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One boy, one passport, one million dreams. Gas & Gander is a blog capturing the essence of the brands and companies I love, the cities and cultures I embrace, the food and drinks I enjoy and most of all, the travel I experience. Most of all Gas & Gander is a super fun & informative guide with an abundance of information. Come and join me on my adventures at Gas & Gander. Currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia. 




Sean Loughran

One month in the small but beautiful town of Rishikesh can seem like a lifetime, we weren’t sick and tired of the lifestyle here just yet but we were interested in exploring some of the neighbouring towns.

We came across the city of Haridwar on our travels and the luxurious Aalia Resort & Spa came highly recommended to us. I touched base with the General Manager Dheeraj Chauhan at the resort and he kindly invited Emma & I to spend the night on the resort.

Travelling by car in India can be very stressful, it’s like the whacky races as cars, bikes, tuk-tuks, cows and all sorts of other animals pack the streets. However as we made our way from Rishikesh to Haridwar through the scenic Rajaji National Park, we felt our minds and bodies relaxing. The green fields, trees, exotic animals and blue skies were visible from all angles, for a brief moment I felt like I was back home in Ireland.

On arrival to the beautiful Aalia Resort, which is situated in the centre of the National Park, we were greeted by friendly reception staff who presented us with hot towels and Coca Cola. The staff and concierge then escorted us to our villa after a speedy check in.

Crisp white walls and modern mahogany furnishings complimented the exquisite interior of the villa. Walking out onto our private terrace was a treat as we were greeted with a seating area and private jacuzzi. The sunset in the distance created the perfect view from the balcony.

After a quick shower and change of clothes, we made our way across to the hotel restaurant where again we were impressed with the attentiveness of the staff who went out of their way to ensure we were comfortable. The scents of true Indian cuisine filled the modern glass structure and we took our seats on the restaurant terrance for some fine outdoor dining.

For our first course, we indulged in delicious Greek and Japanese salads. Moving onto our second dish, we piled our plates high with an array of Indian and Asian inspired cuisine. Emma sampled the paneer lababdar and I enjoyed the gatta curry and vegetable moussaka, all accompanied by some butter naan of course! Just about when we thought we couldn’t fit anymore in, we were treated to some traditional Indian cashew nut rice pudding and strawberry ice cream - there’s always room for dessert!

We strolled back to our villa after dinner, changed into our comfy hotel robes and jumped into the fluffy pillow filled king size bed, it was pure bliss!

After the most relaxing sleep, it was time for breakfast and boy did this hotel know how to put on a good breakfast spread - bare in mind breakfast is my favourite meal of the day! The Resort breakfast is served buffet style and includes a large selection of Western foods such as porridge, fresh breads, conserves, chicken sausages and there’s even a personal chef on hand to whip up some fresh made to order omelettes.

Tummies then full and ready for a day of exploring, we packed up and carried ourselves and our food babies to the reception area where Dheeraj and his wife arranged for a hotel jeep to take us into the city of Haridwar for some shopping. I had some time to chat with Dheeraj about the Aalia and all that they offer!

Tell me about the resort?

The Aalia Resort is four and a half hours from Delhi, in an idyllic setting on the banks of the River Ganges and it makes for the perfect weekend get-away. Aalia is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a spiritual/yoga retreat or an adventure filled vacation. We offer activities like village walks, nature walks and safaris accompanied by our in-house naturalist.

We can also help you to experience the thrill of white water rafting and bungee jumping nearby in Rishikesh. For those choosing to spend time in the resort itself we have a host of indoor games, a stocked library, badminton, table tennis, wall climbing, lawn games and of course our swimming pool. Our spa is the perfect place to unwind and pamper yourself and our daily yoga lessons are simply a must do.

What do you believe you offer that is different from any other resort or hotel?

Our location is on the banks of the holy River Ganges and that coupled with the peace and serenity all around us is our unique selling point. Additionally the quality of the construction of the villas and attention to detail is something that most other resorts in the region are lacking in. The decor is understated yet classy and has a timeless beauty about it and the service is attentive yet discreet and of a very high order.

Overall, the experience at the Aalia Resort was luxurious. Hotel staff made us feel welcome from the moment we entered the property. The resort is surrounded by green fields and the River Ganges, it was extremely peaceful and exactly what we needed after one month in the hustle and bustle of Rishikesh.

I couldn’t recommend this hotel enough, if you’re in the area and looking for a beautiful, modern and relaxing escape then the Aalia Resort is perfect for you.

That’s all for now!

Peace & love from India.


Aalia Resort

Rajaji National Park, Chila Range,

Shyampur Nazibabad Road, Haridwar

Phone: +91 9899975469 / +91 7351008802