Taj is a fabulous collection of hotels that has been specifically designed for the cosmopolitan global traveler with contemporary design, luxurious accommodations, and the high quality service the Taj brand is known for. Guests will experience the exotic beauty of India with an unexpected twist. Its signature spa brand, Jiva Spa, brings together the wisdom and heritage of the Indian philosophies of wellness and well-being. Discover more about this stylish and sophisticated group of properties here.

Bekal

Vivanta by Taj – Bekal, Kerala

Nestled amongst freshly manicured lawns, lush gardens, and the shore of the Kappil beach lies 26-acres of what Vivanta by Taj calls one of their best kept secrets – but you know what they say, secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone! Vivanta by Taj- Bekal features 71 laterite lined villas and rooms with Kettuvallam house boat motifs mixed with traditional Balinese design which open to private outdoor areas with rain showers, soaking tubs, and plunge pools. And as if that weren’t enough the Jiva Grande definitely pushes the property over the edge.

Blending ancient Indian wisdom with contemporary treatments and therapies, Jiva Grande Spa offers guests signature rejuvenation therapies and Ayurvedic consultations. Holistic retreats are offered in peaceful spaces overlooking the water gardens and foliage allowing you to feel fully immersed in the experience.

Image courtesy of Vivanta by Taj – Bekal

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Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri, Coorg

Those seeking an intimate hideaway should look no further. Tucked away in a lush 180-acre tropical oasis Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri is the secluded sanctuary you’re after! This eco-friendly resort features 63 cottages, suites, villas, and rooms which fuse luxury and sustainability by using muted colors, mud paints, recycled wood, and natural riverstones to seamlessly blend accommodations into the surrounding landscape without disturbing nature. This eco-friendly design helps to highlight the majestic Coorg landscape – a rainforest canopy covering rolling hills, rising mist, and seemingly unending miles of green.

The resort’s 30,000-square-foot Jiva Grande Spa features a variety of rejuvenating therapies including a climate controlled indoor swimming pool and another open-air, in the woods and under the stars. The eight private treatment rooms have private steam rooms and showers, and guests can enjoy a break on the relaxation deck, a bite to eat at the wellness cafe, or a soak in the signature Coorg experience – the Gudda bath, a wood-fired bath overlooking the rainforest. For those looking at Holistic Ayurveda and Yoga Retreats, this is just the place where you can lose yourself to find your own.

Image courtesy of Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri

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Umaid Bhawan Palace – Jodhpur

For those of you looking for the royal treatment, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, is what dreams are made of. The Palace, which was built between 1928 and 1942 for H.H. Maharaja Umaid Singh ji, to bring jobs to the people of Marwar during a period of drought and famine, is the last of the great palaces of India and one of the largest private residences in all the world. With 347 rooms set on a vast 26 acres, the palace features an Art Deco style, fashionable in the time period it was built, with lavish interiors, exotic murals, and elegant artwork.

Guests can stay in any of the 64 luxurious rooms and suites, enjoy a stroll through the private museum, or of course, experience the art of Indian Wellness in the Jiva Grande Spa. Here the palace offers a private retreat where you can feel at one with yourself and your surroundings. Besides offering  traditional Ayurvedic treatments, the Jiva Grande spa also offers an array of rejuvenating and relaxing therapies that truly takes one to another realm of tranquility.

Image courtesy of Umaid Bhawan Palace

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Vana, Malsi Estate

Even though this brand new wellness retreat hasn’t officially opened its doors (mark your calendars for January 4, 2014) we have no problem announcing that we believe it will fast become one of India’s most beloved properties! The 21-acre estate is surrounded by mango and lychee orchards, the Sal forests, and features views of the lower Himalayan foothills.

Veer Singh, founder of Vana Retreats, shared what he believes are the three pillars that will set it apart from other retreats like it:

  • It will be home to “the most comprehensive wellness offering in the world, in one location” With 90 guestrooms, suites, and villas.
  • It will put the “highest emphasis on getting a tangible result during a guest’s stay.” By using information secured before and during arrival, Vana’s experts will design a highly personalized retreat that ensure results long after you’ve gone home.
  • It will feature “Ayurveda and yoga like you’ve never seen before.” Offering them in their purest form, along with holistic Eastern therapies, mediation spa treatments, aqua therapies, and more.

