We all have those days where we wish we could just escape by taking off to a destination where there’s respite from nagging office deadlines, painful traffic, a mountain of domestic chores and never-ending errands. Top this up with the upcoming summer month’s heat and you already feel lethargic. If this sounds like your life, then we have compiled a list of ten luxurious stays for a much-needed break from the demands of everyday life that will leave you feeling like a whole new person. Here’s why these are the perfect mountain getaways.
1. Ananda in the Himalayas – Rishikesh
Ananda is the spiritual pathway to the ultimate, discovered through the union of body, mind and soul. A destination spa, Ananda is tucked away in the Himalayan foothills close to Rishikesh. Ensconced by forests and overlooking the River Ganga, the peace and quiet found here is a welcoming breath of fresh air. The spa facilities at Ananda span 24,000 square kilometers, which includes 24 treatment rooms, a gym with the latest equipment, an outdoor temperature-controlled swimming pool and several hydrotherapy facilities. Spa treatments at Ananda include both ancient Ayurveda and modern therapeutic massages. Some of these are Abhyanga, Sirodhara, Aromatherapy and Deep Tissue. Longer, more intense wellness packages at Ananda include a 14 or 21 day weight management program, a signature detox program and a stress management program. The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun and the good guys of Ananda send you a car for pickup at the airport to the Yoga Captial of the world.
2. Moksha Himalaya Spa Resort – Parwanoo
Amidst the Shivalik Ranges, Moksha Himalaya Spa Resort is the perfect destination to enjoy some quiet time with nature. Best known for its reinvigorating spas and Ayurvedic treatments, this is for your dose of soul meditation. If that’s on your mind, this is the best pick. Elevated 5000 ft. above sea level, this Ayurvedic health spa resort serves as a tranquil paradise on earth surrounded by the magical and mystical Shivalik ranges. This best luxury resort in Himachal Pradesh is the ideal place for weekend getaways from cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla and Kasauli. No matter where you are at the resort, it offers you the most spectacular view of the valley around. Moksha Himalaya Spa Resort is the ideal place where you can let go completely and allow the aura of the resort to infuse you with bliss and positive thoughts.
3. The Khyber Himalayan Resort – Gulmarg, Kashmir
Located in the languid meadows and forested slopes, the Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa offers a perfect amalgamation of old world charms and modernity. This resort overlooks the snow clad mountains of Mount Affarwat with pine and fir trees below and around you. Frankly, the resort’s stunning location in Gulmarg makes it a destination in itself, and 65 kilometres away from Srinagar Airport, the resort is not a hard route to reach at all. Clad in locally sourced pine and slate, the architecture of the Khyber Himalayan resort reflects the rich heritage of Kashmir. The rooms and villas are luxuriously furnished and decorated with indigenous crafts to offer you warmth and welcoming spaces. Designed to ensure your comfort and relaxation, this resort is a better home away from your home. Pro tip: Plan a trip in February during the Gulmarg Ski Fest and you’ll enjoy it the most.
4. The Taj Theog Resort and Spa – Shimla
Turn around your mountain experience with the Taj Theog Resort & Spa, Shimla that stands on a ridge 75 minutes from Shimla town, beyond the pine-scented Kufri and before Narkanda. The Taj Theog is spread over five undulating acres of forest. All of the 99 rooms offer sumptuous views of the greens and the snow-capped Himalayas beyond. With ample use of slate and wood, the décor is warm and cozy — as you’d expect from a mountain resort. Your dining options at the Taj Theog include Tragopan, an all-day diner that offers local pahari cuisine in addition to global cuisines; Peony, an oriental restaurant offers Sichuan and Cantonese cuisines and Theog Junction, dubbed as an “imaginative tribute to the classic narrow-gauge toy train that chugs from Kalka to Shimla”. Taj Theog also has the signature Jiva Spa, and a temperature-controlled pool.
5. The Oberoi Cecil – Shimla
A signature British colonial architecture, the Oberoi Cecil is one of the oldest and most elegant 5 star resorts in Shimla. The hotel, which is now the first choice of people visiting Shimla, was once famous for its ballroom dance during British rule. Located on a quiet side of Mall Road, it has brilliant indoor décor with indoor fireplace and lounge. Designed to cater needs of every guest, this resort offers variety, from luxurious suites to children recreational area. The British summer capital during colonial times, Shimla boasts many examples of original British architecture; from churches to offices, private residences and a theatre.
