Vana, Uttarakhand, India

Vana, Uttarakhand, India

Well, well… wellness. That’s the word on the
tip of our collective, proverbial tongues. Stress, stress, stress
is the antonym that sits at the forefront of our minds.

Escaping to India to get away from the constant noise (in
our heads and our hometown) may seem a little counterintuitive, but
Vana, which lies in northern India, is positioned away
from the chaos associated with this country of contradictions. A
hilltop retreat that sits like a cloud of calm above the commotion
of its neighbouring cities, Vana is a tranquil and rejuvenating
space. Opened by the human embodiment of calm and happiness, the
Dalai Lama, its seal of spiritual approval is welded on.

From fitness to calming the mind, on
arrival you will be assigned a personalised programme which will
you will follow for the course of your stay (a minimum of five days
– though you’ll undoubtedly brush elevated knees with others who
have stayed for a month). Attracting a mixture of guests from
run-down celebrities to big-city burnouts eager to tester Vana’s
unique blend of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Tibetan medicine,
Vana serves as a leveller for all people and all problems.

Change into your uniform of a white kurta and trousers and slip
into a simpler, calmer way of life.


When your room comes with a guaranteed garden or forest view, by
osmosis you’re certain to feel “at one” with nature pretty
instantly. Complementing its surrounds, earthy tones bathe in a
soft light that floods in through the trees across the bamboo
floors. In such meditative surrounds you’d be forgiven for nodding
off on the spot, but it’s worth staggering across to your wardrobe
to grab your kurta pyjamas before diving in to your crisp, organic
bed linens and sailing off into a deep sleep. In room you’ll have
high-speed internet if you need to use your phone, but you’re
obliged to leave it in your room. Namaste here til my “gram” post

What’s for breakfast?

During your stay you’ll munch on a mixed breakfast, which
includes Indian foods as well as a more traditional western-style
buffet – all in keeping with Vana’s wellness and Ayurveda

How about lunch and dinner?

If you’re a fan of buffets, then the lunchtime spread at Vana
won’t disappoint. With no refined sugars, grains or oils on the
menu, your dainty evening meals are extremely healthy, flavoursome
but, thankfully, not intimidatingly restrictive. Order a
three-course meal and you’ll feel satisfied rather than stuffed.
Choose to eat on your own or join the other guests at the communal
tables; socialising isn’t mandatory here. Praise be.

Is there are bar?

No, the only alcohol available is wine or champagne served at
dinner time at the Salana restaurant or in your room – unless your
specific detox prohibits you from drinking.


If you’re not in the spa or yoga pavilion, odds are we’ll find
you floating in the infinity pool. With tennis
courts, a gym, sauna, steam and hammam rooms plus group activities
– from om chanting and music performances to aqua therapy – you’ll
likely tire yourself out long before your intended bedtime. If
(somehow) sleepiness has yet to strike, head to Vana’s impressive
library filled with a broad
range of readings – from Buddhist teachings to comic books that
recount famous Hindu stories.

Things you should know

You don’t need to pack any clothes. Prudish types, don’t worry –
when you arrive you’ll be given a white kurta that’s changed daily.
Dress code: back to basics.

Within a short walk you will find…

You will be extremely busy with your programme so time for
exploring is rather limited. However, beyond the property there are
some excursions you can opt in for – visit to the Ganges