A short drive away from Mumbai and Pune, Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa—with Dharana at Shillim—is the ideal eco-friendly wellness getaway, our Editor-in-chief finds out during the cover shoot. By Aindrila Mitra
After a devastating second wave of the pandemic, as the country gradually loosened restrictions, we were in search of a location—not too far from a metropolis—to shoot our cover girl, the lovely Huma Qureshi. Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa was a natural choice.
A two-hour and three-hour drive from Pune and Mumbai, respectively, the retreat is set in the Shillim Valley, in the Sahyadris. On a July evening, I reach the property and get soaked in a lovely drizzle. The misty weather is the perfect balm for my lockdown-weary soul. Built over 325 acres, the 99-villa retreat is an ideal getaway if you want to escape urban chaos while not venturing too far from home.
My villa is a cocoon of tranquillity. The deck opens up to birdsong and virgin forest; it’s the ideal way to enjoy nature from my private pad. Each spacious villa has contemporary decor, and you can choose one from Twin Dharana Villa, King Dharana Villa, Twin Deluxe Valley Villa, King Forest Villa, King Valley Villa, King Deluxe Valley Villa, King Dharana Pool Villa, and their most luxurious offering, Presidential Villa, located at the highest point of the retreat overlooking the Western Ghats.
For a wellness-centric stay, you can opt for one of the customised Dharana Wellness programmes. The ‘Dharana Way of Life’ is rooted in preventive medicine, exercise physiology, nutrition and dietetics, conflict resolution, as well as spiritual well-being. The Panchakarma programme, which determines the imbalances of dosha, is highly recommended. Don’t forget to partake in the property’s nature walks, treks, and hikes, as well as cooking workshops—all of which prioritise the guests’ safety. In fact, the Hilton CleanStay™ programme ensures that hygiene and cleanliness are top-notch throughout the property.
As we become increasingly aware of our carbon footprint, it’s reassuring to know that Hilton Shillim is
a green retreat that preserves native flora and fauna. Practices like rainwater harvesting, flow-control faucets, Soil BioTechnology, and drip irrigation ensure water conservation. The hotel is powered by a 500KW solar farm and has 100 per cent energy-efficient lights along with Variable Refrigerant Volume AC technology. Conservation is at the core of all activities, with 6,000- 8,000 trees being planted every year.
As I finish my last meal at Terrazzo—the fine dining restaurant and bar—I can’t help but appreciate the seasonal flavours and the well-being-focussed menu. Hilton Shillim Retreat & Spa is a no-brainer if you’re looking for a safe space to enjoy a healing stay amid pristine nature.