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


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.


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.

My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico

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

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 taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time traveling around Europe, with pied-a-terre's in Zurich, London, Milan and Lyon, France. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 52 Comments

  1. Rachel Adams

    wow! what a great destination. thanks for the heads up 😀 will try and visit here soon.

  2. I fell in love with papaya the first time I came to Mexico. In England, it always seemed bland and boring. There, it is fresh, juicy and delicious. 🙂

  3. Katherine Swift

    When I was a little girl, the women in my family taught me the importance of “me-time.” I remember when they would all go off to the spa together, and how much more relaxed and accessible my mom was when she returned. That was only the beginning of my interest in the spa industry. Reading this article was a blast for me. I just book my flight to Mexico and I will definitely try the spa there 🙂

    • ysabelle raven

      I remember when I was little. whenever my mom and dad fight, my dad would immediately hold my mom’s hand and go somewhere. when I grew up I learned that whenever they argue on something they talk about it in a spa. and somehow when they get home it feels as though they save the world or something with the look of pleasure on their faces. and that’s how my siblings are born hahaha

  4. Isabella Jones

    I would love to do my yoga there. I can’t tell you how many times I have almost lost my cool and psychically eviscerated someone who made me mad, but instead, I took a deep breath and remained calm. The ability to react to aggression with peace has drastically improved my relations with others and decreased my stress. The more I connect to my breath, the clearer I think, and that not only makes me a better person, but also a more patient parent. Fine yoga and a very nice place like this is perfect! I will go there soon.

  5. Carla Peters

    Mexico is one of the most affordable international vacations you can take. A number of airlines that fly to Mexico have travel packages that can make the overall trip more affordable — I just booked one. A good tip is this: Trips are especially affordable when not around any major holidays, as there is less of a demand to fly there. I am really looking forward to have my vacation in Mexico 🙂

  6. Francis Lockwood

    I love Villa Ananda. Its an ideal place for a vacation within the greens of exotic Himalayas. Very nice hospitality with a personal touch. Accommodation, food, spa, surroundings, ambiance, yoga sessions, mini golf course, gym and the friendly dancing peacocks in the lawns are all superb. A ‘must visit’ place.

  7. Kimberly Shaw

    I also love mexican food aside from the beautiful attraction it has. It’s not a surprise that there are Mexican restaurants all around the world, especially in the big metropolitan cities. Most of the dishes have their own history of how they were created, like the Mole sauce, which was made at the Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla when the convent nuns heard that the archbishop was going to visit them. My favorite dish is called tostadas, which is a hard tortilla with beans spread over it and lettuce, tomato, cheese and cream on top; so it’s basically a salad in a tortilla. Some of the most well known Mexican dishes around the world include mole poblano, tamales, tortas and, of course, tacos.

  8. May Baker

    I spent half a year in Mexico and felt far safer than I did during my three months vacation in the US beforehand. There’s a visible police presence anywhere – the authorities don’t want bad things to happen to visitors any more than the visitors do. I will definitely go back and try Villa Ananda.

  9. I have been to Mexico two more times with family and once backpacking as a solo traveler. With every trip, I have fallen more and more in love with this beautiful country!

  10. Connie Schmidt

    I love that photo of you!

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