…That’s what Aditya Kilachand, CEO & Founder – Avās Wellness, is focused on doing! He talks to Andrea CostaBir about how his impassioned venture, Avas Living in Alibaug, India, marries laidback luxury and wholesome wellness. And shares why it is set to be the luxe haven that soothes and uplifts – all at once!
Aditya Kilachand, a.k.a ADK, is consumed by his own and other people’s wellness too. His singular mission is to live a healthful, joyful life… and help others occupy and enjoy this health-giving space too. In keeping with this passion, he has conceptualised Avās Living at Alibaug, the Konkan coastal belt that definitely adds to Maharashtra state’s status of being the jewel in India’s crown. Merging affluent, well-appointed spaces with a nourishing way of life, the Avas property is developing gorgeous villas that will canoodle with a wellness center and spa. We got Aditya to share his vision for Avas with us. Here are excerpts from our tête-à-tête…
Was there a specific point in your life when you realised the importance of healthy living and if yes, when?
I’ve always followed a healthy lifestyle — eating local seasonal food, something that I’ve imbibed from my childhood, and playing a sport since school days. But the last four years sharpened my focus on wellness and a more holistic approach to health and well-being. Today, for me, the ultimate luxury is good health.
What in your opinion are the pillars of healthy living?
A connection between the mind, body and soul. One must always view healthy living through a holistic lens and as expansive. While exercising the body is important, eating the right food to fuel your movement is also essential. And lastly, a mind that is calm can function at its optimal.
What do you think is the future of luxury and does it majorly focus on wellness?
Wellness is the new luxury. We’ve moved beyond the traditional definition of material luxury to experiential luxury that sparks joy, and makes us view things differently.
For people who are looking for more affordable, accessible ways of engaging in a wellness lifestyle, do you have any recommendations as to what they could do personally?
Take time out to reconnect with yourself — be it a walk, music, or simply reading — without technology to distract you. Another important way is incorporating movement every day and eating local, seasonal foods. A ‘well’ lifestyle does not have to be expensive or overthought – on the contrary, it’s a lot to do with returning to simplicity, and is something that can be accessible to everyone.
How often do you engage in wellness activities and what are they?
I’m an avid golfer and spend most of my free time on the greens. I also ensure that I have screen-free time during the weekends, and eat healthy through the week with the occasional treat. Something I have started doing lately is travelling to a wellness retreat once a year to rebalance and realign myself.
What inspired the creation of Avās Wellness?
I have always been in the hospitality sphere and wellness was an area I’ve always been interested in. Avas Living is an amalgamation of these interests, and for me, selecting a location for the project was easy — Alibaug is a place I’m deeply connected to with lots of childhood memories linked to our family farm there. As an adult when I went back, I was always enveloped in a sense of tranquillity and calm, which is what I wanted everyone to experience.
Can you explain the concept and vision of Avās in brief?
Avās Living is built on the concept of merging luxury development with holistic wellness. We want to build a community that shares a singular approach to holistic health and fitness. We’ve planned for a limited number of villas helmed by a cutting-edge Wellness Center and Spa that offers therapies that are an amalgamation of the wisdom of Ayurveda with the modern touch of European therapies. Our approach to wellness is unique in the sense that we want it to be fun and a part of the everyday. It’s not about restrictive approaches but one that is expansive and evolving, so you can continue to live better even when you are away from Avās. Our design philosophy is biophilic with an emphasis on resetting the circadian rhythm and living with nature. Everything at Avās is designed to make you live a better life.
What kind of a change do you want to see in the people who choose to invest in Avās?
When I conceptualised Avās Living, I had a vision of a community of conscious explorers who look at wellness as all-encompassing and expansive, who want to include movement and wellbeing in their day-to-day, and incorporate what they learn at Avās into their daily life back in the city. So far, all our homeowners follow this philosophy.
Is your mother Shobhaa De, the diva of substance ‘n’ style, involved in this project?
My mother is always a huge force in my projects and is one of the few people privy to the conceptualising stages of my work.
You have onboarded Sussanne Khan to design the property’s villas. Please share a few details on the design element that she is incorporating…
Sussanne is a good friend of mine and when I showed her the site for our flagship villa in Alibaug and introduced her to the concept, she instantly got what I wanted to convey. Her sense of laidback luxury is apt for Avās. As a Creative Designer, she has amalgamated the energies of the village into our modern Avas homes. We’ve gone with the design philosophy of Californian Konkan — the ease and bohemia of California, balanced with the beauty of the Konkan coast. The furnishings are minimalist yet luxurious with a soothing palette of neutrals. A lot of the light fixtures are created for the space using unique materials that make them the focal point of the room. Sussanne has created several distinct design themes for homeowners to choose from that are unique in their vision, but follow the same Avās design thread.
Are you opening Avās in phases? When will this project be completed?
We are offering a limited number of villas only and co-create the design along with the owners. So while this customisation takes time, we envision the entire project to be ready by 2024 along with the state-of-the-art Wellness Center and Spa.
Do you plan to build Avās Wellness at other destinations as well? Which is your dream destination for Avas?
Avās Living was always envisioned to be an all-encompassing wellness community project with footprints across the country. Our current focus is Alibaug, but we are potentially scouting locations across the country. I would love to see Avās in all parts of the world!