You know why we were hesitant going in? After so many massages {poor little us}, luxury hotels, and examples in hospitality {wow, we have good lives}, we expected a great, but nonetheless been-there-done-that experience. We love being proved wrong, especially when it involves first class hospitality, and one too many massages.

To start with, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Five star luxury accommodation, impeccable service, a great restaurant, and all in all everything you expect from a luxury hotel, and well, those prices. But here’s what you can’t put a price on – the unparalleled warmth, mega efficiency, and all round uber attention to detail. The detail is you. Everyone is always smiling, in a real warm, we love you kind of way; everyone in the spa somehow miraculously knows your schedule, and treatments run spot on time.

Ananda positions itself as a luxury spa getaway, think of it as a luxury wellness centre, where the hotel is incidental, and the spa; the starring superhero. Their modus operandi is packages; you choose the one that suits your need the best, and sign up for one. Depending on what package you choose, the ingredients change, but primarily you can look forward to a lot of spa therapies, all meals, and nutrition and wellness consultations. Your getaway starts with an Ayurvedic consultation, to get an idea of your aches, pains, problem areas, and any and everything you want to work on. We know we know, ten days of clean living does not a lifestyle make. You’ll have access to alcohol, red meat, and you can smoke in your room. That’s why they worked for us {besides the Egyptian count sheets}; they don’t look to enforce a certain way of living; the idea is that they’ll guide you the best they can, and the actual implementation, that’s on you. Kind of as close to real life as you can get {besides the Egyptian count sheets}. You will be advised to travel light, but they don’t account for the weight of will power. One of the reasons you should travel light is the all-white everything kurta pajamas they will replace every morning for you. So, you don’t need to dress for dinner, your clothes won’t get the smell of oil {Ayurvedic oils really pack a punch}, and let’s face it, the serenity of white – almost as awesome as their hospitality {this probably explains all the smiling}.

As for other facilities, they organise an A.M. trek, a visit to the Ganga Aarti and the spa, which seems to never end. You’ll find out, while walking from one therapy to another, it’s almost as though the building never ends. Where treatments are concerned, they offer international and Ayurvedic treatments, yoga, diet counselling, facials, foot massages, and any other body part you want doused in immeasurable pleasure. They have available a jogging track, a fully equipped gym, high tea at the Maharaja’s former palace and place of residence {part of the hotel belongs to the local Royal family}, a swimming pool, and three luxurious private villas.

Easily accessible from Delhi, it’s one hour from Dehradun. You have the option of taking a flight/train up until Dehradun, and driving up, or driving the entire way.

So now that we have been there, done that, we’ll say this, we want to keep going there and doing that.

Where: The Palaca Estate, Narendra Nagar, Tehri, Garhwal

To make a reservation, and check out all their packages on offer, click here.

Price: Depends on the package you choose, Getaway packages {minimum 2 night stay} starts at INR 20,400 for a single occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast, dinner and spa therapies.

Wellness package {starting at 5 nights minimum stay}, rates start at INR 21,000 for single occupancy, inclusive of accommodation, meals and therapies.

As for therapies you can choose, Wellness packages are for specific goals, so your spa schedule is pre-defined, and the ‘Essentially Ananda’ package allows you to choose your own therapies.