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“The best spa we have stayed at.......”

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Ananda in the Himalayas
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Narendranagar
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The best spa we have stayed at.......”
Reviewed 14 May 2014

This is the best spa in India. My wife and I stayed here three nights and loved the place. The spa treatments are excellent. The staff (Ms Kiran) went out of her way to accommodate our schedule. Don't miss the facial and salt scrub. The location and grounds are amazing. Restaurant is great with wide variety of menus and staff that is eager to help you. We traveled to Dev Prayag from here. Long drive but worth it to see the the spot where Bhagirathi river meets Alaknanda river and Ganga river starts.

Room Tip: Don't miss the sunset from the sunset point on the property.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mukund J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nikhil K, General Manager at Ananda in the Himalayas, responded to this review, 20 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Namaskar!

Thank you staying with us at Ananda and for taking the time to review your experience.

It was a pleasure to meet with you during your visit and we are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay. We will pass on your compliments to Kiran we are sure will be very motivated by the praise.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Ananda. Do let us know at gmo@anandaspa.com should you require any assistance.

Thank you
Warm regards

Nikhil Kapur
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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623 reviews from our community

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Cambridge
Level 6 Contributor
286 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2014 via mobile

This is a gorgeous spot in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is a terrifying drive up very steep mountains to get there (two lane road that is used as if it is three, with walking paths on either side and lots of curves). Rooms are lovely and have great views of the Ganges. The palace itself is gorgeous and has lots of nice common rooms, but no one uses them because it is actually quite a ways away from the hotel rooms, spa and dining room. They have golf carts to take you around or you can walk on lovely paths. The spa is ok, my massage was mediocre (very soft). They lost my spa reservation and I had to insist that they take me. It was a bit of an issue, but eventually they relented. The pool is lovely, but you better grab your chair early. The pool fills up fast. The dining room is very nice and the food is great, with lots of variety, although the service is quite slow for so many waiters. The management is terrific. We had hired a private guide and driver and they wouldn't let them in because they didn't know them. They are very protective of their guests..and exclusive. It took a while to get things sorted out and ultimately made us miss the free golf lesson we wanted to take. The manager quickly offered us a free private lesson for the next day. Hem (the golf instructor) is terrific and I learned a lot. Yoga in the morning is magical. Warning - do not just stay at Ananda the whole time. You might as well go to Canyon Ranch. Definitely go into Rishikesh and better yet, hire a guide to take you to Haridwar to see the evening ceremony on the Ganges.... not to be missed.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrea S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nikhil K, General Manager at Ananda in the Himalayas, responded to this review, 20 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Namaskar!

Thank you for your kind patronage of Ananda and for reviewing your visit.

It was a pleasure to meet with you and your friend during your stay and thank you for your kind words about our interaction.

We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your golf lesson. We do hope that you are playing even after returning home!

Our Spa and Food & Beverage team has been appraised regarding your feedback and will ensure that immediate remedial measures are taken to ensure that we improve our guest experience.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Ananda. Do let us know if we could assist with your travel in any way at gmo@anandaspa.com.

Thank you
Warm regards

Nikhil Kapur
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wash., DC
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2014

I wanted to write this review because I had a very rude awakening upon getting to this meditation/yoga spa, where I spent four nights last week. My travel agent made a fatal error in advising me not to book a spa package, but to just book the room and get my spa appts. when I got there. I went by myself for some pampering and relaxation since my mom died recently and I work all the time. When I arrived I was told there were NO SPA APPTS. AVAILABLE FOR THE ENTIRE TIME I WAS THERE (!), since apparently they are either booked way in advance or slots are reserved for folks on the spa package (which was everyone I encountered there). I did the free yoga session and free meditation session each day and went to the mildly interesting lectures on Eastern Philosophy. They finally found a cancellation for me on my second day to meet with the Aryuvedic doctor and have my "body type" identified. From the second day on I ordered the "wellness" menu in the restaurant for my body type (Wata), which was kind of nice since it meant I didn't have to decide what to eat. The food was good, except that on my last night I got really sick with diarrhea all night. This really nice Sri Lankan executive housekeeper called the doctor and got me some Imodium and electrolyte solution since I was dehydrated. This was a week ago and I am still sick; going to call my doctor tomorrow. Every time I eat something I have to run to the bathroom. I can't say whether Ananda is to blame for my "Delhi belly", which seems to be a common affliction in India. But I ran into my Ananda dinner companion that night in the first class lounge at the Delhi airport a week later and she told me she got sick that night too. They did also find two spa appt. cancellations for me - one for a Kindalini back massage (excellent -highly recommended), the other for a Swedish massage - mediocre.

