Discover what these new age temples of wellness offer the spa addict besides slouging off dead skin and soothing aching muscles
Positioning themselves as “necessities” rather than “luxuries” and “therapies” rather than “pamperings”, spas in the city (150 and counting) are seamlessly integrating themselves into our regular routines – between golf games, board meetings, bridal showers or school PTAs. At these holistic spaces designed to soothe and pamper, highly trained therapists will work on your body, cater to your whims, and offer you everything from gold facials, chocolate body wraps, the healing powers of salt, seaweed and hydrotherapy to ancient healing remedies and new anti-aging solutions. Go on, spoil yourself at our pick of some of the best spas in town.
Espa by Ritz Carlton
The Ritz Carlton’s international spa brand Espa comes with 12 treatment rooms, a thermal suite and 1,580 metres of deluxe design with the jaali theme subtly running right through. Charming manager Ayuko Suzuki recommends you start at their Thermal Suite. Here, you will enjoy a relaxing combination of heat, buoyancy and water jet-induced massage so your muscles are loosened even before the therapist takes over. The spa menu, combines Eastern and Western elements and Suzuki suggests you try their signature jaali embrace. It begins with a soothing foot scrub ritual, then you settle down face forward and let the therapist work her magic with long sweeping movements and a combination of hot oil and stones. The highlight here is that at some point, a shadow therapist steps in and you have not two, but four hands working on you in perfect rhythm. The treatment finishes off with a balancing therapeutic head and foot massage. The result is total bliss. Rs7,900++. At Residency Road. Details: 49148000
Spa by JW
Spa at JW Marriott features six treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, fitness center, yoga studio and experts who use a holistic mix of Indian, Western and Asian therapies. We tried their Signature Spa which began with a unique balancing ritual using aromatic sandalwood oil to help you relax, followed by a mild exfoliation scrub using a combination of pure sandalwood and saffron. A rhythmic massage then restores the flow of prana (life force) to balance your body and mind. But, for a truly indulgent experience, the two-and-a-half-hour Essential Spa is a must. It includes an exotic salt and coffee scrub to soften the skin, a quick dip in petitgrain and lavender essence and a gentle pressure point massage to release the knots. Your skin is treated to a gentle oil and body butter massage while your hands and feet are smothered in a purifying mud mask and your scalp gets a de-stressing frankincense massage. Try their three-hour couples spa that uses citrus oils, geranium, patchouli and sandalwood extracts too. Aromatherapy, facials, beauty and skin treatments are also on the menu. Rs3,200++ . At Vittal Mallya Road. Details: 67188566
Shreyas Spa, set amidst acres of greenery, has been voted one of the best boutique ayurvedic and yoga spas worldwide with good reason. Divided into spa ‘huts’ complete with steam and sauna facilities and fancy cottages with luxe treatment rooms. The spa menu features Balinese, Thai, Swedish and aromatherapy elements, but we recommend their ayurveda special massages. Abhayanga to restore balance and calmness, Shirodhara which uses a 30-45 minute steady stream of warm medicated oil onto your forehead to soothe and relax, and Thalapothichil or the use of medicated decoctions applied to the head to relieve stress and anxiety. If you avoid oily massages, try the herbal Udwarthanam with only powders. Rs2,500 upwards. At Nelamangala. Details: 27737102
S2 Spa by Ema
Ema Trinidad of S2 Spa believes that true relaxation can only occur when all the five senses are stimulated. Known for their special anti-ageing treatments, the spa targets working professionals who cannot leave the city to relax. “I don’t believe in massages at home, because there will always be too many distractions,” Trinidad shares. One of their most popular treatments is the Fusion Massage which combines two or three treatment types, according to client preferences. They are also known for their Age Loc Wrinkle Iron treatment which virtually irons out the wrinkles on your face and shows immediate results. For the season of love, Trinidad has introduced the Second Honeymoon Package (`5,500 upwards) and the Love Yourself Package (`4,000 upwards). While the Couple’s Package includes customised treatments, a private room for two and a jacuzzi, the Love Yourself Package, meant for singles, will include a massage of your choice, followed by a dip in the jacuzzi and a nice detoxifying drink.
