I recently had the privilege of embarking on a soul-nourishing adventure at the Offto Resort located in Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan region of Pakistan for a yoga wellness retreat, and it exceeded every expectation I had and I was compelled to share the profound impact it had on my mind, body, and spirit.
Since I am an international yoga teacher and have been to many retreat destinations around the world, I was a little skeptical about what this resort would be offering to the international travellers in terms of environment, accommodation, local cuisine, amenities like access to the nature etc. I was also reluctant because this region is not known for the wellness retreats as of yet but to my pleasant surprise all my apprehensions proved wrong.
Since I am based in Dubai, I took a direct flight from Dubai to Skardu which in itself was a pure heavenly experience. From the moment I arrived, I was enveloped in a serene cocoon of nature’s splendour. The resort’s location, perched amidst rolling hills and adorned with vibrant flora, was nothing short of a postcard-worthy masterpiece.
The check-in process was seamless, and I was warmly welcomed by the staff, who exuded a genuine commitment to ensuring every guest felt at home. The accommodation itself was a sanctuary of comfort and elegance. My room, boasting a breath-taking view of the mountains and glaciers around, felt like a private haven. The attention to detail, from the cosy linens to the thoughtfully curated amenities, was a testament to the resort’s dedication to providing a truly exceptional and luxurious experience.
The resort is adorned with local art and craftsmanship, seamlessly integrated into its architecture and decor. Every piece tells a story, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of the region. The resort often hosts events that celebrate the local culture. From traditional dance performances to craft workshops, these experiences provide a deeper connection to the heritage of the region.
One of the highlights of my stay was the yoga and wellness indoor and outdoor facilities. The resort’s dedication to holistic wellness was further exemplified by the yoga and meditation sessions offered daily during my stay. These practices, set against the backdrop of the surrounding natural beauty, allowed me to reconnect with my inner self and find a sense of inner peace.
Exploring the surrounding area was a delight, with guided hikes and nature walks organised by the resort. Each excursion provided an opportunity to immerse myself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the landscape, and the knowledgeable guides shared insights about the local flora and fauna, deepening my appreciation for the natural world.
Watching the sun rise and set over the hills was an experience that transcends words. The colours painted across the sky, from fiery oranges to tranquil purples, creating a visual symphony. As night descended, the resort transformed into a celestial theatre. Far from the city lights, the night sky became a canvas for countless stars and constellations. It was a rare opportunity to witness the vastness of the universe in all its splendour.
The culinary offerings at the resort were nothing short of a gastronomic revelation. Each meal was a symphony of flavours, showcasing locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Every dining experience was a celebration of culinary artistry - whether savouring a leisurely breakfast on the buffet or terrace, or indulging in a candlelit dinner at the gourmet restaurant. The attentive and caring staff at the resort was the heart and soul of my experience. Their warmth and genuine hospitality created a sense of community among guests, fostering connections that I will cherish long after my departure. Every interaction was marked by a genuine desire to ensure my stay was nothing short of perfect.
Each day at the resort unfolds like a chapter in a storybook, leaving an indelible mark on the heart. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, allowing you to savour every precious moment. This resort is not just a destination; it’s a tapestry of experiences that weave together to create a symphony of wonder, offering a respite from the ordinary and inviting you to embrace the extraordinary.
In retrospect, my time at the Offto Resort was not just a vacation, but a transformative journey. It was a sanctuary of serenity, a haven of luxury, and a cocoon of self-discovery. I left with a renewed sense of vitality, a deeper connection to nature, and a heart brimming with gratitude.
Having journeyed to wellness retreats around the globe, I can unequivocally say that this resort offers world-class luxury with a profound commitment to holistic well-being.
Zainab Sarwar is an international yoga teacher. She can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org, www.yogadubai.ae or @lifestylebyzainabsarwar on Instagram