Dehradun, India

Six Senses Vana

Price per night from$412.71

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD412.71), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Nama-stay serenity

Setting

Haute Himalayan

Experts at keeping the outside world at bay, Six Senses Vana is a haute health retreat nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas where healing is a hardcore sport. Here, it’s all about connection – to nature, to yourself, to others – and finding peace (bye, smartphones) and pleasure in simple things. The retreat’s spiritual approach to wellness blends Ayurvedic and Tibetan principles with dosha-balancing and nutritionally-optimised cuisine to get you feeling in fine fettle. Indulge your muscles in an aquatic Watsu massage, fill your lungs with fresh forest air, or channel your inner George Harrison under the garden’s majestic Bodhi tree. Come as you are; leave as someone better.

Please note, bookable rates for Six Senses Vana are based on solo occupancy. Couples or groups should contact Smith’s travel team to book.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A 30-minute foot reflexology treatment each

Facilities

Photos Six Senses Vana facilities

Need to know

Rooms

86, including 16 suites and four casas.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability and an extra charge. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £393.61 ($487), including tax at 18 per cent.

More details

Rates include an Indian and international buffet breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, a wellness consultation, traditional attire, group wellness activities, airport transfers and one daily treatment.

Also

It’s all about balance; the retreat has daily quiet hours, which are complemented nicely by musical offerings in honour of gods and gurus.

At the hotel

Wellness centre with steam room; ice shower and Watsu pool; hot tub; gym; yoga studios and pavilion; multi-sport arena with courts and pitches for paddle, badminton, tennis, basketball, football and cricket; meditation cave; device-friendly area; cinema; library; boutique; gardens; and walking trails. In rooms: Vanaveda bath products, organic cotton kurta pyjamas and silk scarves, smart TV with sound-system, and Ayurvedic and herbal teas.

Our favourite rooms

All rooms are alike in design, with nature-inspired artworks, floor-to-ceiling windows and soothing, neutral tones. All have balconies or terraces, and, frankly, even the standard categories are twice the size of an inner-city stay, perfect for those on five-day programmes. If you’re in it for the long-haul, we’d opt for the Esteva suite, where you can cosy up in front of the fire, or else the Vana suite, complete with its own kitchenette, plus meditation and treatment rooms.

Poolside

The long rectangular pool is ideal for getting your strokes in. You’ll find it stretched across the rooftop, flanked by minimalist loungers and parasols, and encircled by a fleece of sal tree tops.

Spa

The bread and butter of Six Senses Vana are its wellness offerings, which are vast to say the least. On arrival, guests will be invited for a consultation and wellness screening, after which, the retreat’s team of doctors will create a personalised plan that incorporates elements of Ayurveda (an ancient Indian medical system that takes a natural and holistic approach to healing), yoga and Tibetan medicine. There are intention-lead programmes for longer stays which include weight management, stress reduction, sleep and breaking bad habits as well as a 21-night Ayurveda Panchakarma – a specific, five-step protocol which aims to restore balance and replenish energy. If you’re in the market for more of a general health boost, start your day by fuelling-up at the juice bar before sun-saluting your way into the afternoon at the yoga studios or pavilion. Get your heart pumping at the multi-sport arena, where you’ll find courts and pitches of almost every variety. Treatment-wise, choose from the likes of Abhyanga (a fragrant, four-handed massage), Ku Nye (a type of hot-stone treatment accompanied by Sanskrit chanting), Chi Nei Tsang (a deep abdominal massage) or Watsu (a kind of aquatic treatment in a warm, womb-like pool) or simply a spot of thermal hopping between the sauna and ice shower.

Packing tips

Just bring your good intentions, the retreat will take care of the rest.

Also

The retreat comes equipped with electric wheelchairs, ramps and accessible ground-floor rooms.

Pet‐friendly

Pets are welcome in all casas for INR2,000 (around US$25) a night, plus tax. See more pet-friendly hotels in Dehradun.

Children

Welcome. Under-15s are allowed in casas only and will have limited access to parts of the retreat; over-15s will have full access. There may be extra charges for accommodation, meals and activities.

