Wellness in Delhi? Surely not! But here’s an ideal solution if you have business in the crazy-busy capital, or if you want to acclimatize on arrival in India or simply give yourself nourishment before you return home – possibly to winter chill and damp: spend a few days at The Trident Gurgaon, a haven located between the city centre and the airports, with infinite cultural wellness on tap.
I’ve stayed there at for all these reasons, and with my family on holiday, and to reboot between tours. My clients love it. Why? Every detail is thought through. There is absolutely nothing to annoy the tired traveler or the picky aesthete. First, you have top quality professional staff who anticipate most of your needs and respond right away to the remaining ones, unobtrusively. Then you have the elegant, calm and spacious setting of Thai architect Lek Bunag’s low-rise buildings spread over seven landscaped acres dotted with trees and reflection pools which attract Delhi's rich bird life. The 136 rooms have all you need, set out where you expect to find it, with no infuriating frills.
It’s a breeze. You can use your time efficiently to do what YOU want to do – take care of business, join a yoga class, count laps in the huge pool, laze beside it with a cocktail, meet friends in buzzy bar enjoyed by locals too (great bar menu), and eat extremely well at Japanese, Indian and – my favourite - the all-day Cilantro which has indoor and outdoor tables. For adventure, more than a thousand monuments await your curiosity and walking shoes, national museums and commercial galleries await your eyes, every cuisine is there to taste, and fantastic shopping will excite - possibly break - your credit cards.
Here is a special Trident bonus: find the private path to the adjoining super-opulent Oberoi Gurgaon, enjoy its jazzy bar and high-end restaurants, sign the bill and it is posted to your Trident room. Then retreat to the Trident oasis. When you depart, the airport is a quick 20-30 minute drive away.
Must-do wellness experience: tiptoe through misty morning gardens to practice yoga, then gorge on a magnificent buffet breakfast
Trident Gurgaon buzzwords: invisible quality service
Ideas for unpacking your kind of slow-down wellness at Trident Gurgaon
Deal with your off-kilter post-flight sense of time at the 24/7 fitness centre. Take swims by day in the huge pool - heated in winter. Smooth away fatigue with Ayurvedic massage and scrub, find balance at group yoga or a personal session.
Delhi has incredible shopping - but the city is so spread out that you need to do your homework or you waste hours sitting in traffic. My tip: try to find stores in one shopping mall, such as Khan Market which is centre-city and has the well known FabIndia, some of India's many imaginative young designers, and upstairs cafes.
The capital has a good museum for just about every interest, from railways to Mahatma Gandhi to crafts. The National Museum and its complementary National Gallery of Modern Art (this image hangs there) are in their own league. Search online for contemporary art at commercial galleries such as Nature Morte and DAG. And don't miss the museums inside the Red Fort's repurposed British barracks.
Episode 8 visits hide-away Mantra Koodam, near Kumbakonum in Tamil Nadu
Is it time to start planning your Unpacking Wellness experience?
As we emerge into a more cautious world, I have designed some slow-travel Unpacking Wellness experiences that can be enjoyed privately or in a small group. They are suffused in wellness, interaction is controlled, crowds are avoided. You pick and mix your selection from four week-long, in-depth visits to South Indian spots I especially love - on plateau, coast, forest and delta. Do one, two, three or all four.
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If you have not traveled with me before ....
Please know that we experience great sights in the best possible way, with lots of add-on encounters and visits to offbeat places. We meet conservationists, curators, craftsmen and musicians, we walk with naturalists, we cook with local chefs. In sum, we imbibe the essence of each area thanks to my four decades of studying and visiting India - and making great friends, who I share with you.
For private travel ....
I work with you to create your tailor-made trip to any corner of India, to any budget, for all interests and special needs, for families and parties of friends, for business groups and for honeymoon couples - India is ideal for everyone!