Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa, Pune

Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa, Pune

If you want a rejuvenating holiday amidst lakes, mountains and undisturbed nature with the sound track of birds and running water, then this is just the place for you. Nestled in an unspoilt sylvan setting, amidst the breathtaking landscape of the Sahyadri mountain range in the Western Ghats, Hilton Shillim Retreat & Spa is spread over 320 acres of pristine wilderness within the picturesque 3,500-acre private Shillim Estate. The sprawling retreat with its unusual mix of separate spa and lifestyle zones is the international chain's first retreat property in Asia. The relatively obscure location in a little known mountain village is the biggest uniqueness of this world-class leisure property.

The landscape of the estate with its high ridges and benches, diverse forests, and low-lying agricultural land provides a magical setting. The first thing that strikes the visitor is the completely wild and natural state of the foliage. The landscaping with ethnic plants creates no boundaries between the natural forest habitat and the new plantation. The rice fields, bamboo plantations, virgin forests, hundreds of mango and jackfruit trees give the place a very earthy felt.

The discreet entrance gate opens onto the sprawling wall-less entrance lounge, dramatically perched atop a mountain, giving a panoramic view of the magnificent range hugging the undulating valley below. The resort offers spacious, air-conditioned villas, featuring between one and three bedrooms. You can choose between the Spa Villas at the bottom of the hill, the Forest View Villas in the middle tier and the Valley View Villas on top. They're all built with natural stone cut from the surrounding mountains. The clean and minimalistic design reflects understated luxury that is the hallmark of the property. Extensive use of stone, wood and glass make for unobtrusive ecologically sound structures which blend into the surroundings.

A plunge pool and a private garden beckon you through the glass-paned living room in the Spa Pool Villa. At the top of the scale, the three luxurious Presidential Villas is spread over 6,000 sqft with three bedrooms, a private garden and a private pool each.

Each Villa showcases incredible benefits and modern conveniences. The villas are beautifully decorated in cool, calming tones and feature private decks or balconies with a comfortable day bed, and a dedicated spa treatment areas. The superbly efficient and courteous staff go out of their way to treat each guest as royalty. Currently only 33 villas ( 18 Spa Villas and 15 Spa Pool Villas with dedicated treatment areas ) are open to guests. In the pipeline are 66 more besides expansion of the spa zone and the lifestyle zone.

The property offers 17 Treatment Suites also with private gardens and al fresco showers, 5 Consultation Rooms & 4 Relaxation Terraces.

Since a holiday is incomplete without good food, guests are spoilt for choice with an extensive range of gourmet dining options, ranging from the relaxed to the extraordinary. There are seven exciting on-site restaurant and bar venues utilizing primarily organic and locally sourced ingredients to dish out top notch food. Guests can enjoy fine dining whilst maintaining a regime of good nutrition and even customize their experience with 'Dining by Design', which allows them to choose the setting for their unique meal, be it near a waterfall, a mountain-top or on a lush forest plateau. Conveniently located close to the main Restaurant, Bar and the impressive Wine Cellar, the Library Lounge is the perfect spot to take in the beautiful views over the Western Ghats as you settle down with your favourite novel.

Hilton Shillim, which is listed in "The healing hotels of the world", is a complete wellness retreat in itself with the spa zone alone occupying 70 acres. The retreat's biggest draw, the spa, is built on a spot at the base of the retreat that has the highest natural healing energy crystal concentration as shown by satellite images and is sure to impress. The dedicated spa zone features consultation rooms, treatment rooms, relaxation rooms and a meditation cave. The huge wet zone has an Olympic - sized heated swimming pool surrounded by saunas, steam and showers. One of the most extensive spas in Asia, it offers over 150 treatments. Here, expert therapists integrate the ancient philosophic, spiritual and medical wisdom of South Asia with modern international techniques. An interesting option on the spa menu is personalized Yoga classes.

Shillim is about experiences. It's about climbing up the Shillim Peak to see the sunrise over the Western Ghats and enjoying a strawberries-and-cheese picnic as you admire the expanse of the Pawana Lake. It is about going paragliding nearby or, going on horseback to a fort or trekking through the woods to see tumbling streams and waterfalls. Nature walks and treks through the unspoilt forests helps guests explore the pristine surroundings of the estate alive with peacocks, deer and other species. Mountain biking across the stunning landscape is a hit with adventure lovers picnicking besides one of the many waterfalls and boating or fishing at Lake Pavna are other options

The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport of Mumbai is 110 Km/3 hour from this haven of peace while Pune airport is mere 80 Km/1.5 hour from the hotel. The scenic drive takes you through the Sahayadri Mountains, where the landscape changes with every season and the colours change as the sun plays on the hills. A 25 minute helicopter transfer is also available from Mumbai offering a spectacular flight over the picturesque Western Ghat Mountains and lakes. A luxury Limousine pick-up facility from Mumbai and Pune is available at the retreat.