Sustainability efforts

For Six Senses Vana, wellness encompasses not only guests’ own health, but that of the planet and those with whom we share it. Of the 21 acres the retreat occupies, only 20 per cent of it has been built on, while the rest remains as the natural habitat for animals and plants. Accordingly, light and sound is minimised come evening so as not to disturb the grounds’ nocturnal dwellers. In the kitchen, many of the ingredients are home-grown, plucked straight from the retreat’s gardens. Anything else comes from local farmers. A large percentage of energy is produced via solar panels, and all spaces are installed with water-saving taps and showers as well as timers on boilers and lighting. Oh, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any single-use plastics, instead there are cork-handled razors and biodegradable shower caps in rooms, plus an on-site bottling plant which allows the retreat to reduce the use of 100,000 plastic bottles a year.

Food and Drink

Photos Six Senses Vana food and drink

Top Table

Sit out on the terrace for a spot of nature gazing, or, if you’re alone, scooch down to the communal table you may just meet your new best friend.

Dress Code

Don your organic kurta pyjamas in all common areas, including restaurants, as a mark of respect and equality.

Hotel restaurant

Simplicity is key across each of the retreat’s two restaurants – that means locally sourced, seasonal ingredients (some of it straight from the on-site garden) crafted in a way that is low on oil, salt and refined sugar but high in nutritional content and flavour. Menus are made to mark the seasons, preserve and revive local traditions and get you feeling in fine fettle. It goes without saying that veggies and vegans are well catered for, but carnivores won’t go hungry with the small selection of mindfully-sourced fish and meat options on offer, too. At Anayu, the retreat’s lunchtime spot, all meals are prepared according to Ayurvedic principles. If you’ve had your consultation with the in-house doctors (Ayurvedic practitioner), you’ll be able to choose dishes based on which palette best compliments your dosha. Salana, the more contemporary of the two, is an all-day, communal affair, with long tables that stretch the perimeter of the soothingly minimal canteen. Here, soaring glass walls, native plants and a handful of cloud-like light hangings set the scene for fragrant curries and colourful soups. Not forgetting dessert (hello, dark chocolate truffle pie!) because healthy doesn’t have to mean boring.

Hotel bar

About that. The retreat has quite a, ahem, selective policy when it comes to alcohol so don’t expect any daiquiris with your downward-dogs. Guests are limited to either wine and sake which are only to be consumed with dinner in one of the two restaurants. That said, tea-lovers are in for a treat – the resort pours an excellent brew, whether that’s your humble breakfast variety or exotic blends infused with homegrown lavender, tulsi, chamomile, cinnamon, fennel, and carom seeds. And if you hang around, the team may just let you in on their top-tier tea secrets. Hint; it’s got something to do with homemade apple cider and Ama Pachana spiced water.

Last orders

Salana is open for all meals between 7am and 9.30pm while Anayu is only open for lunch from noon to 2pm daily.

Location

Photos Six Senses Vana location
Address
Six Senses Vana
Mussoorie Road
Dehradun
248001
India

Six Senses Vana is nestled at the base of the Himalayan foothills and surrounded by the sal tree forests of leafy Dehradun.

Planes

Jolly Grant Airport is a 60-minute drive from Six Senses Vana and one round-trip transfer is included in the room price (maximum three guests, plus luggage). Additional transfers will set you back around INR3,500 (around US$42). New Delhi is quite a drive away – we’re talking at least five hours – but a comfortable ride can be arranged for those who’d rather travel on the ground.

Trains

Dehradun Railway Station is just over 10 kilometres away, with routes to Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi, Ujjain, Indore and most other major cities.

Automobiles

Roads are generally in good condition but be prepared for narrow, hairpin bends as you near Mussoorie. There’s on-site parking available free of charge for guests.

