Paradise Found
GQ India|April 2018
Paradise Found

Veteran cynic Anish Trivedi finds a spa he approves of in a forest outside Chandigarh

Anish Trivedi

Somewhere down the line, something tells you to stop. In my case it is a body that, after days spent cramped in airline seats and nights spent uncomfortably curled up on unfamiliar hotel beds, revolts and refuses to go much further. My usual remedy is to pour a stiff whisky and put my feet up, but that doesn’t quite cut it this time around. So, with a long weekend looming, I hop onto another airplane and check myself into the spa at the Oberoi Sukhvilas. The hotel is nestled at the foothills of the Sivaliks, a short drive away from Chandigarh. Surrounded by forests at one end and farms on the other, it’s far removed from noise, humanity and cell towers.

Sitting on the verandah of the bar, sipping a cup of coffee, I take in the soft murmur of birds and the gentle fall of water in a fountain. I should’ve consumed more coffee. It’s the last cup I will get for the next three days.

Sukhvilas takes its spa seriously. This is no fat farm where they starve you and send you home a couple of kilos lighter. Or stroke you a few times with essential oils and pack you on your way. My induction begins with a consultation with the resident Ayurveda doctor, Ratheesh Kumar. For an hour he asks about my lifestyle, shaking his head often at my answers. Hearing what ails me, and the reasons for why I am there, he charts out a personalised healing process, ranging from the oils and herbs that will be used in the therapy rooms, to the food I will eat for the next few days. I ask him if he also has Ayurvedic wine and cigars. He ignores me.

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April 2018