Ananda–In the Himalayas

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Ananda - In the Himalayas
Viceregal Palace, Ananda - In the Himalayas, Narendra Nagar, Uttarakhand.jpg
Viceregal Palace, Ananda - In the Himalayas, Narendra Nagar, built by the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal, 1910.
General information
Location Narendra Nagar, Uttarakhand, India
Opening 2000
Owner IHHR Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.
Website
http://www.anandaspa.com

Ananda in the Himalayas is a luxury destination spa in Narendra Nagar, Uttarakhand, set in the Indian Himalayas.

Set in a 100-acre (40 ha) Himalayan mountain estate set amidst sal forests, overlooking the river Ganges, close to the towns of Rishikesh and Haridwar, it was established in 2000, and was India's first destination spa.[1] Ananda focusses on Yoga and Ayurvedic practices,[2] combined with international spa therapies.[3] The property includes the royal palace of Narendra Nagar, of the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal (an Indian princely state),[4] and the restored Viceregal Palace which was added to the palace in 1910–11 by the Maharaja for an expected visit of the Viceroy of India. Though the visit never materialized, the edifice remains,[5] and went to accommodate the likes of Lord Mountbatten of Burma, a later Viceroy of India.[6][7][8]

Today it is considered one of the best spas in the world by the The Telegraph[9][10] and rated No. 1 destination spa in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine.[11]

Etymology[edit]

The lounge at Ananda - In the Himalayas spa.

The word ananda means bliss and contentment in Sanskrit[8]

History[edit]

An old fountain, Ananda spa, Narendra Nagar

Some years ago, given the impetus on health and rejuvenation in the world and after an exhaustive search located a site for a destination spa, Ashok Khanna,[12] discovered the Palace of the Maharaja at Narendra Nagar, Tehri-Garwhal. It was decided that the property was to be called “Ananda – in the Himalayas”, a name that embodies the spirit and ethos of what Khanna wanted to offer to his guests.[13]

Soon the former Viceregal Palace close to the Royal palace of the Shah family, of the erstwhile princely state of Tehri Garhwal originally built in 1910–11,[5] was restored. Narendra Nagar was the summer capital and the Palace, where the present vice regal suite of Ananda in the Himalayas is situated, is the official residence.

Himalayan view, from Ananda, with the meandering Ganges

Traditional Indian practices of yoga, meditation, ayurveda and vedanta are offered at the spa. Treatments include Ayurvedic spa treatments, Tibetan treatments and international therapies such as massage, body wraps and facials[14][15]

Visitors[edit]

Ananda has been frequented by many famous guests, including Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Hall, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, Kate Winslet, Frederick Forsyth, Deepak Chopra, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Piven, Ricky Martin, Macklemore, Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.[11]

Ratings[edit]

Lawns surrounding the 21,000 sq.ft. Ananda spa.

In 2005, Condé Nast Traveler rated this spa as the 'Best Overseas Spa Retreat' with a score rating of 99.62 and the Readers choice world's Number 1 destination spa (2005, 2006, 2007, 2012) It is also the only spa in India to be awarded the 5 wave certificate by BISA (British International Spa Association). Highly recommended by many other travel journals such as the New York Times,[7] Travel and Leisure,[16][17] While its judged as 'Top Spa in India' by Spa Finder, Inc.[18] According to a reviewer of The Telegraph, Ananda "..mixes the healing principles of the East with the pampering needs of the West.".[19]

Business[edit]

Ananda is owned and managed by IHHR Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.[20][21]

The Chairman of IHHR, Mr. G.K. Khanna is a visionary with over 5 decades of experience in the hotel industry. The M.D. of the company, Mr. Ashok Khanna, the son of Mr. G.K. Khanna, is a graduate from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration with over three decades of experience in hospitality. -->