I think it is really important to understand what this place is and isn't so you are not disappointed:

Ananda IS:
a peaceful retreat in a lovely quiet setting in the foothills of the Himalayas (not the mountains)
a place you can feel comfortable by yourself (there were enough people on their own to not feel left out)
a place where you can apparently have a good yoga session with a private instructor (no appts. available for me)
a place where you can get a really great aryuvedic 4-hand massage (no appts. available for me)
a place where you can quietly relax
a place where once a week you can go on a trek to a temple (I have a broken toe so I couldn't do that but I think people liked it)
a place with comfortable rooms, especially the bed. Nothing amazing, but I was very satisfied with my room - comfortable reading chair, comportable bed, built-in adapters for your applicances, which is common in India.
a place you will run into nice folks from all over the world
a place where you don't have to worry about what to wear (most people wear the white cotton pajamas they give you - I didn't but whatever you wear is fine)

Ananda is NOT:
a resort. Don't expect a drink with an umbrella in it. In fact, there is no bar (although you can order wine with dinner)
a place where there is anywhere to gather except for the pool. There is no library, no common lobby area, no bar, nowhere at all to sit except by the pool and in the restaurant. It seems like the idea is to relax by yourself in your room or have your spa appts. I don't know why they can't set up chairs in a garden or something - heck they set up Adirondack chairs in airports, but that doesn't seem to be the idea here. As another reviewer wrote, the pool chairs are almost always all mostly taken (probably because it's the only place outside to sit!).
a place with an extensive gym. One or two of a few types of machines. None of the screens on the tvs worked in the gym when I was there.

I flew out a week ago today with two other groups of people from Ananda, one a mother/daughter from Venezuela and the other a group of girls from somewhere in the Middle East. No one could understand the hype about this place. They had all been to better spas (in fact the daughter of the Venezuelans got a fungus on her back she thinks from the massage oil from her last treatment) in prettier places where you felt more pampered (in fact one of them was disappointed she couldn't get more treatments - she had a couple a day - and the staff told her to feel lucky -pointing at me - and said "that lady came all the way from the United States and she couldn't get ANY appts.!"). I will say that Ananda is famous in India as a meditation/yoga resort and it is peaceful and quiet. If you booked your spa treatments in advance, and wanted to contemplate your naval, this would be a good place.

Finally, a word about the staff. I found the restaurant staff nice and helpful. Overall, I found the staff generally competent, but not warm and friendly. I didn't feel particularly welcome, but I didn't feel unwelcome. The whole place is on the down low, which is the vibe to expect. I probably wouldn't have written this last bit about the staff, but I went from Ananda to the Taj Mahal in Delhi and was completely blown away by the service there. Everyone greeted you by name, the elevator operator remembered everyone's floor number, I felt so welcome. There the room was absolutely nothing to write home about (Ananda rooms much better), but frankly the service at the Taj made up for its shortcomings and made me want to return to the Taj over and over. Hope this review is helpful!

Room Tip: Get the valley view room
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank iblaurajc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nikhil K, General Manager at Ananda in the Himalayas, responded to this review, 20 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Namaskar!

Thank you for staying with us at Ananda and for reviewing your visit.

Please accept our sincere apologies that we were unable to provide you the experience that you were looking forward to when you visited us. It is our effort to not only meet but to exceed the expectations of our guests, we have obviously failed to do so.

We hope that you are well now and have recovered fully.

At Ananda we offer a variety of packages both for shorter getaways and for longer stays on wellness packages.Most of these are with Spa inclusions and are preferred by guests as in this case your Spa schedule is sent to you in advance and can be altered depending on your convenience. Details of these packages are available on our website.