6. The Wildflower Hall – Shimla
Experience luxury in the high mountains, unlike anything anywhere in Shimla, at about 8,000 ft. above the mean sea level. Standing out amidst the lush greenery with its grey turret-like rooftops, sitting compactly on white-painted exterior walls, the Oberoi Wildflower Hall assures its guests a magical, fairy-tale like stay. The former abode of Lord Kitchener, Wildflower Hall has been grandly restored and is now a luxury hotel. The property overlooks 23 acres of age-old, aromatic cedar trees, with the Greater Himalayas gleaming in the distance. Every room in the hotel is adorned with watercolors of native fruits and flowers on walls, hand-carved four-poster, king-size beds, and Burmese teak floorboards that run from wall to wall. En-suite marble bathrooms, high-speed internet connectivity for up to four devices and a dedicated butler through the day are just a few of the features that add to the luxurious functionality of the hotel’s rooms.
7. The Glenburn Tea Estate – Darjeeling
Darjeeling in West Bengal isn’t just famous for its eponymous tea. This striking city is also in the shadow Kanchenjunga: the world’s third highest mountain, and one of the most beautiful corners of the Himalayas. The Glenburn Tea Estate is located in the heart of Darjeeling and is just a short walk away from Mall Road. Glenary’s and Frank Ross Restaurant are two iconic eateries of Darjeeling, and are not to be missed. The Happy Valley Tea Estate is under an hour from the hill town, you can either walk till here or ask the hotel to arrange for transportation. Also, take a ride on the historic Darjeeling Himalayan Railways to pay a short visit to the Ghoom Monastery.
8. The Elgin Mount Pandim – Sikkim
What makes The Elgin Mount Pandim a highlight among India’s mountain hotels? For starters, it’s only a one-minute walk away from the 18th-century Pemyangtse Monastery, one of the most significant monasteries in Sikkim. Located on eight acres of virgin forests, the resort is also host to beautiful gardens, vantage points for rare bird watching, and spellbinding views. Take in the local sights on a walking tour, including the former capital of Rabdentse and Kanchenjunga — and when you’re tired out, venture indoors and enjoy an elegant afternoon tea.
9. The Orange County Kabini – Coorg
Take a turn down south from the mighty Himalayas and arrive to the lush green hills of South India. Misty and majestic hills, lush green valleys, vast acres of coffee and tea plantations and orange groves… Coorg offers an endless expanse of picturesque beauty. The Orange County — situated at an elevation of 900 meters, at Karadigodu, four km away from Siddapur — is one of the best holiday resorts in the country. Situated amidst coffee and spice plantations, Orange County in Coorg is just the place to unwind. When you step into the portals of Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate, Coorg, you leave one world behind, and step seamlessly into another: the bygone era of the Gentleman Planter. Ensconced in the cocooned comforts of a lush 300-acre plantation paradise, the resort is perfumed with the subtly intoxicating aroma of coffee and spice. Book a luxurious escape to this and many more such mountains in India with these itineraries.
10. Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa – Coorg
Dotting the slopes of the rainforests of Coorg in Karnataka, India, the Taj Madikeri Resorts & Spa, Coorg is a luxurious getaway that lies in the midst of breathtakingly pristine surroundings. Lose yourself in a 180-acre rainforest in its most pristine form amongst hills peppered with more than 200 species of plants including rudraksh trees, cardamom, coffee, wild jasmine and eucalyptus. And find yourself again in an environment so natural, not a stone has been upturned. Enjoy the warmth and relaxation of traditional Kodagu architecture – the gentle sloping of roofs, tall pillars – all the rooms opening into a central courtyard, a temperature controlled pool and the authentic traditional spa.
Written by: Aashima Kadakia
Creative ninja and a true follower of ‘Work, Save, Travel, Repeat’, I love to travel, experience places and bring back stories for a lifetime. Born and brought up in Ahmadabad, I like to visit the same old places, the same cliched tourist spots and destinations, but choose to see the unexplored in the old places. Always inclined towards the mighty mountains in their debate with the beaches!