Need to know
78, including eight suites.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in is at 2pm. Guests who arrive very late or very early can relax in the lounge or the spa, or have a something to eat in the restaurant if their room isn’t ready immediately.
Double rooms from $674.99, excluding tax at 28 per cent.
Rates generally include a buffet or à la carte breakfast, Ananda’s signature Wake Up tea and daily scheduled yoga, meditation, fitness and lectures; American breakfast is available at INR1,200.
The hotel likes to ensure guests are kept at their cosiest with honey, lemon and ginger tea delivered in the morning, a range of aromatic baths (for an extra charge of INR1,330), and a range of pillows from super-soft to sturdy and supportive.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout; gym, personal training, pilates and yoga classes; six-hole golf course. In rooms: hair dryer; travel adapter; walk-in wardrobe; private balcony; LCD TV and DVD player; tea- and coffee-making facilities (kettle, french press, sachets for tea and coffee and sugar/sweetener); fruit basket; air-conditioning; and minibar. Suites also have a private butler service, magazines and a small kitchenette.
Our favourite rooms
Ananda’s main rooms are set a short walk away from the main palace, in a modern white building nestled neatly in the surrounding landscape. While the Palace and Garden View rooms are quietly luxurious, the Valley View rooms are the ones to beat: the unparalleled balcony vistas are easily the best. For a seriously sexy couple’s retreat, the Viceregal Suite is the ultimate in indulgence. On the top floor of the main palace, the suite has a wraparound balcony and valley views. Persian rugs dot the marble floors and each room reveals hidden treasures, from the grand bathroom fireplace to the antique four-poster in the bedroom. The decadent interior gives way to 360-degree views from the enormous private terrace, which even has its own rooftop dining room for star-strewn evenings à deux.
The heated outdoor lap pool is surrounded by a comfortable deck where guests can relax on white cushioned sun loungers in the dappled shade. Pick up a healthy drink or something to curb your appetite at the poolside bar throughout the day.
Ananda’s 2,230sq m modern minimalist spa is a far cry from the opulence of the main palace. Ensconce yourself in one of the 24 treatment rooms for Tibetan facials and holistic rituals or a Swedish massage, washed down with a calming cup of hibiscus tea. The classic aromatherapy scrubs will leave you as sweet-smelling as the gardens outside, and the indulgent couple’s massage in the Kama Suite uses specially selected oils for a truly sensual and spiritual experience. The separate steam room, sauna and Kneipp hydrotherapy area are so state-of-the-art they’d make NASA proud, and the spa boutique is as chic as any designer denizen. Stocked with Ananda’s delicious own-brand spa products, books, yoga mats, clothes and jewellery, it’s not to be missed for a spot of retail therapy.
Bring hiking boots for long walks around the compound and surrounding area, as well as loose, covering clothing to protect you from the sun. Aside from walking gear, there isn’t much else you’ll need – Ananda gives all guests signature white cotton Kurta pyjamas, which most people wear while they waft around the compound.
Ananda regularly hosts special wellbeing workshops with visiting masters. Teachers, therapists, healers and ayurvedic doctors – each of whom are experts in their field – come from all over the world to share their health secrets with guests.
Over-14s are welcome, but under-18s are not allowed in the spa. Although there are special yoga programmes as well as adventure and nature activities for outdoorsy teens, Ananda isn’t particularly well suited to children.
Ananda supports organic local farms in Tehri and Dehradun and sources most of its produce locally. And, there’s an ayurvedic herb garden on site for essential ingredients used in the spa and cuisine. All cleaning products are ecologically friendly, and the hotel has its own waste-water plant.