We have taken serious note of your feedback regarding the Spa and the Food & Beverage team and have shared the same with the concerned departments, we are confident that they will take immediate remedial steps to ensure that our guests have better experiences.

Our Chef has been appraised regarding your concerns with the food. May we assure you that we pay great attention to the hygiene conditions in the kitchen including the supply chain and continue to work on better and more modern ways on how to manage these.

We have also noted your comments regarding the seating, besides the pool, we also have seating available at the Sunset Lawn, the Amphitheatre and on our golf course. We shall also be in the near future adding seating to the poolside which should make it more convenient for our guests to find a place to spend time.

As most of our guests are on wellness programmes, we do not actively promote the sale of alcoholic beverages, however the resort does have a well stocked bar and a extensive beverage menu available.

The team would be very grateful for another chance to showcase the service that we are truly capable of and request you to visit us again. Do write to us at gmo@anandaspa.com and we will be very happy to organise your visit.

Thank you
Warm regards

Nikhil Kapur
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Ananda is true to its name and leaves you in exactly in the state of Ananda. Nestled in the laps of the gorgeous Himalayas, overlooking the Ganges, with peacocks in your garden and exotic flowers peeing in through your balcony -- this place ensures you have forgotten everything about the world you left behind. Add a holistic spa therapy to this -- and emerge truly rejuvenated.

Room Tip: Valley view is the room to go for
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sowmya I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nikhil K, General Manager at Ananda in the Himalayas, responded to this review, 8 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Namaskar!

Thank you for your kind patronage of Ananda and for taking the time to review your visit.

We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Ananda and that our locale and Spa helped you to spend some relaxing days here.

Ananda is located on the Palace Estate and is surrounded by old Sal forests which has a wonderful eco system of many species of birds, deer and of course flora.

Our award winning Spa is inspired by the proven practises of Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta to provide holistic healing in conjunction with international experiences.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Ananda soon.

Thank you,

Warm regards,

Nikhil Kapur
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
1 review
Reviewed 6 May 2014

just gt back from a fab weekend at Ananda In The Himalayas. pampered to the core. attention given to detail. Staff are so caring & the spa treatments are very special highly recommend the ananda fusion & the body scrub. meals planned out are very interesting whether indian or continental ...very healthy yummy options . all in all. was mighty pleased with the ambiance , activities available in house . swimming, cooking demos,spa treatments , gym, golf, yoga ,special dining, dance performances, meditation , vedanta , treks , a host of them to keep you busy & yet de stressing , personalised programmes available & can be specially customised for you if you wish to detox, lose weight , rejuvenate, de stress or just about relax and get pampered... ANANDA is the place to be in .

shall definitely go back . awesome is an understatement.. Nimisha Iengar - Mumbai

Room Tip: all rooms are good . however the valley facing rooms are more spcl .
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nimisha2509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nikhil K, General Manager at Ananda in the Himalayas, responded to this review, 8 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Namaskar!

Thank you very much for staying with us at Ananda and for taking the time to review your experience.

We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit and the various activities in offer at Ananda.

It was a pleasure to meet with you during your trip and we look forward to welcoming you back to Ananda soon.

Warm regards,

Nikhil Kapur
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014

I am very sorry to write this but I have given the hotel multiple opportunities to resolve the issues I have faced and with the exception of a few individuals, on the whole management has not responded appropriately, if at all. I am an American woman traveling alone as I often do - I have been on safari alone, ski trips, sailing schools, Canyon Ranch, etc. I travel alone for both business and pleasure and frankly I enjoy solitude - however, I do not like to be ignored or disregarded. If you are a woman traveling alone please consider this a warning.

I booked a Himilayan Bliss package with a palace facing room - room #409. Not a valley view and too low to see the palace - in fact it was a view of a hill but I was pleased with the room and the setting which was quite lovely.

When I arrived in my room the outlet adapter was flawed and I was unable to charge my computer or my blackberry - I know a spiritual vacation and I am worried about my devices; however, my computer is my primary daily communication with my children in the US (VOIP). I called the front desk THREE times over the course of 3 hours before they finally sent a new adaptor.

