18 September 2021

A‘most magical place’ - The Ananda Spa
Pyjama power
Following the world’s hippest hotels and the celebrities who frequent them, Sarah Turner visits India’s Ananda Spa, where white pyjamas are all the rage…
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nanda Spa is all white with Uma Thurman: Book a stay in the Indian retreat where the Hollywood power set go to find true tranquility.
Once a place for Britain’s colonial elite to escape the summer heat of Delhi, now it’s the Hollywood power set in search of inner contentment who come to Ananda. Flick through the visitors’ book and you’ll find paeans of praise from Oprah Winfrey and Black Hawk Down star Josh Hartnett, while Uma Thurman thinks it is ‘a most magical place’. There are just 70 rooms and suites. To imbibe history, stay in the original palace, complete with billiards room lined with portraits of maharajahs.
Ultimately, celebrities seek out Ananda for the treatments, as it is considered to be one of the world’s best spas. Treatments are based on Ayurvedic principles, which divide people into three categories. A doctor sees guests before a programme is devised to suit vata, kappa and pita sensitivities. Three sessions a day are included in the price, from massage to meditation. Yoga is excellent - many guests report it has helped them give up long-term bad habits, including smoking. Food is cooked along ayurvedic principles and is delicious.
Charles and Camilla popped in for a night’s stay on their visit to India last year.
After you arrive, no one will know if you’re rich or riff-raff as whatever your rank, everyone looks the same. Guests are provided with white kurtas - traditional pyjamas - and most people are happy to wear them day and night, giving everyone a pleasingly uniform appearance.

Original article published in Oct 2014. All info and prices correct at time of publication.
Enjoy an exfoliation experience at Ananda
Palace of peace: Ananda Spa, with its colonial history
At the highest point of the hotel, the Vice Regal suite reigns supreme with a colonial ambience including four-poster bed and its own private terrace. For a greater sense of retreat, the newer villas, tucked into the woods, have private pools and a more contemporary feel. A vast spa has its own complex and boasts a white marble yoga pavilion and 24 treatment rooms. Part of the low Himalayas, close to Rishikesh, one of the seven holy cities of the Hindu faith where The Beatles started strumming sitars and learning transcendental meditation. An hour’s flight from Delhi, this is the sort of place where enlightenment comes with a private helipad and its own exalted mountainside spot - views reach from the snow-capped Himalayas to the Ganges river.
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