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Interview with Anupam Dasgupta, General Manager of Ananda in the Himalayas

Anupam Dasgupta has been with the IHHR group for over 6 years in several roles and is now the General Manager at Ananda. Ananda, located in the foothills of the Himalayas, is a world-leading spa where a holistic approach is taken towards rejuvenation using the three ancient Indian philosphies of Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta. The award-winning retreat combines the best of Eastern and Western practices to leave a lasting impact with their guests, providing them with the tools to live happier and healthier lives. Ananda is located in the hamlet town of Narendra Nagar in the Himalayas, close to the spiritual town of Rishikesh and the holy town of Haridwar, where the river Ganges flow through and where a lot of these ancient Indian philosophies are said to have originated from. The surrounding scenery and nature is ideal for the holistic lifestyle approach of improving the well being of the body, mind and soul. What is it that you do exactly?
I am paid to basically have a good time! On a serious note, as the General Manager of the property, I am responsible for looking after the day-to-day operations at Ananda. The way I see it, my responsibilities fall into three categories: looking after my guests, looking after the team and maintaining the property. I am also responsible for marketing and sales alongside two of my colleagues who operate from our head office in Delhi. We work in conjunction together as we are still a relatively small young company.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I would have to say the most enjoyable part of my job is interacting with all the guests that visit us here, especially as the wellness market is still such a niche business. Also as you can see not all of our guests are here for wellness so we have a very interesting mix of guests that come here looking for different things from their visit. I have often found myself forming lifelong friendships with many of our guests. We have guests visit us from all parts of the world, usually coming for 7, 14 or 21 nights. They are looking to take more away from Ananda than just memories & photographs. We actually help people change their lifestyles, leaving a lasting impact on their lives and that’s why I feel really good about what me and the team do here each day.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
1) Ananda in the Himalayas, India 2) Chedi Hotel, Muscat, Oman 3) The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambore, India
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
Funnily enough, I would have to say that this was in Goa on the beach at a small beach shack. It was my wedding anniversary and the hotel had organized a secluded romantic candlelit dinner on the beach for my wife and I. They had booked the entire shack for us and we were given the choice of all the seafood that had been caught that day and had it cooked deliciously.
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
Through my work, yes. We get our fair share of celebrities at Ananda from all across the globe here as people can come and relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of normal life, without being hounded. There are some guests who request not to be mentioned so I won’t mention them but there are some that don’t mind once they’ve finished their visit. A few that come to mind are Uma Thurman, Hilary Swank, Heidi Klum, Seal, Melinda Gates, Amir Khan, Rekha and Karishma Kapoor.
What currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?
It would have to be Africa for a wildlife safari and Spain to taste all the good food that they have there!
Thank you for taking part, Anupam.  We wish you all the best in your role at Ananda. If you would like to be interviewed on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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