Taking their popular spa brand Jiva a few notches higher, The Taj West End launches Jiva Grande with a wide range of truly indulgent therapies
The TAJ West End with its colonial architecture and splendid green cover is always inviting. And nestling in one of the oldest structures on the lovely sprawling premises dating back to 1887, is their spa/fitness centre/beauty salon spread over 7,000 sq ft of beautifully appointed space. Kurshid Rodrigues, the spa manager (also a very talented hair stylist and you should ideally persuade her to give your hair a stylish makeover in their high tech salon), is the right person to introduce you to the services on offer. Spas in town are a dime a dozen and the treatments are often renamed versions of mannies, peddies, piped music and massages. But Jiva Grande offers you something new yet ancient and fresh yet established — in short a well-calibrated blend of classic Indian-inspired wellness therapies as well as familiar contemporary massages.
After a welcome brew of herbal tea and honey, Rodrigues advises you to experience the heat and water systems before the treatment itself. The relaxing steam room with its lovely star-lit ceiling, the sauna that induces your pores to open up nicely followed by a splash in the ice fountain to round off the invigorating heat- cold experience. Then you are encouraged to step into the experiential shower which comes loaded with special effects – from thunder storms and lightening to light drizzles and even gently rising mist. Then, wrapped up in hand-combed organic cotton robes, you are escorted to the treatment rooms with high-vaulted ceilings and vintage furniture. Rodrigues recommends their two hour signature therapies — Vishuddi, a detoxification treatment involving exfoliation and a stimulation of your circulatory systems and lymph glands, performed using silk gloves and a traditional Indian herb wrap, Vishrama, a deep muscle massage with aromatic Indian herbs and oils, and Sushupti, a soothing relaxation treatment that is designed to draw out impurities and also includes a Cleopatraesque dip in milk and rose petals.
Steeped in luxury
Choosing Sushupti, it began with a traditional namaste and atithi devo bhava greeting and the therapist soaking and gently scrubbing your feet in a bowl brimming with orchids and herb infusions. Then she applies a rich scrub over your body containing a blend of 22 different herbs, green gram flour, honey and fresh cream and wraps you in a cocoon of towels to let it all soak in while proceeding with a gentle scalp massage. All this TLC takes a little over an hour, allowing you to drift away to the sound of soothing soft music. An hour later you are escorted to the shower room to rinse off the scrub with milk and rose petals. Then begins the second half of the treatment — a full body relaxation massage that quite literally dissolves any last traces of aches, strain or kinks in your system. The treatment is rounded off with a face massage leaving you with glowing skin and a pampered head-to-toe feeling of well being. They have a full-fledged beauty salon and gym as well.
Sushupti Rs7,600++. At Race Course Road. Details: 66605660
— Jackie Pinto