1. Riverside oasis
Immersed in a leafy setting of oak forests, this extravagant retreat sits in the hills above Rishikesh, a temple town located 250km from New Delhi. Nature lovers will relish a stay in one of the 16 sleek villas, whose balconies overlook the forested countryside, home to rhesus monkeys and spotted deer. The property is positioned along the banks of India’s holiest river, so you can fall asleep to the sounds of lapping waters and wake to sunlight cascading in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The centrepiece of the property is a 17-metre, temperature-controlled infinity pool, which has the Himalayan foothills as a dramatic backdrop.
2. Local mountain fare
Chef Chetan Singh Rana has skipped the typical Indian hotel menu to focus on local, mountain cuisine. Highlights from the menu include soybean curry, potatoes tempered with whole spices, brown lentils and slow-cooked local greens such as kafuli. The entire menu is sourced solely from the state of Uttarakhand, including cheeses from Darima farms in Mukteshwar and indigenous millets from Bakri Chaap, an organisation that works directly with local farmers.
3. A holistic spa
Don’t be fooled by Aheli Spa’s simple appearance – the therapists here are highly skilled and there is a whole range of treatments available. The Sanskrit word aheli translates as pure, and that’s just what the treatments aim for. Therapies are mostly based on the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda and use medicated oils, cotton poultices and scrubs made out of exfoliating herbs. Many products are sourced from natural Indian beauty brands including Kama Ayurveda, which has a cult following in the country. For a more in-depth experience, choose a package tailored to specific objectives – such as stress and weight management or detox and relaxation – with options ranging from three to 14 nights.
4. Wild experiences
Take a jeep to the nearby Rajaji National Park, where you might be lucky enough to spot elephant herds, wild boars, sloth bears and even tigers. You can also visit an organic farm to harvest your own tomatoes, berries and spinach, which will be turned into a delicious meal at the Roseate’s kitchen. For something closer to home, the hotel also has an exquisite private white-sand beach by the Ganges River. You can participate in a personal yoga class, feast on a candle-lit dinner or simply watch the sunset highlight the multi-coloured rocks that Rishikesh’s beaches are famous for.
This article was originally published in the July 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine