This may not be the most accessible spa in the world, but it is certainly one of the best of the current crop (confirmed in 2007 by 95% of Condé Nast's American readers.) Getting there takes time (flight to New Delhi, then transfer to the foothills of the Himalayas at Haridwar) and staying there is a real programme! Full board is of course compulsory, there not being another restaurant in the vicinity and the food is, well, not exactly oozing calories! Great for people who like eating bread without butter, a discipline to learn for others. The spa itself uses Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) and holistic treatments. Expect Indian massages bordering on an art-form, yoga and meditation sessions, none of which are compulsory, but to come all this way and not have a go at hata yoga or take part in the Vedanta philosophy courses would be like sitting round the table and not touching your food. The activities are absorbing, the Himalayan panorama astonishing and the altitude lofty (3,280ft). To rediscover the Ananda spirit in a slightly less extreme context, book yourself into the Shanti Ananda in Mauritius. Same concept, same choice of treatments and activities, beach, beautiful natural surroundings and the mellowness of the tropics to boot.
Doubles from £205 (including use of some facilities, +5% government tax). For prices of wellness packages contact firstname.lastname@example.org or +91 1378 227500, www.anandaspa.comPhoto: Easyvoyage