Rs1,500 upwards. At 11th Main Road, Indiranagar. Details: 9343296899
Arjun Bagri, owner of this well-appointed spa, believes that a regular spa session is a must for all. And their Signature Therapy comes highly recommended — a unique combination of Balinese and deep tissue massage. The spa, spread over 2,000 sq feet, offers Thai and Western massages, along with organic skincare treatments. Divided into both couple as well as single rooms, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, heat therapy, and tropical and nutritional therapy are on offer. We tried the Signature package, which was outstanding. Particularly interesting here is the hot stone therapy which helps to dilate blood vessels and encourage blood flow. We loved the sedative effect it produced, naturally reducing stress. This one also has a package for the stressed male that includes a deep tissue massage, an African cocoa butter moisturising wrap and personalized organic facial followed by a Jacuzzi dip. You can customise sessions according to your taste here, which we think is an USP.
Rs2000++. At Indiranagar. Details: 9902365365
Sri Sri Panchkarma
The wellness initiative of the Art of Living centre uses ancient methods coupled with the latest techniques in an environment of calm and serenity. The only place in the country that practices nadi pareeksha or pulse diagnosis, the centre offers spa treatments from around the globe as well as indigenous rejuvenation massages. “It is an ancient ayurvedic technique of diagnosis through the pulse that accurately diagnose physical, mental and emotional imbalances,” explains Prashant S Nair, director. Their specials include the Japanese Rakhenno Sutra — an altruistic yoga massage, Shailabhyanga — with Ayurvedic herbal oils and water-heated basalt stone, neuropathy and osteopathy. Rs1,000 upwards. At Kanakapura Road. Details: 9341211100
Swati Gupta of Body Craft believes in a holistic approach to beauty and relaxation. We heard that their wine treatment is the most popular (especially among brides-to-be), with its antioxidant effect. “Unfortunately, it does not have actual wine in it,” laughs Gupta as she explains that various berry extracts are infused in the scrubs and wraps they use. “It is a very mild treatment and lends a lovely polished feeling to the skin,” Gupta elaborates. She also suggests her Hanakasumi treatment using cherry blossom extracts and rice. Apart from the regular scrub-wrap-steam-shower procedure, this one comes with a special wax mousse massage at the end. “It seals in moisture while dealing with problems like ingrowth and dead skin,” says Gupta, adding that the sea weed body scrub is one of their most effective cleansers while the lemon and green tea and Indonesian spa treatments are both mild and refreshing options. The Body Craft massages usually incorporate reflexology for its all-round relaxation benefits.
Rs5,000 upwards. At Frazer Town. Details: 25513661
Set up by former Miss India Singapore Suria Kala, Ahvataras aims to give you the best of South East Asia. Personally picked by Kala herself, the products used for their massages are “sourced exclusively from Bali, Thailand, Singapore and Switzerland and are not used elsewhere in India,” she informs us. Some of their signature therapies include face infusions like buah-buahan — a fruity face ritual with aloe vera essence which soothes and softens, and Maya — a Swiss dermal remedial collagen purifying therapy with micro-sono skin conditioning for toned and refined skin. Body massages include the Mandi Lulur — an ancient Javanese massage with a skin scrub made of turmeric, rice, jasmine and kolor leaves and their signature, Sayouri — a therapeutic process which features a blend of green tea leaves and special herbs to stimulate the lymph nodes and reduce fluid retention. The Valentine’s day special package (`6,000 per couple) will feature a full body massage, a chocolate body polish and a chocolate mask, which will be done in their couple’s room. Rs1,890 upwards. At Sarjapur Road. Details: 42039253
— Inputs from Team Indulge