Dune Eco Village and Spa, Pondicherry
BEST SPA IN INDIA FOR: AN EAST MEETS WEST HEALTH KICK
Just outside the city of Pondicherry, a fascinating slice of French-influenced India with a spiritual thrum, is the low-key Dune Eco Village and Spa. The big draw is the Dune Healing Centre and, although no longer associated with integrative medicine pioneer Deepak Chopra, it’s still a serious set-up. Ayurvedic cures are offered alongside therapies such as deep tissue massages, reflexology and Watsu; food options range from vegan to the raw food-based hypo-toxic Seignalet diet, devised by the late French doctor Jean Seignalet.
Address: 70 East Coast Road, Pudhukuppam, Keelputhupet, Via Puduchery University, Puducherry
Taj Bekal Resort and Spa, Bekal
BEST SPA IN INDIA FOR: PAMPERING RITUALS
Set back off Kappil beach, this Taj resort stands out for the design of its villas, which are inspired by traditional houseboats, and for the vast Jiva Spa. Signature experiences range from Abhisheka – where warm basil-infused water is poured over your body to the sound of gentle chanting in a room filled with incense and candles – to Sushupti, a relaxing ritual where a scalp massage is followed by a herbal and honey wrap and a rose petal milk bath.
Address: Kappil Beach, Thekkekara, Bekal, Kerala
Wildflower Hall, Shimla
BEST SPA IN INDIA FOR: HEALING IN NATURE
Sweeping Shimla Valley views lend this stately home-style hotel (featuring a billiards room, cosy lounges and a library) the wow-factor. Spend adrenaline-fuelled days mountain biking along off-road trails or breathing in fresh air on guided hikes through the cedar forest – then book into the seriously slick spa. Here, the signature treatments are rooted in ancient Indian healing, ranging from a deep-stroke massage using metal kasa bowls for releasing muscle tension and increasing circulation, to energy balancing with Himalayan salt stones.
Address: Chharabra, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh