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If you’re one of the many millions inspired to embark on their own Eat, Pray, Love adventure, but your annual leave won’t stretch far enough for a global sabbatical, Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa offers an answer.

The hustle and bustle of Mumbai melts away as busy city streets transform into one of the most scenic landscapes in the world. The easy three-hour drive from Mumbai takes us into the heart of India’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Western Ghats mountains – one of the world’s eight hotspots for biological diversity.

As we pull up to Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa, the word sprawling comes to mind – yet it does little to encompass the sheer magnitude of the property. Set on 320 acres of unspoiled greenery, it’s home to one of the largest and most comprehensive spa facilities in Asia with a 70-acre Spa Zone featuring 17 treatment rooms (we’re booking ourselves in for a treatment ASAP), seven restaurants and bars, and a meditation cave and yoga pavilion.

The retreat focuses on organic cuisine, tailored spa treatments and using yoga and meditation practices to restore calm to busy guests…and we couldn’t be more eager for the experience to begin.

We’re checked into a super spacious King Spa Pool Villa, which is thoughtfully located in the resort’s quiet zone which is strictly reserved for guests aged 12 years and over. As far as villas go, this one has everything – a private swimming pool, separate living area, king-size bedroom, espresso machine (a necessity for those early morning yoga classes), a huge deep soak bathtub, and indoor and outdoor showers.

The wellness package means all our meals are included, plus a plethora of complimentary activities to choose from. After dropping our bags at the villa, we head straight to our consultations with Hilton Shillim’s wellness professionals. This includes a nutritional consultation, a naturopathic consultation and a Dharana Scan which is part of the hotel’s Lifescience program, focuses on creating a holistic wellness regime tailed just for us. We now have a tailored itinerary to suit our individual journeys, covering everything from meals to meditation classes – we can’t wait to get started.

As we’ve never been to the area before and the opportunity to stay in the Western Ghats is a true once-in-a-lifetime experience for us, we decide to spend our afternoon on a village walk where retreat staff act as our guide and give us insight into local life up in the mountains.

Back at the retreat its time for dinner and we are treated to a gourmet three-course chef-prepared meal including steamed snapper, roasted root vegetables with quinoa pilaf and baby green salads. We also indulge in one of Hilton Shillim’s speciality Detox Cocktails, and we toast the beginning of our wellness journey.

We head back to our gorgeous villa to reflect on the day we’ve had, and take in those stunning views of the Western Ghats from the privacy of our outdoor seating area. It’s the perfect way to relax after the first day of our new wellness journey, and we go to bed excited for everything that is to come.

As the sun begins to rise we wake up to a morning yoga class before sitting down to a delicious buffet breakfast. It’s time for us to plan out the rest of our day as we sip on green tea and fresh fruit – there are pottery classes, tea house experiences and even aqua aerobic sessions to partake in.

If you’re ready to begin your own wellness journey, book your own Luxury Escape to Hilton Shillim

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