here to pamper
If the crippling heat is getting to you, step into an oasis of tranquility to regain your inner peace to match that outer glow. Ami Gandhi & Dhvani Solani checked themselves into spas to get you some of thebest summer-special therapies that’ll leave you calm and cool. Go on, it’s okay to spoil yourself silly at times
FOR YOUR FACE
What: So Rejuvenating Facial
Where: So Spa, Sofitel, BKC, Mumbai
How: The things that segregate a good massage from a great one are not the big things, but the little ones that are seemingly inconsequent, but are, in fact, not. At So Spa, they know exactly how to take care of these trivialities. No noise wanders in from outside; the temperature and music are consistent and soothing; when the masseuse opens the door, no passer-by is offered a glimpse of the nearly-nude you lying on the bed (which is the case in most spa rooms) since the entrance is perfectly cordoned off. Everyone is smiling, eager to help and attentive to your desires to the point of being telepathic.
The So Rejuvenating Facial is like a breath of fresh air on a terribly hot day, thanks to the beautifully cooling cucumber and honey routine that goes into it. Dawa, my masseuse, started off by applying a make-up remover, followed with the application and removal of a scrub, skin mousse, a toner and then what she proclaimed to be “an elixir”. While the scrub hardened on my face, I was distracted by one of the most comforting head massages ever. The elixir, a serum with micro-emulsions meant to help the creams penetrate the skin, is accompanied by a fabulous facial massage, followed with the application of mashed cucumber tied up in mini potlis and gently pressed all over the face. As your skin welcomes this cooling and nourishing natural agent, it finds even more solace in the application of a coat of honey. My dry skin lapped it all up hungrily. Rounding up the hour-long routine with a face serum meant that I was ready to step out into the sunlight with a smile and a spring in my step.
How much: ` 3,500 (plus taxes)
FOR YOUR SENSES
What: The Multi-Sensory Experience
Where: The Lalit, Andheri, Mumbai
How: This signature therapy at Rejuve gave us an experience that no other spa had. Sure, my masseuse, Jenny, was astoundingly good, but it was facilities like not having to get off the spa bed to wash off the scrub, take steam or even rinse off, that made me feel like a million bucks. The therapy had me lie on a tiled bed with a cushioned centre but with draining channels running through its frame. After the aromatic sea salt scrub was rubbed in for a good hour and rinsed off with a handheld shower, the water is drained through these channels. Before the rinsing comes the steam for which four vertical spokes were laid on the outside of this bed, on which a plastic sheet is spread, ensconcing me in a coffin-like space. From near my feet, the steam was let out, enveloping me in this cocoon, while only my head remained outside for Jenny to lovingly give an oil champi to. After the rinse, I was escorted to the neighbouring room which had a heated hydrobed on which I lay while Jenny gave me the most relaxing massage with lemongrass oil. The warmth emanating from the water bed complimented the air-conditioned room, while its bounce factor made sure that my body was able to easily take even some vigorous massage moves. If you want a massage that has not only a great masseuse behind it but also innovative apparatus to pamper you to the ultimate, this is where you should head.
How much: ` 9,000 (plus taxes)
FOR YOUR SKIN
What: Nourishing Cream Body Scrub, Aroma Bliss Body Massage, and Ashwagandha Milk Bath
Where: Quan Spa, The Marriott, Senapati Bapat Road,
How: The heat is excuse enough to indulge in luxury—the kind that includes a divine body scrub, blissful massage and rounds off with a milk bath. My exotic indulgence at Quan began with a foot-refreshing soak. The masseuse then gently eliminated the dead cells and impurities by the body scrub treatment. It’s a scrub, so it’s bearably harsh, but when rubbed with fresh oranges, you are sure to feel rejuvenated. Later, out came the almond oil mixed with lavender and tea tree oils, known here as the serenity blend. The fragrance itself made me relax and calm. However, when massaged, the pure essential oils started showing their goodness and provided an instant invigorating effect on the mind. Would you like to get up from the spa bed after such a nourishing treatment? I would’ve refused, were it not for the milk bath awaiting me. Remember the queens of yesteryears who only took bath with milk to look youthful (read: Cleopatra)? I felt like I had blue blood running through my veins as I relaxed in this bath. It incorporated milk, which contained brown algae extract known as Ashwagandha and gold flecks. A sip of the herbal tea brought me back to ground zero, but not without the softest skin. As I left the spa, I felt like my skin had transformed into a shimmery veil.
