Review of Villa Ananda: Ayurveda Health Retreat & Spa in Mexico

Travel

My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico

Ayurveda, the “science of life” in Sanskrit, is more than medicine. It is a roadmap to a “good” life in every sense of the word.

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The Grounds & Rooms

Villa Ananda is inside a private, gated community, so seeing someone on the beach is fairly rare. The spa and entire resort reminded me of being on the Greek Islands. Everything is white and airy, and right on the ocean. The pool is gorgeous and clean, and there are plenty of lounging areas where you can hang out and read. Panchakarma is done with only two casitas filled, which means only four guests at most will be at Villa Ananda at a time. The only exception is yoga retreats, when they fill the other six or so rooms in the main building. The two casitas are atop the spa and separated by a small wooden bridge. They both have private lounging areas and a clear view of the ocean. The beds are comfortable, and the smell of incense relaxing. And if that’s not enough to make you want to stay forever, the constant sound of the ocean will be.

My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico

My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico
My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico

My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico

Naturally beautiful grounds, right on the beach

Ayurveda Health Spa

I know, I know—’Ayurvedic massage is featured at most spas nowadays, along with tutti-frutti aromatherapy and Hawaiian hot rocks. As it happens, I’ve had such an “Ayurvedic” massage at a boutique spa in Manhattan: it amounted to a standard Swedish rubdown with scented oil and taped sitar music. No, I am speaking here of the real thing, the authentic therapeutic techniques developed over the five thousand years or so that Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced in India, and dispensed by trained Ayurvedic physicians from Bombay.

As a system of medicine—probably the world’s oldest, at over 5000 years of practice—Ayurveda offers a full range of treatments for what ails you. The goal of Ayurveda is to restore and maintain our state of balanced health focusing on proper nutrition, use of herbs, adequate lifestyle, right thinking, seasonal detoxification, along with the practice of Yoga and Meditation.  Ayurveda enjoys much the same status in India as acupuncture does in China or shiatsu in Japan; In each country these ancient therapies are taught in universities and practiced in hospitals alongside Western medicine. But Ayurveda, the “science of life” in Sanskrit, is more than medicine. It is a roadmap to a “good” life in every sense of the word. Ayurvedic physicians, called vaidyas, go through four years of post-secondary schooling and follow that with a year’s internship, usually in a rural clinic.

My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico

Inside the main building, where you can lounge and read.

 Ayurveda, the “science of life” in Sanskrit, is more than medicine. It is a roadmap to a “good” life in every sense of the word.

The goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to achieve a three-way balance, which is the key to good health, serene spirits, and long life. On the basis of their consultation, the doctors can identify which of the elements is out of whack and recommend dietary and lifestyle changes, herbal remedies and massage. And they can tailor your therapy sessions specifically to you, right down to the herbs used in the warmed sesame oil.

Here’s a bit more about Villa Ananda and their approach to Ayurveda:

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A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 42 Comments

  1. Jenny Garett

    Villa Ananda looks like it’s truly a secret piece of paradise. Looks like everything about your stay there was fabulous. Full sensation experiences with beautiful views, waking up with the beautiful sound of waves, and excellent massages for relaxing from top to toe. The whole experience is very serene and relaxing. You’re living the dream and I’m looking forward to reading more from your travels and future plans.

  2. Christina Brown

    Beautiful! I would love to experience the tranquility of the space that will surround me in this lavish vacation sanctuary.

  3. Gabby Williams

    Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂 Years ago, I was able to experience Ayurvedic and Pancha Karma practices. The practices were so unique because the training is “real.” Our trainers encouraged us to get our hands dirty. I, together with friends, put our whole heart into what we’re doing, we bonded as group and learned to work as a therapeutic team. I think it’s time we did another trip — this time at Villa Ananda!!

  4. Great article! Villa Ananda is many things: peaceful and relaxing; place for fitness, wellness and comfort; and a place to sweat, meditate and heal 😉

  5. A good friend of mine invited me to Villa Ananda to refresh, retreat and try “healing” services, after reading this article (she forwarded this to me). I don’t have any serious conditions but I am definitely going to join because A) it looks super amazing from the description and photos, and B) I am def over-stressed, from working at my computer and the volunteer projects I’ve been working on.

    I’ve been detoxing regularly, using herbs and following strict vegetarian diet. But I know I needed to cleanse and more importantly, regenerate. I hope the “Pancha Karma” Ayurvedic treatments will help me. I’m going to load up our trip with Ayurvedic treatments as much as I can.

  6. Love this article! Very detailed and wonderful photos! But I wonder if Nasya treatment was helpful? I mean, did the treatment lessen your migraine attacks?

    • Yes! It was super helpful. Ayurveda works like magic — I felt the healthiest I have ever felt (in my whole life!) while staying there. No joke.

  7. I just messaged this article to a supermodel friend and she said that Donna Karan goes here every year after fashion week. I’m definitely booking this!

  8. Francis Woods

    I don’t think words could ever do this place justice! It would take an extended stay for me to even realize all of the amenities offered at Ayurveda. Their innovative form of healing with an emphasis on the inner self makes me want to board a plane today and stay for at least a week!

  9. Jen Spillane

    Wow, this place sounds like a dream! I love that they focus on healing from the inside and on building a foundation for a healthy lifestyle that guests can carry forth into their day-to-day lives.

  10. I could really use this. I want to see what I'm like after a relaxing week-long detox. I wonder if I'll have a lot more energy and mental clarity. It will certainly be an interesting experiment! I'm going to get some girlfriends together and we can all go together. Will be fun – thanks for the tips!

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