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As one of the world’s best yoga getaways Shreyas Retreat is the place to go to cleanse mind, body and soul and all that zenful jazz. Guests are spoiled with rejuvenating spa treatments, fresh organic food and 25 acres of landscaped greenery to bring them closer to nature.
Shreyas Retreat is dedicated to promoting authentic spiritual yoga principles in a holistic manner, right from the daily rituals and activities down to the food and sleeping arrangements. Unsurprisingly then, accommodation here is spacious with just eight garden view luxury tents, three poolside cottage suites and one five-person cottage dotted around 25 acres of coconut grove and peaceful gardens. To add to the feeling that you're in the middle of nature, the traditional architecture, antique doorways and stone pillars give way to simple contemporary interiors -with the addition of necessary mod cons. The tented garden cottages are set up among the trees and each has an en suite bathroom that opens out to a private walled courtyard - How very feng shui.
Although the kitchen mimics global flavours, all meals served at Shreyas are made from organic ingredients freshly picked from its own fields, which staff then bless before beginning to prepare the food. And in case you need still more proof of its spiritual hippy vibe, guests have a detailed individual consultation with the in-house Ayurvedic or Naturopathy doctors on arrival to create a nutritious tailor made menu for each guest. Even if it is merely based on a whim, chefs will aim to accommodate all guests provided that their desires are within the restrictions of their vegetarian, non-alcoholic policy (we didn't say this detox thing was going to be easy). The surroundings are just as important as the menu when it comes to rejuvenation and so the setting of your meals at Shreyas changes regularly: eat breakfast by the pool or on the soft cushions of the machan in the organic gardens; have lunch at a communal flower-adorned table in the dining room or at individual tables beneath the antique pillars; and, at night, feast in the candlelit dining tent, beneath the stars around the bonfire or by lantern at your table for two.
You'll be surprised at the number of ways you can relax and purify at Shreyas Retreat, with no excuses and only the sound of birds to interrupt. Naturally there are yoga sessions for beginners and experts alike, but to really get into the spirit of things (excuse the pun) try a little meditation. To get the most out of the experience read up on the different aspects of yoga and its philosophy in the library that was built for just that. Or if that's all a bit too spiritual and airy fairy for you, simply zone out in the Jacuzzi, steam room and infinity pool or enjoy the national passion for cricket in the garden's nets complete with a bowling machine. And what kind of retreat would it be without a spa? Abhayanga is the most important Ayuvedic massage, with pressure, duration and oils individually adapted to each guest. Days at Shreyas will end sunken into a lazy-boy chair in the home theatre - whether you choose to watch a philosophy documentary or the latest blockbuster is up to you.
A hippy haven perhaps, but Shreyas will ensure you go home accustomed to serenity, modest luxuries and healthy living.
Frances, Original Traveller