“Stepping out of the airplane at Dehradun airport, seeing the hills faintly in the landscape, always brings me peace. No matter how short a period I leave Dehradun for, or how many times I return, its always the same feeling. Slightly more than a one-hour journey to Vana, what one sees is a snapshot of every aspect of India; busy roads, bits of chaos, urbanity piercing through the ancient, quaint farms, tracts of forest and even village life.
One enters Vana almost unexpectedly. A quick left turn from the main road and slowly a transition into the experience of being on retreat begins. A short while and a buggy ride later, emerges the Kila. Some say it is the heart of Vana. I won’t describe the experience of walking through the Kila, but en-route you will find some of the key spaces where you will spend time while at Vana. I will say that we consider the Kila to be a sacred space; it has that quality of serenity, sincerity and confidence that one sometimes finds in spiritual places. Know more…
Vana’s design and every element within it were created with love. Each space and object was honoured by considering its mission to evoke wellbeing, be coherent with nature, respect ecology, endure and refrain from indulgence. Antonio and Tomeu Esteva, Veer Singh, Siraj Saxena and the Vana Team gave everything to manifest Vana as we know it. This emphasis on design continues and has become a source of learning and a practice of discipline at Vana.
Our approach to design was to take inspiration from nature and be in harmony with it. Some now describe Vana as being contemporary and its energy as special, even transformative. Vana never wished to align to a specific aesthetic identity, but its spirit and DNA are most certainly Indian, as is most of what you find at Vana.
It is our wish for the Retreat to appear as if arising from nature, existing quietly but vibrantly, together with many other creatures for whom Vana has become home.
Vana is located on Mussoorie Road, Dehradun, India. It is a 1 hour 15 minute drive from Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport and approximately a 45-minute drive from Dehradun railway station.
Our recommended mode of transport to Vana is to fly to Dehradun airport, from where we organise personal transfers that are included in your retreat price.
There are multiple daily flights from Delhi to Dehradun, one direct flight from Mumbai and several hopping flights from Mumbai and Bengaluru. Four airlines operate flights to Dehradun: IndiGo, Jet Airways, Air India and SpiceJet. Jet Airways and Air India operate from Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, and are therefore most convenient for guests transiting from international flights. IndiGo and SpiceJet operate large jets from Delhi’s Terminal 1D which are more comfortable during rainy season. Of these carriers, we find that IndiGo and Jet Airways offer a more punctual service.
There are 2 day-trains and 2 overnight trains from New Delhi Railway Station. Both trains take about 6 hours to cover the distance between Delhi and Dehradun.
The drive from Delhi to Dehradun can take anywhere between 5-8 hours depending on traffic.
For guests who wish to travel between Delhi and Dehradun by road, we can assist in arranging a vehicle with driver through ECO Rent A Car.
At Vana, our private living spaces bring together various elements of our design philosophy: contemporary aesthetics, bespoke and natural materials, exceptional comfort, thoughtful lighting, design and simplicity. The 66 rooms and 16 suites on the estate peer into the ancient sal forest or our gardens and fruit orchards, all with balconies or terraces.
We are passionate about ecology and have used sustainable materials where possible, including bamboo flooring, FSC certified wood and even certified organic linen.
With a neutral palette of colours and art created by artist Siraj Saxena, our rooms evoke a sense of harmony and wellbeing, allowing guests to rest, reflect and connect with nature.
Our forest and garden rooms have the same layout and are comfortably appointed for a guest on their own or two guests together. With its unique layout, the Bodhi suite provides intimacy in its living room and bedroom, and the ability to meditate or have a private treatment in its petite meditation room. The Forest suites, with their generous living room, feel ethereal and almost part of the forest in front of them. Our casas follow a duplex-style layout. The two, sun-lit bedrooms – ideal for a family of three or four – are interconnected yet large enough to be private spaces of their own. A large living space that is perfect for relaxing, lounging, or mediation is the center of the house. For small daily needs, a pantry provides basic utilities. The entire space is designed with muted, soothing tones and the artwork by Siraj Saxena is intended to merge gracefully into the space. Like the other living spaces, these structures also reflect our commitment to ecology: we have used sustainable materials where possible, including bamboo flooring, FSC certified wood and certified organic linen.
Views to the gardens, well-appointed resting space, bathroom, wardrobe
Views to the forest, well-appointed resting space, bathroom, wardrobe
Views to the forest, intimate living and resting spaces, bathroom and powder room, wardrobe, petite meditation room
Views to the forest, generous living space, resting space and bathroom, powder room, wardrobe
Duplex-style layout, views to the orchard, generous living space, resting spaces and bathrooms, powder room, wardrobes, pantry for daily needs
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We value the environment we exist in, and what it provides us with. Since the retreat’s very conceptualisation, sensitivity to ecology has played an intrinsic role in our thinking. Vana’s design upholds high standards in sustainability and energy optimisation, with special effort to manage water and waste as effectively as possible.
In March 2015, Vana achieved its LEED Platinum Certification from the US Green Building Council, making it India’s first retreat to have attained this standard.
We use certified organic bed and bath linen and bamboo flooring in all our guest rooms. Our bottling plant will help us save up to 100,000 plastic bottles each year. We use 100% post consumer recycled waste paper for all our stationery and biodegradable materials wherever possible. We harvest rainwater, grow organic herbs and salads, buy only what is seasonal and try to source locally.