Amanbagh, Rajasthan, India

Hidden in the serene hillside of Rajasthan, this rose-hewn palace effortlessly blends local Indian rituals with luxurious flourishes.

This article appears in Volume 30: The Health Issue.

I can't help but feel a little guilty as the neon pink, orange, lime and purple powder liberally speckles the immaculate, pale-peach sandstone of my pavilion (a mere "room" being far too pedestrian a term for my palatial surrounds). However, I have a free pass - it's Holi, the Hindu festival that signifies the arrival of spring, and I've just joined the other guests and staff in shrilly chucking about handfuls of paint on the sweeping front lawn.

It's an uncharacteristically noisy intervention in the otherwise peaceful Aravalli Hills where Amanbagh sits, yet the effortless integration of local rituals into this luxurious retreat is a cornerstone of its philosophy. Driving from Delhi Airport, the choked highways give way to winding roads through tiny, colourful villages and finally this former maharajah's hunting grounds, now a 40-room oasis designed by architect Ed Tuttle.

The accommodations spool out from the grand, mirror-flat main pool, where a local musician plays the bansuri flute and birds and monkeys chatter from the surrounding eucalyptus, frangipani and hibiscus trees. My Private Pool Pavilion is a temple-like abode that includes a sunken bath in Udaipur emerald marble and its own miniature pool, from which I watch the fat moon crawl above the forested hills.

In addition to morning yoga and an outstanding spa, the wellbeing offering runs to an Ayurvedic doctor who takes my pulse, quizzes me about my lifestyle and diagnoses me as a fiery Kapha Vata, recommending two vegan days a week, vigorous exercise and sectional breathing. Ayurvedic immersions of up to 21 days are available, with your diet tailored to your specific needs.

My most treasured moments occur on excursions outside the hotel walls: cycling past inquisitive water buffalo and women in jewel-bright saris carrying bales of grass en route to breakfast in a nearby gwara (village). Passing beneath the gaze of monkeys in the vine-strewn ruins of the haunted Bhangarh Fort. Pulling my best downward dog on a crumbling platform amid the fields as the sun rises. On my last night, I'm taken to eat in a nearby chhattri (pavilion) veiled in ruby fabric that glitters under the marigold moon - a final suffusion of romance and utter peace.

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