My first lunch was an unpleasant experience with the male wait staff ignoring me and providing me only the wellness menu (aka, the diet menu). I travel and dine alone frequently and have never been so uncomfortable as in the dining room having to ask for a regular menu, tracking down a waiter to order and then tracking down a waiter to sign my bill. My consolation was that breakfast and dinners were buffet style so I would not have to deal with the waiters. Note: I am in India regularly for business, I know the pace of meals and I know the general sexism that exists in the country. Still, I did not expect this attitude (sexist) to prevail at a resort like Ananda.

On day 2 I went on an amazing trek which required that I skip breakfast and then I had a treatment immediately upon my return so I was not able to head to lunch until 2:00 pm. I was seated for at least 10 minutes before I received a menu - once again the diet menu - with barely as much as an acknowledgement. I simply did not have the time to wait through another long wait to get the correct menu, my food, etc. So I left lunch and returned to my room and called to speak with the manager. The manager of the restaurant called back and came to my room with menus and offered to bring me something to my room. I was too hungry and tired to wait so I ate the chocolate bar from my minibar - how is that for a healthy spa meal? I decided if the male staff were going to ignore me - I must be invisible. So with my invisibility cloak on I proceeded to the gym and had a great workout ignoring the male attendants who are certain they know more than I do about everything.

The spa manager checked on me later in the evening and had soup delivered to my room as I was still very upset with the wait staff's rudeness. She said she would speak with them. So imagine my surprise on Day #3 - my third attempt at a meal in the restaurant and I am seated and handed ONLY the diet menu again. I had to ask first if there was a regular menu for breakfast and if so, could I please see it. Seriously - you are all thinking I am so overweight they are doing me a favor but trust me that is not the case. I am actually very fit and have spent the better part of my life as an athlete and I am perfectly capable of making my own food choices. Seriously, management knew of the behavior and assured me that they would rememdy it and yet the behavior persisted. I was later told I would be assigned a single waiter to resolve the issue - okay, but why should that be necessary? Boy, did I feel like the ugly American, fat too. Note to Ananda - I am quite certain that the US has the most and best fat farms in the world so If I ever do decide to venture to a spa to lose weight, I will likely choose one closer to home.

I wrote the general manager a note to explain my disappointment. He provided a greeting upon arrival and I had previously noticed his montioring the Trip Advisor reviews so I thought he would be responsive. What did I receive? A phone call? No, I received a note from an assistant manager along with some Ananda incense and fragrance apologizing for any "inconvenience". As if I need or want the scents I have experienced here to remind me when I get home - remind me how it feels to be ignored and disregarded? I am sorry but rudeness is offensive and hurtful - inconvenience is the noise in my room from what sounded like maintenance going on above - either that or very active guests above me who were in motion from 8-7 all day each day.

I know my review is in contrast to many others' experiences and I do hope that I am the anomaly and I admit that i generally do not write reviews unless I am remarkably impressed either favorably or unfavorably.

True kindness and thoughftulness would go a lot further than the superficial Namaskar that everyone shares - a bit like LA where everyone is very friendly but if you dig deeper they really do not give a damn about you at all. They are only trying to look good for themselves.

Ananda has a beautiful location; however, spirituality requires more than symbols and preaching the philosophy - it is embodied in behavior and that was not on display during my stay. Kindness - it is not so hard. Spirituality does not pick and choose - you are either kind hearted and take care of others or you are not. Those who are not, should not be in the service business.

Note this is only my experience - I supsect if traveling with a man I would have been treated differently (I witnessed as much).

As for the treatments - the two best were the rose scrub and rose facial - especially the scrub - which was simply amazing.

The location is amazing - the pool is nice but all of the chairs were full most of the time - the space is small for the number of guests and I would venture up to the palace grounds to find more solitude.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Amy l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nikhil K, General Manager at Ananda in the Himalayas, responded to this review, 29 April 2014
Dear Guest,

Namaskar!

Thank you for staying with us and for reviewing your visit.

At the outset, please once again accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused to you by the service at restaurant. I was very distraught on receiving your note and requested to meet you, however you were in the gymnasium and wanted to see me after your workout. You may recollect meeting with me at the Palace Reception.

