A luxury vacation for soul, mind and body
Most of us see a holiday as a break from the grind. A means of recharging our drained batteries, while spending quality time with special people and discovering new places and experiences. If truth be told, this works most of the time only in theory. In actuality, a holiday brings its own stresses and one returns home sometimes more tired than refreshed.
Tucked away in the Sahyadri Hills near Pune, overlooking the serene Mulshi Lake, is a vacation destination with a difference. One that aims to help you achieve that fine balance between your physical, mental and spiritual selves that manifests in the form of health, happiness and contentment.
The Atmantan Wellness Resort is not a resort in the ordinary sense of the term. It is more like a retreat into one’s inner self and a journey of self discovery. The etymology of the name says it all – it is a portmanteau of atma, mana and tan - soul, mind and body.
Its founders, Sharmilee Agarwal Kapur and Nikhil Kapur conceived Atmantan as an integrated luxury wellness destination, in their words: ‘the ultimate pitstop for people looking to scale new heights of wellness’. Sharmilee is a practising pranic healer, while Nikhil is a fitness enthusiast and ironman triathlete, which means they know what they are
about. Their promise is that you will emerge from a sojourn at Atmantan happier, healthier, inspired and transformed.
To say that Atmantan’s approach to wellness is holistic is an understatement. You will find that your daily routine can include an eclectic mix of activities whose provenance spans the globe. Your day may start with an hour of yoga, conducted on a broad open terrace overlooking the hillsides glowing in the cool early morning sunshine. You make an intimate connection with Nature even as you journey deep inside yourself. It is the most elevating way to start the day.
From thereon, you may progress to the Taoist healing massage of Chi Nei Tsang. As the master masseur’s fingers gently knead the various organs in your abdominal area, you will literally feel the ‘Chi’, or the cosmic energy, getting re-charged and the toxins leave your body. A word of advice for those who have never undergone this therapy – make sure you do it on an empty stomach. Prebreakfast is the ideal time. For the rest of the day, you could experience therapies and treatments as diverse as purifying body polishes, pranic chakra cleansing, aromatherapy, Balneotherapy and a session under a Vichy shower. Alternatively, you may undergo a naturopathy session or spend some quality consulting time with a homeopath. Then there is India’s very own Ayurveda and its bouquet of specialized wellness massages and treatments, which will make you discover sides to yourself that you never knew existed. There is an overarching benefit to all these treatments that comes from Atmantan’s location itself. The crystalline mountain-slopes that it is situated on are known for their healing frequencies, which perhaps explains the palpable sense of well being that pervades the resort. In fact, there is a strong bonding with Nature in every aspect of Atmantan. Its 42 acre expanse is lushly wooded and sylvan. During the monsoon, which by the way is a great time to visit, one can just sit and gaze at the fascinating myriad shades of green on the slopes and the waterfalls that spring out of the hillsides. That, in itself, is a tremendously therapeutic experience.
If you have visited the best spas and health resorts in the world, you will find that Atmantan compares quite easily with all of them. The twenty tree treatment rooms are designed and fitted out to provide the most luxurious of spa experiences. The Fitness Centre here is again benchmarked against the world’s best. Spread over 6525 square feet, it includes a high-tech gymnasium, separate studios for spinning, dance, TRX suspension trainers, yoga and Pilates, a dedicated physiotherapy section, an enclosed temperature controlled, environmentally friendly & chemical-free salt water pool, an outdoor gymnasium overlooking the Mulshi lake, an indoor sports complex and a recreation center with a mini golf course and croquet garden.
Atmantan has a hundred and six Guestrooms & Villas, and twenty three exclusive spa rooms, and each of them overlooks the hills and the lake. Draw back the curtains in the early morning and you will be treated to the most soul uplifting views you have seen. The bathroom is quite an experience in itself and the staff is so obliging that they
just may organize a complimentary bath for you. Should that happen, rest assured that your bathroom will be suffused with a most divine fragrance till the next morning.
Atmantan also makes for a great place to mix business with wellness. You won’t find a better venue for a high profile corporate retreat. The state of the art business facilities here include a sixty seater conference room and a ten seater boardroom along with excellent banquet facilities.
Now, if you are a foodie and all this talk about wellness and spas and massages and therapies has got you a tad concerned about the victuals, not to worry. Yes, Atmantan serves you spa and wellness cuisine but the menu is so imaginative and different, and the food is so toothsome, that you will forget you are at a spa. Every meal at Atmantan is an object lesson in the art of combining good health with great taste and proof that the two are not mutually exclusive.
The culinary policy here is a simple and common sense one – focus on whole, unrefined, & unprocessed foods, abstain from the 3 white devils - refined flour, refined dairy and refined sugar. And the cooking methods have been selected
to preserve both the nutrition and the taste of the food. So you have steamed, braised, boiled, baked and grilled dishes, and even those slow cooked over several hours in the time honoured sous vide fashion. You can opt for gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, and/or a vegan diet and you know exactly what you are consuming because the menu displays the nutrients in every dish - calories, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber et al.
All this does not mean you are left short of options. On the contrary, at Vistara, the main dining room, for instance, the breakfast a la carte menu, is a vast one, and you can tuck into seafood, chicken and paneer dishes at every meal. And, counterintuitive though it may appear, desserts are very much persona grata - the beetroot halwa and garlic onion kheer are especially recommended. At Te Jus, the juice bar, you can sip on some great smoothies and green juices. And Chantara the lounge is the perfect place to unwind.
Atmantan is also presently in the process of acquiring a GOLD LEED certification. Already, solar energy is the primary source of energy to heat water for nearly all its applications and the resort is actively taking steps now meet the rest of the qualifying criteria.
So, now you know where to go if you are planning your next break. The crystalline vibrations of the Sahyadri hills beckon and the Atmantan experience calls out to your body, mind and soul. We strongly suggest you answer in the affirmative!