Vana, Dehradun, India
In the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, miles from anywhere, a new resort tipped to become one of the world's leading wellness retreats has finally opened to guests after an extensive planning and construction process.
Vana means forest, and we believe in the nurturing and nourishing qualities of nature. Our 21-acre Retreat is in Dehradun, India, near clusters of reserve sal forest with the hills of Mussoorie to the north and the bustling small town of Dehradun to the east.
Bringing together Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine), sowa rigpa, yoga, natural therapies, spa, fitness and aqua, the retreat provides many paths to start the journey towards greater personal wellbeing.
Almost all the treatments are given by two therapists, and are at least an hour and a half long. Most unique of all is the gorgeous Tibetan healing centre, with a meditation cave back-lit by Himalayan-crystal-salt lamps and tranquil treatments rooms where, for the first time ever, Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan medicine) is available as an integral part of a wellness retreat.
In the Ayurvedic wing Dr Avilochan Singh, one of India's top practitioners, prescribes dedicated programmes; but you could also just dip in for the odd treatment such as the sublime four-handed abhyanga massage.
The private stretching with Mayank Nautiyal will rejuvenate you, and watsu with Sara Firman is a true back-to-the-womb experience. Another shining star is Azusa Segawa, who once worked at Chiva-Som, and whose chi nei tsang, a deep abdominal massage, not only detoxifies your digestive system but also works to untangle emotional blockages.
Minimum stay is 5 nights or even more depending on the type of package chosen.