The apology note was written to you by our Deputy General Manager who is also responsible for Food & Beverage in order to express his regrets on behalf of the team for the lapse in the restaurant and delay by the Front Office. We are sorry that you did not find this appropriate.

When the team received the information that you were dissatisfied with our service and as it was late in the evening we thought it would be right to send a lady to your room and therefore asked our Spa Manager to meet with you and see how we could serve you better. Our endeavour was only to ensure your comfort and privacy.

We are grateful for your feedback on the presentation of the wellness menus in the Restaurant. As most of our guests are on wellness programmes, they prefer to order from these menus. It is for this reason these menus are offered as the first choice. However, we should have recognised your wish to order from the other menus and acted promptly upon the same. We have already taken this up strongly with the team who will urgently attend to this in order to improve services.

The assigning of a personal waiter was done only to enhance our understanding of your wishes and to improve the quality of your experience.

Although we also spoke briefly on the subject during your check out, Ananda has the privilege of hosting a number of single lady guests many of whom come on repeat visits and we do everything we can to ensure that they are comfortable. May we please once again assure you that we welcome all guests with equal enthusiasm and our effort is to not only meet but exceed their expectations. Our teams have often been complimented for their genuine care and concern.

May we humbly request you treat this as an aberration and allow us an opportunity to showcase the services we are truly capable of. The team would be very grateful if you would be kind enough to allow us to be of service to you again. I am available for any further assistance that you may require, my email id is gmo@anandaspa.com.

Thank you,
Warm regards,

Nikhil Kapur
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marrakech, Morocco
Level 6 Contributor
173 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

I have visited Ananda in the Himalayas 2 times and allthough I am very well travelled in the luxuary segmant this place takes my breath away every time. Fantastic place for relaxing and doing yoga/meditation in a 5 star environment. I came alone to get time to reflect and left Ananda wiser than when I came. The masters, the place and the staff is amazing, as well as the food and the views. The spa is fantastic.

Room Tip: All rooms are good
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Per S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nikhil K, General Manager at Ananda in the Himalayas, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
Dear Guest,

Namaskar!

Thank you so much for your kind patronage of Ananda - in the Himalayas. We are very pleased to hear that you visited us for the second time and enjoyed being here.

The Ananda philosophy is of the wellness of the mind, body and soul through the proven practises of Yoga, Vedanta and Ayurveda and our location lends itself wonderfully to the experience.

We look forward to welcoming you back. Do let us know at gmo@anandaspa.com if we may assist in way with planning your trip.

Warm regards,
Nikhil Kapur
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ananda in the Himalayas

Property: Ananda in the Himalayas
Address: The Palace Estate, | Tehri - Garhwal,, Narendranagar 249175, India
Region: India > Uttarakhand > Tehri Garhwal District > Narendranagar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Narendranagar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Ananda in the Himalayas 5*
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ananda in the Himalayas is an award winning luxury destination spa located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the birthplace of India's ancient arts of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda. Dedicated to restoring balance and harmonizing energy through a holistic approach, Ananda incorporates the healing principles of the East and the West with a specific focus on Ayurveda and Yoga, along with contemporary International spa experiences. Set amongst 100 acres of virgin forest and opened in September 2000, Ananda in the Himalayas is built around a Maharaja's palace estate and located 260 kilometres north of New Delhi. The resort features a restored Viceroy's Palace, world-class Spa, 70 deluxe rooms, 5 suites and 3 villas. Two of these villas are 2 bedroom villas and one is a single bedroom villa, with breathtaking views of the Ganges River and the mountainside. With the highest standards of service, luxurious accommodations, innovative dining and breathtaking mountain views, Ananda is an internationally recognised oasis offering an enriching experience designed to restore, renew and revitalise. Ananda signature wellness programs include Detox, Ayurvedic Rejuvenation, Weight Management, Stress Management, Yogic Detox, Ananda Yoga, Ananda Renew and Ananda Active. Getaway Spa packages starting at 2 or 3 nights are also available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ananda In The Himalayas Hotel Rishikesh
Ananda In The Himalayas Rishikesh

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