From Founder’s Desk: Mr. Ashok Khanna. Born into an eminent family of hoteliers, hotels were in my blood. My formative years were spent with the Oberoi Group where I got to learn deeply about classic luxury and an unyielding commitment to detail. India was a closed economy at the time and the landscape was very different to what it is today with a few domestic players monopolizing the marketplace, hotels were no different. As the economy opened up and competition started to grow across all industries, stress levels began to rise dramatically and people started to lose sight of life’s balance. I envisioned that in the years to come people would need a different kind of hotel, one which would not just provide the services and facilities which indian luxury hotels did so well already, but one which would also assist people on a journey to personal health, wellness and rejuvenation. That is when, in the year 1989, the seed for Ananda was planted. I traveled throughout India searching for the location that would embody the soul of Ananda, a location that would bring Ananda to life. I finally found this in the foothills of the Himalayas, the birthplace of Yoga, where people have visited for centuries to be healed and to find rest and rejuvenation. There was a lot of work to be done before Ananda would come into being. I wanted Ananda to mean one thing, and one thing only- holistic wellness for the mind body and soul. Many elements would need to come together seamlessly to make this a success. Together with my wife Neelam, we began to piece together the pillars of Ananda which are – Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta (a philosophy of life). Another vital aspect is the cuisine – Our ancestors believed that the way and what we eat largely contributes to a healthy life, and is an important part of wellness. We adapted the concept of traditional ayurvedic food (food for your body type) so that the same could be accomplished with International cuisines as well. All this, combined with the wellness traditions of other parts of Asia and the west, is our recipe for Ananda’s holistic wellness. The last and most important element essential to Ananda’s being are its people. They are the single most important reason for Ananda’s success. Ananda opened its doors in 2001 and has since received numerous awards and worldwide recognition.