Image courtesy of Vana Retreats

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Ananda in the Himalayas

For many years Indians have been known to seek balance, harmony, and inner calm by “retreating” to the mountains  – to seek this peace by retreating to the Himalayas is more than a mere journey, it is a yatra, a pilgrimage. And located in the in the Himalayan foothills, tucked into the Sal forests, and overlooking the River Ganges lies Ananda in the Himalayas – a destination spa which offers it’s guests a spiritual pathway towards creating harmony in their body, mind, and soul.

The elegant reception area of Ananda was once the palace of the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal, popularly known as the Viceregal Palace. After checking-in guests can venture to the adjoining grand Viceregal Tea Lounge and enjoy a cup of Darjeeling tea.

There are 75 deluxe rooms and suites, as well as three villas, all of which offer views of the city of Rishikesh, the Ganges Valley, or the Viceregal Palace. Rooms come complete with personal yoga mats which come in handy during your stay. While at Ananda you’ll experience a blend of Ayurveda, Vedanta, and yoga in order to lead your mind, body, and spirit to a peaceful harmony.

Image courtesy of Ananda in the Himalayas

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R The Spa – Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi

Business travelers will love the Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi, located minutes from Gurgaon’s business district in India’s National Capital Region. With more than 70,000-square-feet of meeting space it is ideal for corporate gatherings.

And what better way to unwind during a business trip than with a trip to the spa. R the Spa is enormous – the three-level complex spans 20,000-square-feet and features a complete East-meets-West blend of wellness therapies and offerings.

Image courtesy of Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi.

swswara

SwaSwara

Along the western coast of India, tucked away in rolling hills, are the 24 villas of SwaSwara. Swa meaning “the self” and Swara referring to sound, SwaSwara offers a program of yoga, Ayurveda, and organic cuisine in order to allow you to relax, renew, and re-balance.

Enjoy a dip in the pool, introspective time in the meditation dome, yoga, pranayama, boat rides, excursions into town and to the beach, and of course authentic Ayurveda in the Ayurveda Center.

‘Swa’ starts at 7 nights and can be extended to 10, 14, or 21 nights.

Image courtesy of SwaSwara

wildflowers

Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas

To view Wildflower Hall from a distance is nothing short of majestic. Seemingly soaring at 8,250 feet in the beautiful Himalayas, Wildflower Hall, the former home of Lord Kitchener – Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, welcomes guests to 22 acres of India that is reminiscent of the colonial era. Guests will find wood paneling, teak floors, lavish fixtures, and hand-knotted rugs throughout the 81 guest rooms and suites.

Here, guests will also find the Oberoi spa, featuring a menu of holistic Ayurveda-based treatments which can be enjoyed in private spa suites or pavilions surrounded by an awe-inspiring cedar forest with views of the snow-capped peaks in the distance.

Image courtesy of Wildflower Hall

kaya Kalp

Kaya Kapa Spa, The Royal Spa at ITC Mughal – Agra

Designed with a nod to the opulent Mughal architecture of the past (think: the Taj Majal) the 5-star ITC Mughal is set on 35 acres of extravagant gardens complete with flowering trees, shaded walkways, and water channels and features 233 lavish guest rooms and suites.

With its close proximity to the Taj Majal it’s no wonder Kaya Kalp is called The Royal Spa. Spread out over 99,000-square-feet, Kaya Kalp is undoubtedly the largest spa in India and is highlighted by the same opulence as the rest of the property. Here discover and enjoy traditional Ayurvedic treatments performed with indigenous herbs and spices.

Image courtesy of ITC Mughal

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Sereno Spa – Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa

Guests of Sereno Spa at Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa will notice right away its unique approach to the authentic healing properties of Ayurveda and yoga. Here treatments and traditions are infused with the allure of the Arabian Sea – and guests are promised a truly transforming experience where old world India is blended with contemporary spa principles. The spa, which is spread over 36,000-square-feet, is located in the property’s lush beachfront gardens and guests will revel in the glistening water channels and lagoons.

Image courtesy of Sereno Spa at Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa

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