26 retreats to enjoy the monsoon | Condé Nast Traveller India | India


Baby, it’s raining outside. From Rajasthan to the Maldives, here’s where you can enjoy the monsoon and stay warm and toasty.

Monsoon retreats across India and beyond

SUJÁN JAWAI 

A delicious way to get drenched in the earthy scent of petrichor is to go out on safari. Guests can explore the wild on foot, by jeep, or on horseback, observing leopards and also witnessing the monsoon’s bounty in the valley’s lakes, waterfalls and flowers. Riding on SUJÁN’s Marwari horses is a new experience at the property, a great way to improve personal well-being and connect with the natural world. thesujanlife.com

ANANDA IN THE HIMALAYAS 

One-Bedroom Villa with Private Pool at Ananda in the Himalayas

Set on a 100-acre mountain estate that turns lush in the monsoon, this retreat in Uttarakhand offers the Ananda holistic programme to deal with the imbalances that tend to occur during the rainy season, impacting digestion and immunity among other functions. Stimulating and detoxifying practices work to bring the body and mind into balance. Ananda’s signature detox uses aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, Ayurvedic panchakarma, yoga, meditation and diet specific to your dosha or body type. anandaspa.com

SONEVA FUSHI

A quick getaway at Soneva Fushi

Hop on a speedboat for a 20-minute ride to the Maldives’ Hanifaru Bay, which has one of the world’s largest populations of manta rays. Time and tide need to align as manta sightings are frequent from May through November but not guaranteed. When they do occur, snorkellers are blessed with the chance to watch hundreds of these enigmatic creatures congregate in the plankton-rich waters. There’s lots more underwater life to see with their marine biologist. And no matter what the day brings, the resort’s complimentary ice cream parlour stays open. soneva.com

TRIDENT, UDAIPUR 

Trident Udaipur

With views of Lake Pichola and 43 acres of lush landscaping, Trident, Udaipur is a scenic retreat during the rains. Families will appreciate the Trident Kids’ Club, with its trove of toys and games, splash pool and swings to keep the kids happy. Young adults will enjoy the hands-on activities from baking cupcakes to gardening, pottery and painting. Plus movie sessions with popcorn and treasure hunts. tridenthotels.com

THE RITZ-CARLTON, BANGALORE 

Bask in Bengaluru’s rains, tucked in a poolside cabana. The hotel has curated a monsoon experience with soothing tea blends, and foot reflexology with healing essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary. The teas, including Fujiyan oolong, lapsang souchong and Darjeeling tea, can be accompanied by treats like crisp saffron jalebi and all bonda maska sliders, and followed by a hot steam therapy to relieve any nasal and chest congestion. ritzcarlton.com

THE KHYBER HIMALAYAN RESORT & SPA, GULMARG

Tea at The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg. Photo: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg

For travellers who would prefer that the rains didn’t steal their sunshine, Gulmarg awaits. July and August see Gulmarg bright and sunny, bedecked in flowers and lush greens with the chance of a light drizzle. Picnic in the meadows, hike in the Himalayas, play golf, or just soak in the outdoors at the property. Take in the view of the Affarwat range from your private balcony or over chai and pakodas at open-air deck, Nouf. khyberhotels.com

ALILA FORT BISHANGARH

Dig into the farm-to-fork experience with a zero-mile breakfast at Alila Fort Bishangarh’s organic farm near Jaipur in Rajasthan. The menu draws on the seasonal harvest from the farm as well as from local suppliers. Breathe in the fresh air and tune into birdsong in the shade of trees as your meal gets prepared on mud stoves and dished out hot, packed with grains, veggies and probiotics to keep you going all day. alilahotels.com

SHANGRI-LA’S – EROS HOTEL, NEW DELHI 

Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi.

