At the entrance of Atmantan, the backdrop of the majestic yet serene Mulshi Lake doesn’t fail to impress. If I were to quote by example, the grand helicopter arrival scene from the Spielbergs masterpiece ‘Jurassic Park’ would match the bill. The monsoons being at its peak has done fair justice to the lake, adding luscious depth to its beauty. The weather also gave the scenery the added advantage of waterfalls, wherever the eyes went. This was definitely the most scenic backdrop of western India.
Two hours away from Pune this recently-opened wellness luxury resort is a paradise at easy reach. Situated in the crystalline mountain range, the Sahyadri, the resort spans a total area of 40 acres. Common legend believes in the healing powers of these crystals, with stones known to let out frequencies that help develop an aura of calm. This property has given the resort leverage as an ideal destination to relax and de-stress for city-dwellers of both Mumbai and Pune.
The resort is built on a philosophy of luxury immersion through lifestyle makeovers. The foundation of the resort is based on a wellness-driven ownership too. Founder Director of the resort is Nikhil Kapur, tri-athlete and fitness enthusiast, who has ensured furnishing Atmantan with fitness facilities and health objectives par excellence at Atmantan. He is supported by his wife, Sharmilee Agarwal who is a firm believer in energy medicine and healing.
Following a quick check in, a photograph was taken which was shared with staff along with my wellness schedule. This built an instant camaraderie with all staff, for the length of my stay.
The resort offers limited-time retreats – 3, 5, 7, 10 and 14+ night packages. All retreats offer a range of benefits and facilities including wellness consultation, body composition analysis, postural assessment, daily fitness and leisure activities such as yoga, aerobics, spinning, pilates, laughter therapy, cooking, dance, Pranayama, water therapy sessions and more. I opted for the Atmantan’s Living package. This starter package is more like a teaser and allowed me to experience the range of treatments and facilities available at the property.
While many would come to Atmantan with a purpose – weight loss, detox, stress management; others just come to relax and rejuvenate in a serene environment, as I did. A wellness adviser helped create my daily program to do just that. I enjoy the gym, and so opted to start my day with a gym session that included a circuit training session and TRX. My trainer Hannes helped me push myself to the limit while also advising on how I could improve my current form. I also attended the posture integrating session that helped Hannes identify my walking and sitting posture and recommended exercises to improve it.
The resort is in serious conversation with nature. It claims to be the largest resort in the country to be using solar energy as the primary source for heating water, as well as green-initiated. The kitchen uses fresh, farm-to-to-table ingredients, from its very own vegetable farms.
The resort has 106 rooms and suites. I had the Ashoka Grove, which was comfortable and well-appointed. The most appealing feature of the room was the view from the balcony the grandeur of Mulshi Lake in all its lushness was a pleasing view to wake up to. This, after a night’s sleep on the room’s multi-layered bed that took to the shape of the body, making sure I slept like a baby.
The marble bathroom had a tub, and was furnished with organic toiletries by Breathe.
The hotel urges its guests to leave behind stress, in all forms. Which meant, even discouraging the use of mobile phone in public areas. Wifi access is restricted to the rooms, but unless you are terribly obsessed with your technology, it is easy to wriggle free from the grasp of the virtual world. Personally, I was happy to get a few days to help break away from the shackle of the World Wide Web.
Atmantan is serious about its outlook to a healthy lifestyle. This is not just apparent in its activities but also facilities. Atmantan Cuisine is the most striking example of how the resort means business when it comes to holistic wellness and wellbeing. It is very simple in nature, yet strikingly gourmet. The resort’s cuisine philosophy is distributed over four categories – Detox which involves health juices, light salads and soups; Weight Management which features recommended diet regimes; International Wellness Cuisine which gives a taste of palette beyond Indian tastebuds and Ayurvedic Cuisine which focuses on the age-old ancient Indian philosophy of diet.
All the meals except for one were at Vistara, which is the crowning glory of the resort’s dining areas offering stunning views. The cuisine is developed under the helm of experienced Chef Sandeep Biswas. Much of the produce comes from the Chef’s Garden in front of the Dining Pavilion and the rest from the resort’s 25-acre organic farm.
I was worried initially, because I love food and indulge guiltlessly. Being a foodie, the concept of health food scares me, especially having to adjust with it for four days in a row. My concerns were in vain. I relished on pita breads, suba noodles soaked in green tea and I could just have enough of the delectable avocado mousse. Chef Sandeep explained that what mattered was controlled portions of food. This was evident in the dishes. At Atmantan, I saw the tiniest masala dosa and roti (the size of a baby’s palm). There is no restriction on the amount of food but the mini sizes allow you to savour the food, and restrict binging. The food is prepared with minimal use of sugar, oil, salt and spices, yet tasting great. The chef meticulously also explains the ingredients in the food and their benefits and most importantly how one can make healthy choices back home.
Saving the best for the last, the spa at Atmantan is an enriching experience. There are 23 treatment rooms here, making it one of the largest in the country and most probably in Western India. I was particularly interested in “chi nei tsang” – a rather unique abdominal massage which improves blood circulation to the abdomen and helps to calm the nervous system.
The menu is extensive, offering 70 spa and 10 salon treatments ranging from traditional ayurvedic to modern western spa rituals. My choice was the Vichy shower treatment which included a green tea scrub followed by a bath, which was very refreshing. The spa facilities also offer a temperature controlled indoor swimming pool purified with salt and free from ozone and chlorine.
Eating healthy food and working out and yet being pampered by all the worldly comforts – a stay at Atmantan will rejuvenate the Atma (soul) + Tan (body) + Man (mind). It most definitely satisfied and refreshed yours truly, to be a happy, refreshed, content Man (male).
Note – The price of a four night retreat is Rs 25,000 \- plus taxes per person per night. I was hosted by the property, but all the opinions expressed herewith are my own.
Where : Atmantan Wellness Centre
Palse Vasti,, Mulshi Taluka, Mulshi Road, Pune, Maharashtra 412108
Phone: 020 6676 6666