Buoyed by a fast-growing economy and young, plugged-in middle class, today’s India displays an exciting mix of modern and traditional in everything from its fashion to its cuisine. So it’s only fitting that its hottest hotel brand represents the “New India,” as well. With eight hotels spread all over the subcontinent, The Park Hotels make a splash with contemporary art and design, buzz-worthy dining and nightlife, and spas that boast the latest equipment and facilities, while still highlighting India’s ancient wellness traditions. And their newest outpost is taking things even further: Opened in late-2010, The Park Hyderabad is India’s first LEED Gold-certified hotel.
Set along a quiet lake in the center of town, the stunning 270-room hotel earned that LEED seal of approval thanks to everything from its energy-saving and water-efficiency to its relationships with regional food purveyors, proximity to public transport, and support of local charities. Overseen by a certified Ayurvedic doctor, the luxe Aura Spa pays homage to the city’s jewelry traditions with gemstone-themed rooms, an amethyst-infused steam chamber, and facial and body treatments that incorporate energy-charged crystals. Guests may also indulge in a butler-drawn bath in the privacy of their rooms, choosing from blends like Henna and Khus Khus (vetiver) to boost the immune system and encourage sleep; Gul-afshaan (rose petals, milk, and aloe) to hydrate, and Subah (lemon, mint, and rosemary) to fight jet-lag.
Our favorite Aura treatments—available at most all of The Park locations—are those that feature Ayurvedic techniques and indigenous natural ingredients like saffron, turmeric, rice, almond, and papaya. (Each location also offers monthly specials highlighting in-season fruits and flowers.) One of the best spots to experience these services is at The Park on Vembanad Lake in the southern state of Kerala, considered the birthplace of Ayurveda. Also opened in 2010, this hotel boasts a full Ayurvedic spa program that combines nutritional components and yoga with targeted, goal-oriented therapies. For those who just want to relax, the hotel’s companion Apsara luxury cruise ship has a spa deck for enjoying deep, fragrant massages while floating along the tropical backwaters. theparkhotels.com