The monsoon is a great time to get wellness therapies, as the skin’s pores open easily and best absorb herbal oils. At Chi, The Spa, choose the Asian Blend massage, a full-body therapy that blends Thai, Balinese, Malaysian, Chinese and Indian techniques. The treatment aims to bring balance to the body with stretches, acupressure, and long strokes with aroma oils to stimulate the flow of energy and detox processes. shangri-la.com

THE PARK VISAKHAPATNAM 

Restaurant The Shack at THE Park Visakhapatnam

Spread over six acres of lush tropical gardens, THE Park Visakhapatnam offers many ways to enjoy the romance of the rains. Take in the sea views from your room or settle down with a cocktail at the open-air beachfront restaurant The Shack and poolside relaxation area to watch the play of cloud and sun. Kids and families particularly enjoy revelling in the showers on the lawns and open spaces. theparkhotels.com

VANA 

Vana

The monsoon is the best season for the yearly maintenance of the body. After checking in to Vana, which is set amid 21 acres of sal forest in Dehradun, guests have a consultation about their wellness goals and formulate therapies and cuisine recommendations. Subtle cleanses and rejuvenating treatments, including panchakarma purification therapies and a vegetarian diet, help balance energies, augment metabolism and immunity and keep a check on degenerative changes. vana.co.in

TAJ MALABAR RESORT AND SPA, COCHIN 

Take a break with friends or family with the Urban Getaways package at the Taj Malabar Resort and Spa, set on Willingdon Island in Kochi, Kerala. Restaurant dining, spa and salon offers and a room upgrade (barring suites) are on the cards. The views are mesmerising during the monsoon, as the rains blow across the harbour. tajhotels.com

 KANDIMA MALDIVES

Aerial yoga in full swing at Kandima Maldives

Sea Coconut Secret is just the rejuvenating spa treatment to indulge with during the monsoon at Kandima Maldives’ esKape Spa. A relaxing foot ritual is the precursor to gentle exfoliation with fragrant toasted coconut to nurture and soften skin. The treatment rooms overlook the ocean, so keep an eye out for dolphins! Afterwards, listen to the sound of the rain as you unwind in the spa’s outdoor area over ginger tea or fresh coconut sorbet. kandima.com

JW MARRIOTT NEW DELHI AEROCITY 

Take one of the cabanas by the water feature in the central courtyard, curl up with a book and wind down with the sound of pattering rain. Pick one of the crafted culinary experiences to go with the serene view: pho with 36-hour-simmered beef shin broth and mung bean noodles, lamb ghee roast or sea-salt-rubbed, 100-hour-aged, organic duck pizza. marriott.com

THE OBEROI RAJVILAS, JAIPUR 

The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur. Photo: Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Guests can tap into deep relaxation through yoga and meditation sessions in the gardens, led by the resident yogacharya. For a special monsoon treat, choose the exclusive experience of high tea at Naila Fort, an 18th-century citadel with panoramic views. The fort was acquired and restored by the Oberoi family and is the inspiration behind the design of The Oberoi Rajvilas. Enjoy the magnificent view with high tea or cocktails. oberoihotels.com

LAZY LAGOON, BAGA – A LEMON TREE RESORT

Come rain, as fishing activities are put on hold, the resort’s fishing deck transforms into a romantic dining spot. Expect candles and florals on tables by the water, Champagne and a curated menu with local and seasonal ingredients. For best results, leave all gadgets in the room for an intimate evening out. lemontreehotels.com

JW MARRIOTT HOTEL BENGALURU 

Enjoy the Garden City’s lushness with the intimate Cubbon Experience, dining with views of Cubbon Park from one of the hotel’s balcony rooms. Choose from the array of curated menus with beverage pairings and let the daily grind give over to the rustling wind, birdsong, fresh showers and swaying trees. marriott.com

CONRAD PUNE 

Conrad Pune

Serene views from the room are just part of the Great Monsoon Escapes staycation offer at Conrad Pune. There’s breakfast at all-day dining restaurant Coriander Kitchen, monsoon-special high tea served at the poolside cafe Kabana, spa therapy offers, happy hours at the Asianinspired bar Masu plus classes in whipping up cocktails, making salads and creating towel art with the kids. conradpune.com