How much: ` 6,000 approx
FOR YOUR LEGS
What: Mango Foot Scrub
Where: Sukho Thai, 7 Bungalows, Andheri, Mumbai
How: When you know that mangoes can actually make a dent in your pocket, you would definitely not want to try them on your feet. Rather, why not just eat this expensively- delicious fruit, right? But if your tired feet need some attention this summer, then getting a foot massage that uses the king of fruits will leave you asking for more. Initially, my feet were gently cleaned with water to remove the dirt. Then, the mango scrub was rubbed on the feet and massaged for 15 minutes so as to clear dead skin. The foot scrub smoothens, moisturises and soothes the feet. It facilitates better absorption of massage oils and improves circulation. This is followed by 45 minutes of traditional Thai foot massage by therapists who work their magic on the feet—relaxing every part of your leg, from the thigh to the toe. A surprisingly pleasant add-on is the back, neck and shoulder massage given for 15 minutes, stretching and relaxing your entire body and not just your feet. The therapy is rounded off with a soothing cup of green tea and slices of exotic seasonal fruits that help flush out toxins from the body.
How much: ` 3,000 approx
FOR YOUR SOUL
What: Chi Balance and Seasonal Body Wrap
Where: Chi, The Spa, Shangri-La Hotel, Mumbai
How: An opulent, divine and serene space envelopes you gently the moment you enter the spa’s reception area. You will be spoilt for choice with an extensive menu that offers treatments and massages for your body and skin. Considering the temperatures outside were soaring, I was recommended the seasonal body wrap that absorbs the inner heat and cools down your body temperature.
The blissful 150-minute sojourn began with a steam bath, which I was told was important as it allows the essential oils to work their goodness on your skin by opening up your pores. Later, my tired feet went through a foot-refreshing soak and a Himalayan rock salt crystal foot scrub. The therapist let me sniff various aromatherapy oils. I opted for the fragrance which contained aloe and lavender.
“Ma’am, now we are moving towards Chi Balance,” whispered Mimi, my therapist. The soft music, quiet ambience and the gentle yet penetrative massage focused on clarity and peace of mind. Moreover, the acupressure and coordinated movements with the use of pure synergy oils harmonised the flow. If by ‘balance’ you imagine relieving stress and balancing your mind and body, then this therapy proves it true.
The cooling seasonal wrap comprised of mud, aloe, lavender and Ayurvedic herbs. The lavender soothes your senses while the aloe helps heal and protect the skin. After applying it, the body is wrapped like a cocoon with the linen, as you are made to lie ensconced in it for 20 minutes. While the ingredients work on nourishing the skin, the therapist de-stresses you by giving a scalp massage. After a quick shower and a cup of green tea, you can float out of the door, completely besotted by this tranquil place.
How much: ` 10,000 approx
FOR YOUR BREATH
What: Royal Yoga Massage
Where: Myrah Spa, Juhu, Mumbai
How: “Breathe innn…, Breeathe aaouut,” says the therapist calmly, while combining stretches with the massage. How can you perform yoga stretches and also get pampered with a massage, you ask. The Royal Yoga massage has an answer to it. It includes yoga-like stretches which are intended to stimulate vital energy flow in the body. Energy points (also called Acupressure points) on my legs, thumbs and palms were pressed accurately. Along with the pumping action, I was asked to concentrate on my breathing. Apart from regular yoga practitioners, I wondered how many of us actually give importance to our respiratory system. Starting from head to toe, the therapist patiently worked on my energy points, cracking my knuckles, pulling my toes and gently rocking and twisting my body, soothing stiff muscles as she went about it. There was a moment when she stopped and then released the blood flow in my hands; this is to enhance the blood circulation. The facial points and head massage allowed me to take a quick nap before she could say, “We are done.” This form of bodywork is performed on the floor, and you are given comfortable clothes that allow for movement. No oils are used. It is a 90-minute head-to-toe routine that rejuvenates your mind and body.
How much: ` 5,200 approx
FOR YOUR FEET
What: Ice-cream pedicure
Where: NailSpa Experience, Bandra, Mumbai
How: Teasing and tantalising, the ice-cream pedicure takes you through highs and lows, but emerge with gorgeous feet. You are given a choice of several ‘scoops’ to choose from. These look like real ice-cream scoops, and come with a choice of flavours—strawberry, chocolate (our pick), butterscotch—but are actually made of salts, and are not even cool to touch. Bummer! But wait for them to dissolve in the foot-soak waters, and soon a delicious aroma will engulf you. The pedicure routine is made yummier with the Me! Range of bath and body products that include a sugar scrub that makes your skin tingle, a caramel mask and vanilla cream. Round it up with nail paint, and you are good to go. Feel like an ice-cream, now?
How much: ` 1,000