Worth getting out of bed for

Each day at the retreat includes four yoga classes of varying styles, meditation (seated or walking), Raag therapy (healing through music), chanting and fitness sessions, so it’s fair to say you won’t be left twiddling your thumbs. The retreat’s professionals do, however, encourage you to settle into your own pace, leaving time for reflection, socialising and exploring – especially for those staying a little longer. Check into the multisport arena to swing a serve or two, or practise your dribbling skills before cooling off in the pool. Or, if outdoor pursuits are more your thing, you’re in the right place. Tucked away in a sal tree reserve, the retreat offers an on-site walking trail for beginners (and an offsite one for seasoned strollers), alfresco cinema screenings and sustainability tours through the retreat’s herb gardens, where guests can learn more about Six Senses Vana’s commitment to nature. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the local birds, butterflies and monkeys. Book onto one of Salana restaurant’s cooking lessons for tips and tricks on preparing low-oil, low-salt dishes to prolong your wellness journey after your stay is over. You’ll find the best views in the cloud-scraping Mussoorie region (known among locals as ‘queen of the hills’) at Lal Tibba, one of the region's highest points, standing at a white-knuckle inducing 8,000 metres above sea level. The sunsets are supreme, but be sure to pack some layers as it gets chilly up there. On your way back down, be sure to check-in at Jabarkhet Nature Reserve, a private eco-sanctuary full of native flora, fauna, ferns and fungi as well as hundreds of botanicals and plenty of birds. Further west, saunter up to George Everest House, the Welsh surveyor’s former home turned cartography museum which offers a glimpse into the life of the world’s highest mountain’s namesake. While it’s not quite as steep, the hilltop vistas make it a popular spot for picnics. And yogis listen up, Six Senses Vana is around a 90-minute drive from the ashram town of Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga (and, for that matter, most of the Beatles’ The White Album). The retreat can organise excursions here, but be sure to stick around into the early evening when the Ganga Aarti – a sacred fire ritual performed on the bank of the Ganges – transforms the steps of Parmarth Niketan ashram into a blaze of light and song.

Local restaurants

Due to its focus on holistic wellness, guests are encouraged to consume all their meals at the retreat itself, but if you’re looking for something to reward yourself with after your stay, Emily’s is a great place to start. Set in Rokeby Manor – a 19th-century English-style estate – this all-day dining spot is tucked away in a cosy former cowshed and is known for its breakfasts (pastries aplenty) and rustic, Gharhwali cuisine. You can’t miss Doma’s Inn, a roadside cottage painted in vibrant primary colours. The menu is pretty vibrant, too, full of Tibetan favourites like cheese-stuffed momos, spicy gyuma (a kind of Tibetan black pudding) and domas phaley (crumpet-sized bread filled with meat or veggies). Or, for dinner with a view, head to Wisteria Deck, an outdoor rooftop lounge serving the best of the Med with front-row seats to rugged Himalayan peaks.

Local cafés

While you're unlikely to find your oat-milk frappé fix outside of the cities, at Muśee Art Cafe what you will find is thick, American-style shakes (ok, maybe not the best for your dosha, but one can’t hurt), loose-leaf teas and a lantern-lit garden that hosts bonfires, craft markets, exhibitions, screenings and music all year round.

Local bars

So, it’s not exactly Ibiza – you’re in the mountains after all – but don’t fret, we’ve sought out a couple of sweet saloons to satisfy your thirst. First, the Writer’s Bar, an antique hangout filled with old-world charm which has hosted a whole bunch of literary bros during its hundred-or-so year history, from Ruskin Bond to Lowell Thomas. Think mahogany-panelling, sturdy chandeliers and an enviable selection of premium single malts and vintage wines. If you’re looking for something a little livelier, the Tavern is a popular, no-frills hangout where you can enjoy live music with the locals.

Reviews

Photos Six Senses Vana reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this holistic hotel bordering the Himalayas and unpacked their silk scarves and kurta co-ords, a full account of their well-rounded wellness break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Six Senses Vana in Dehradun

Picture the scene; rays of light cut through a blanket of soaring sal trees as you sun-salute to a gentle soundtrack of bird song. Such is a typical morning at Six Senses Vana, a Himalayan health retreat that combines ancient wisdom with cutting-edge innovation. The ethereal draw of this part of the country has long attracted those in search of meaning, and it's easy to see why; nature here, just south of Mussoorie’s ‘queen of the hills’, is hypnotic in its scope, and the grounds of Six Senses Vana are no different – 21 acres of mango and lychee orchards, herb gardens and hiking trails. Hole up without distraction (digital detox, baby), and rediscover life’s simple pleasures through a personalised course of daily movement, nourishing meals and soul-soothing activities informed by the practices of Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine. Those with specific intentions can opt for specialised journeys aimed at breaking bad habits, weight management, sleep or stress relief, too. Kick back in your kurta cottons while sipping on a homegrown fennel brew, let tensions float away with a muscle-melting spa treatment or simply breathe, and let your best self be manifest.

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Price per night from $412.71