THE LODHI 

While in Delhi, ease out the impact of the monsoon’s humidity at The Lodhi Salon. The Calming and Re-Balancing treatment works to soothe frizz and add lustre to your hair. Post an analysis of the hair and scalp, serum is applied, followed by steam, shampoo and a hydrating mask. thelodhi.com

GRAND HYATT MUMBAI HOTEL & RESIDENCES

Gourmet Staycations are a great way to enjoy the season at the Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel & Residences. Patio rooms offer private alfresco seating, where guests can linger over monsoon high tea, before availing Club access for cocktails over a couple of hours. The Gourmet Staycation offers the stay with signature experiences from their array of dining options including Celini, Soma and China House Restaurant. hyatt.com

ITC GRAND BHARAT RETREAT, GURUGRAM 

The green environs of ITC Grand Bharat Retreat, Gurugram

The rains usher in the promise of new life, greening landscapes and inspiring peacocks to dance in joy. Enjoy the season’s best with walks in the rain, and long drinks at the bar at the ITC Grand Bharat Retreat. Peacock Bar hosts Bar Theatre, which is a journey of cocktails and spirits, and also has a robust selection of malts and wines. Local Mewati barbecues await at poolside restaurant Apas Promenade, which follows the farm-to-table philosophy. itchotels.com

INTERCONTINENTAL CHENNAI MAHABALIPURAM RESORT 

Crafted chef experiences at the restaurants KoKoMMo, The Melting Pot and Tao of Peng are part of the Monsoon Bubble by the Bay offer at the InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort. The staycation can be geared to 7, 15 or 21 days, and includes couples spa therapies, activities for the kids, meditations, tai chi and chakra healing on the beach, and Club Lounge access to help you work remotely. ihg.com

CONRAD BENGALURU

The poolside cabana at Conrad Bengaluru

Expect a host of monsoon-special culinary treats prepared with fresh and local ingredients: Mediterranean and Italian classics with seasonal veggies and fruits at the poolside restaurant Tiamo, seafood-themed dinners at Caraway Kitchen, and Awadhi and Mughlai delights at Indian Durbar. hilton.com

HYATT REGENCY DELHI

Levantine classics get the spotlight at the recently opened Eastern Mediterranean restaurant Syrah. Savour cocktails with poolside views in the al fresco area, while dipping into mezze platters, salads and grills. Think hummus and pita bread, charcoal-grilled eggplant salad, stuffed grape leaves, lamb chops and baklava. Bonus: the hotel’s restaurants are fulled by ingredients from their farm. 011-66771243

THE PRESIDENT – IHCL SELEQTIONS, MUMBAI ON TAJ QMIN 

Dine in on top notch fare via the Qmin app, which includes comfort food for the monsoons. Among the many options on the menu from The President – IHCL Seleqtions, Mumbai are Comfywitches, with Greek salad, finger chips and either a crispy fried chicken panini burger, or potato rosti and mozzarella panini. There are a range of cuisine-focused boxes from Chettinad flavours to Delhi classics, Oriental hits, Lebanese specials and a local favourites box with either kheema matar, Karwari chicken fry and a buttered bun or paneer matar bhurji, butter peppercorn and edamame and a garlic bun. qmin.co.in

GRAND MERCURE BENGALURU AT GOPALAN MALL 

Stay in and reap all the benefits at the Grand Mercure Bengaluru at Gopalan Mall. Watch the rains from your suite’s private terrace, lingering over the monsoon-special high tea. Tuck into the Karnataka thali lunch at La Utsav restaurant. Take some down-time in the library or match wits and skill at the games lounge. all.accor.com

THE GRAND NEW DELHI

Come rain or sunshine, begin the morning at the lobby’s Cascades, overlooking the gardens. Pick an aromatic brew from tea estates in Darjeeling, China and Japan to kick-start the day. Come sunset, hit up GBar for the pomegranate and lemongrass martini and the mandarin cocktail, made with the house mandarin gin infusion with espresso and cointreau. thegrandnewdelhi.com



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