Kerala’s Secret Ayurvedic Resort

ayurvedic retreats

Anantya Kerala

There are two kinds of secrets- one that is not worth keeping and the other which is too good to keep. Tucked away amidst a 1000-acre rubber plantation, about 50 kilometers from Trivandrum; the capital of Kerala lies a secret of the latter kind – Anantya.

The facilities at Anantya, which opened just a few years ago, include 21 cottages, a swimming pool, a multi-cuisine restaurant and a spa that offers ayurvedic therapies.

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‘Astitva,’ in common usage means ‘existence.’ But, in ancient Sanskrit, it stands for the attainment of the complete potential of every thing. In its purest form it is the attainment of god himself. This is the property’s motto where they want guests to experience complete and holistic wellness. Anantya Travancore has teamed up with the Pankajakasthuri Group, a renowned name in the field of Ayurveda, to provide authentic and traditional Ayurvedic spa services. The Group, which runs the Pankajakasthuri Ayurvedic College and Hospital has a history of providing Ayurvedic services for many generations has helped to provide a tailor made program with revitalizing and therapeutic treatments in their beautiful spa rooms overlooking a their lake.

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For guests taking advantage of ayurvedic or yoga packages, they also have ‘Sattvic’ cuisine. A Sattvic diet is the traditional term for a yoga diet or sentient diet which focuses on foods that have ‘Sattva Guna’, (literally translated to ‘pure benefits’). A Sattvic diet leads to clarity of mind and offers maximum benefit to the body. Dining also reflects the palates of international clientele with local delicacies, in addition to dishes inspired by Italian, Mexican, and Asian cuisines.

If that isn’t convincing enough for a Kerala retreat, perhaps the photos might!

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By Sanjay Sivadas

http://anantyaresorts.com/

Winter Vacationing… in Summer

The Park Hyatt Melbourne, Australia

Crowded beaches… Sun-burnt skin… Pre-mature aging… Let’s get real. You’re probably not 18 years old and able to bake in the sun without getting a few new lines anymore. Are you? It’s okay, we’re not either, but we say, ditch the hand-held fan and take a detour from the average getaway this summer with an unexpected vacation in another hemisphere.

Why not bundle up in the southern hemisphere and experience Australia and Argentina’s winter season? Discover the cool misty air in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains or take in the snow-capped peaks of India. At least you can come back looking refreshed and fresh. Tans are so 1990. And sun spots are so 90.

What: Park Hyatt Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Why: Park Hyatt Melbourne welcomes guests with a night of indulgence, called “Winter Warmer”. Enjoy decadent dessert treats, glasses of Moscato, a full buffet, breakfast for two in radii restaurant, and valet parking with complimentary access to the Park Club Health & Day Spa.

Itinerary: The special “winter” Chef’s table menu lets guests taste their way through six seasonal courses, with an optional wine pairing.  Rates start at $518 USD. Six course meal costs $175 USD. Include wine pairing for an additional $120 USD.

Ideal for: Globetrotters missing the coziness of chilly winter nights.

What: Park Hyatt Mendoza, Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza, Argentina Wine Country

Why: With views of the snow covered Andes and a spa that pampers visitors with local wine-inspired treatments, Park Hyatt Mendoza (located in one of South America’s most famous wine regions) is the perfect place to escape the summer crowds.

Itinerary: Indulge in a “Mascara Corporal de Uvas” (Grape Body Masque) that combines mud from a local mountain chain withessential oils and fresh crumbled grapes or enjoy the “Brillo Vino de Mendoza” (Mendoza’s Wine Body Glow) is a body treatmentapplied from the neck to the toes with Thai massage techniques, providing deep hydration and infusing the skin with antioxidants through the combination of crushed grape skin and seeds. Rates start at $177 USD per night.

Ideal for: Relaxation junkies and oenophiles.

Jamaica Strawberry Hill

What: Strawberry Hill, Irish Town, Jamaica

Why: On an island known for its sandy beaches visitors will discover another side of Jamaica with a refreshing escape to Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. Guests who book four nights at the hotel, enjoy the fifth night free, with rates starting at $195 per night now through December 15.

Itinerary: The adventuresome can literally take a hike (or mountain bike excursion) on one of the many surrounding trails or tour the island’s premier coffee estate. Those seeking to refresh body and mind can take a dip in the negative- edge freshwater pool, channel their inner chakra at the yoga pavilion, or enjoy a holistic treatment at the full-service spa. And of course every guest can just take it easy on the private terrace of their own Georgian-style cottage, of which Strawberry Hill has 12.

Ideal for: Travelers looking to beat the heat but still get a taste of the tropical.

Prayer Flags at Stok Village, India

What: Shakti Village Experiences, Northern India

Why: India in the summer? Late spring through early fall is THE season for places like the Ladakh region of Jammu-Kashmir in the stunning Indian Himalayas.  Shakti Village Experiences can get you there, offering private, guided walking tours throughout villages in the India’s North – such as the Shakti Ladakh tour, which takes guests through the natural wonders of the region known as ‘Little Tibet.’

Itinerary: As guests of a Shakti walking tour, you and your private group will be accompanied by dedicated local porters and guides as you go on ‘soft adventure’-style walks between the villages during the day, and at night, stay in traditional village homes which have been gently spruced to provide proper comfort without compromising authenticity.

Ideal For: Culture worshippers seeking the road less traveled, but with a sherpa for their luggage.