IHHR hospitality also founded a chain of luxury business hotels known as Ista Hotels.[22] The word Ista is formed by the amalgamation of two Sanskrit words Isht (personal, cherished, sacred) and Sthan(place/space) therefore denoting the new meaning of Ista as 'My personal space'. These hotels located in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Amritsar and Pune are now managed under the brand name "Hyatt".[23]

Education[edit]

The Ananda spa institute, located adjacent to the Ista hotel in hyderabad, admitted its pilot group of students in the summer of 2008. This educational institution is the only one of its kind in the world that provides yoga, ayurveda and international therapies under one roof. Realising the importance of international certification, the institute has got the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC), Confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (CIBTEC) to prescribe the curriculum for the courses on international treatments and give the required certification. The curriculum for the Yoga and Ayurveda courses will be framed and certified by the institute itself. The institute plans to lead spa education in South East Asia and maintain high standards throughout the region with international cooperation. Josephine Wackett has been appointed Principal. She was earlier with the world famous Steiner School in London, where she was principal of the Steiner Beauty School for the last 30 years. Josephine is also the CIDESCO International Board member for Education[24]

References[edit]

  • "India: Mandarin group, Indian Hotels part ways on Himalayan resort," Businessline. Chennai: Dec 27, 2001. page 1.
  • "Ayurveda Meets Five-Star Splendor at New 'Ananda,'" by Lisa Tsering. India - West. May 18, 2001, Vol.XXVI, Isse 29; page C32.
  1. ^ The Himalayas: Over the hills and far away The Telegraph, May 6, 2008.
  2. ^ Yoga Escapes: A Yoga Journal Guide to the Best Places to Relax, Reflect, and Renew, by Jeanne Ricci. Published by Celestial Arts, 2003. ISBN 1-58761-187-2. Page 131.
  3. ^ Ananda Travel + Leisure.
  4. ^ Himalayan Spa for Sybarites By CELIA W. DUGGER. New york Times. July 30, 2000.
  5. ^ a b Ananda - In the Himalayas Asia's Legendary Hotels: The Romance of Travel, by William Warren, Jill Gocher. Published by Tuttle Publishing, 2007. ISBN 0-7946-0174-X. Page 74.
  6. ^ India's only destination spa, Ananda mixes... St. Petersburg Times, January 1, 2006.
  7. ^ a b Ananda-in-the-Himalayas New York Times.
  8. ^ a b A mystical massage tour The Age, October 22, 2006.
  9. ^ Ten of the best spas - Suzanne Duckett selects her top spas around the world The Telegraph, Sep 12, 2003.
  10. ^ Winner by a head The Telegraph, Apr 9, 2007.
  11. ^ a b Jeremy landed at Ananda in the Himalayas Discovery Channel.
  12. ^ hospitality sector needs infrastructural support-Ashok Khanna The Economic Times, Mar 26, 2009.
  13. ^ Bliss Himalayas Times of India, Oct 12, 2003.
  14. ^ Ananda Spa luxist.com. Oct 18, 2005.
  15. ^ India: The Ananda Spa - Jo Foley reports on the Ananda Spa in the Himalayas The Telegraph, Jul 19, 2001.
  16. ^ http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/ten-top-meditation-retreats
  17. ^ For Luxury Travelers, India’s Past Isn’t Past New York Times.
  18. ^ Travelog The Economic Times, Dec 13, 2007.
  19. ^ Healing meets pampering The Telegraph, Aug 1, 2005.
  20. ^ IHHR Hospitality .. The Economic Times, Mar 26, 2009.
  21. ^ IHHR Hospitality Pvt. ltd. Official website.
  22. ^ http://profit.ndtv.com/2008/09/23003219/Ista-Hotels-to-expand-business.html
  23. ^ http://www.india-server.com/news/ista-hyderabad-named-among-worlds-top-1248.html
  24. ^ http://www.anandaspainstitute.com/Spa%20Travel%20News%20-%20Ananda%20Spa%20Institute.pdf

External links[edit]