Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh, the greatest urban planning experiments of modernist architecture and India’s wealthiest metropolis gets one more feather in the cap – a befitting luxury address, with the opening of The Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort and Spa.
The Sukhvilas appears almost fantastical as it stands in stark contrast to Chandigarh’s modernist pedigree. While the orderly gridded city is flanked by sombre grey concrete structures, a testament to Corbusier’s purist movement and representative of his typical “brutalist-modern” style of architecture, the uber-lux Sukhvilas glistens as an oasis of history and nostalgia with its quintessentially traditional Rajput and Mughal’esque architecture.
Quaintly sitting at the foothills of the Shivalik mountain ranges, nestled deep within the Siswan Forest and spread over 22 acres of sprawling greens, this unabashedly opulent resort is where nature meets luxury. Surrounded by over 8,000 acres of protected natural forest, and comfortably away from the city’s bedlam, the property promises to be a stunning destination. Sweeping vistas of the forested greenery and wide boulevards, dotted with tree-lined avenues lead you through an immaculately manicured landscaped courtyard adorned with ornate fountains, outdoor reflection pools, minarets, pavilions and cusped arches, welcoming you to relive an era bygone, enveloping you in its mystical aristocracy.
The Oberoi Sukhvilas combines the best of all the signature ‘Vilas’ properties, from the luxurious tented safari camps from Ranthambore’s Vanyavilas to the creamy architecture oozing romance from Udaipur’s Udaivilas. The 60-key property is an eclectic assortment of colonial-style villas, Premier rooms and regal tents with temperature-controlled private pools overlooking the forest. The residences are all tastefully laid out amidst private gardens, stone jaalis, baradaris with carved stone columns, fountains and foliage, well spread out throughout the expansive property. The residences are traditionally designed in a signature ‘Vilas’ style, with delicately carved fixtures and hand-painted frescoes. It’s a throwback to the royal era, with four-poster beds, chandeliers, teak and sheesham furniture tinged in gold, deep-soaking tubs and exquisite handcrafted furnishings.
The interiors are airy and well-lit with expansive windows, offering panoramic views of the forest, yet ensconcing you in privacy. Each stay-option comes equipped with state-of-the-art technology, a 24-hour personal butler on hand and the highest levels of discreet service that The Oberoi’s are famed for. The resort is replete with all the appurtenances of the luxury culture, with facilities comprising a ballroom that can host up to 600 guests and an all-day fine dining restaurant and bar.
The main multi-cuisine restaurant, Anant Mahal, serves an assortment of global cuisines along with local delicacies in both indoor and al fresco settings overlooking majestic forestscapes. The traditional décor is further accentuated with hand-painted gold leaf frescoes, fireplaces, crystal chandeliers and live traditional music in the evenings. Another specialty restaurant indulges you in a magical champagne-under- the-stars dining experience while the concealed 40 seater Raunaq Bar lets you relish aperitifs and nightcaps.
The Oberoi’s flagship spa is spread over a whopping 12,000 sq.ft. offering the best in Indian and international wellness treatments, blending in a unique combination of Ayurvedic, Eastern and Western therapies. Located at the edge of the forest, your rejuvenation begins as you get ferried in delightfully bijou green buggies, across two sunlit courtyards adorned with fountains, one of which is used for planting medicinal herbs used for treatments. The extensive range of wellness programs includes an array of massage therapies in private therapy rooms, hydrotherapy pools for men and women, an infrared sauna, a vitality pool, a Turkish hammam room and a Roman heated tepidarium to enhance the efficacy of treatments.
With a focus on holistic wellness, Ayurveda-based healing routines form an integral part of the spa, with numerous physician-led 14 and 21 day fully- customisable programs on-site, ranging from stress management, weight management and detox through panchakarma in addition to yoga and mindfulness sessions. An east-facing outdoor yoga deck ensures you do the morning routine of Surya Namaskar facing the sun while the resident Ayurveda doctor leads the plethora of customisable treatments, the strict but toothsome plant-based meal plan, traditional cleansing routines, guided meditations and a one-week digital detox.
The rejuvenation therapies also include a couples’ spa retreat, programmes like star gazing and gardening, and nature therapies such as forest bathing and moon bathing which rely on nature to heal and revitalise the mind, body and spirit. While the resort itself offers ample avenues to simply potter around all day, The Oberoi Sukhvilasis also a treat for nature lovers, with outdoor attractions promising a luxurious wilderness for all your senses. Think pine-scented hikes through dense acres of woodlands, sauntering amidst the famed rock and rose gardens, exploring local villages and sunset ferrying along the silvery Lake Sukhna.
Courtesy: All photos are the copyright of The Oberoi Resorts & Hotels