The foothills of the Indian Himalayas in the country’s north is an ethereal place to visit, a popular destination among locals and international travellers in search of spirituality and yogic teachings. But it is also a destination for unabashed luxury, especially if you’re staying at the Taj Rishikesh Resort and Spa.
Nestled amid a forest of haldu trees is this magnificent, escapist resort with sustainability at its heart. The property was built in homage to local Pahadi architecture, using locally sourced artisan materials. Its welcome pavilion was inspired by a temple fort at Kotkhai, which sums up the resort poetically – ‘Kotkhai’ translates as ‘kings’ palace in the depth of a valley’.
Common areas and accommodation open up to breathtaking views, and everything from the exquisite food to the curated collection of antiques tells a local story. Yet, with a true sense of place, the Taj Rishikesh is dealt a modern, Canadian twist, thanks to YH2 in Montreal, giving it lashings of Rocky Mountain chic, matched by beautifully landscaped gardens by Joel Burega. In our mountain lodge-like suite, neutral design, sleek furnishings and personalised treats ensured a luxurious welcome and wraparound floor-to-ceiling glass doors and terraces made the most of the view. If you want to go all out, there’s a sprawling Presidential Villa, with its own pool and stargazing roof deck.
By the stunning infinity pool that melts into the Ganges, we found the casual dining option Pebble Beach. Should you wish to immerse yourself in Himalayan fine dining – and we did – there’s Riverside, located on one of the lower meadows at the Taj Rishikesh.
Wellness is exemplified at the sublime Jiva spa, where we enjoyed a signature hammam-Ayurveda fusion that uses holy ash and Ganges water.
|Perfect for||Fly into||Right on time|
|The Escapist||DED||GMT +5:30|
|While you’re Out There|
|The hotel provides many on-site experiences that take in the river and mountains, but for a true appreciation of the power of the surrounding nature, head out on one of the Taj Rishikesh’s experiential hikes, or bird-watching trails. It’s a gentle but spellbinding afternoon out, and when you get back, make sure to relax around the fireplace with a cold glass (or five) of turmeric martini in hand.|
Photography courtesy of Taj Hotels