14 Tuesday July, 2015
By James Jayasundera, Ampersand's MD & Founder
Vana is a wellness retreat like no other and it is exceptional in so many ways. With over two decades of experience working with the best properties in Asia, I have never encountered a property which has created such extraordinarily effusive and positive client feedback. 100% of our clients (even the most sceptical!) rated Vana 10/10 and all of them are planning a repeat visit; this mirrors my sentiments exactly. I spent 10 days there last August and returned feeling completely rested, invigorated and full of good new habits which, to my own amazement, have remained with me one year on. I am returning on a second visit this August, which I’ve been looking forward to since the moment I left last year. Vana is not an end in itself, rather it is a place to begin the journey towards greater wellbeing.
So, what is Vana? Vana is a state of the art wellness retreat that explores all aspects of wellbeing through the use of ayurveda, Tibetan healing, traditional Chinese medicine, yoga, natural therapies, spa, fitness and aqua. It is perfect to visit on its own or to combine with other locations in the sub-continent. If combined, I recommend saving it until the end of the holiday as an option for relaxation and blissful indulgence.
Where is it located? Vana is located on a 21 acre estate in the rolling hills of Dehradun at the foothills of the Himalayas. It is protected by sal forest on two sides and set within its own mango and lychee orchards. Dehradun is a 45 minute flight from Delhi, followed by a 1.5 hour car transfer. Delhi is just over 8 hours flight from London and with 8 daily flights from Delhi to Dehradun, onward connections are snappy and surprisingly easy. Delhi’s new and efficient airport has also made the experience much more pleasant.
When is the best time to go? One can visit year-round as Dehradun (altitude 640m above sea level) enjoys a pleasant climate through the year, with the exception of a few days in summer, winter and the monsoon. Winters are dry and bright with cool evenings and certain summer days can be hot, but the clever design of the retreat ensures that guests are perfectly comfortable whatever the weather. I enjoy going there at the end of August as the weather is bright and warm, and as it is at the tail end of the monsoon, the landscape is fresh and lush.
What does it cost? Offering incredibly good value, a stay at Vana costs INR 19,500 (currently £198) per person per night based on two sharing or INR 25,000 (currently £254) on single occupancy. This includes 5-star plus accommodation in a Forest/Garden Room, a’ la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner plus afternoon tea, arrival and departure consultation, up to 150 minutes of treatments per day, use of gym, pools, tennis courts and an impressive range of resort activities conducted by authorities in their field.
What accolades has it won? Vana was voted Best New Destination Spa 2014 by Conde Nast Traveller and it has just received LEED Platinum Certification from the US Green Building Council, making it India’s first Retreat to have attained this standard thanks to its commitment to high standards in environmental sustainability and energy optimisation.
Is there a minimum stay? There is a 5 night minimum stay. Based on my own experience and client feedback I would recommend a stay of 7 to 14 days.
- > View our Vana photo gallery.
Do get in touch and we will design a tailor-made itinerary for you, or take a look at our two suggested tours featuring Vana:
- > India's Ultimate Wellness Retreat: Vana
- > Health & Happiness in the Himalaya: A Wellness Adventure to Bhutan & India
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