Friday, July 26, 2013

When it comes to lifestyle, the monsoon doesn’t just mean end-of-season sales. Spas across the city have introduced unique treatments specially customised for the dreary. The 48hrs team scouts the city and tells you where to book an appointment

A lot of things are best enjoyed during the monsoon. The taste of bhutta, the piping hot onion bhajiyas, steaming cups of tea — all these exude a particular charm when it’s pouring outside. Similarly, a monsoon massage is another luxury to savour during this season. The best way to forget the back ache inducing potholes, umbrella bruises and frustrating public transport is by heading for a relaxing spa treatment. Several spas across the city realise this and so, we see a lot of these services introducing monsoon special therapies. To find out which ones are the best, the 48hrs team went scouring and brought you the results.

Sofitel’s SoSpa at Bandra Kurla Complex has introduced two monsoon special therapies — the Customised Massage With Precious Stones (Rs 3,500) and the Herbal Poultice Relaxing Back Massage (Rs 1,800). The moment they mentioned a back massage, I couldn’t resist and chose to give the precious stones massage a miss. SoSpa is clearly a luxury spa and you can gauge that the moment you enter. While the interiors of the hotel are opulent to say the least, SoSpa’s décor will leave you awestruck. The rooms are spacious, with a roomy washroom and a lingering, light sandalwood scent to calm you down. My therapist, Daava (meaning the moon in her homeland) was the sweetest and explained why this herbal treatment was ideal for the season. The treatment uses a herbal potli, containing herbal churnam made from different herbs, which is beneficial for joint pain and teel oil mixed with various herbs which restores cartilage. The oils are warm enough to wake your skin from its dry slumber. Daava asked me whether I wanted a soft, medium or firm massage.

I asked for a medium and the pressure was perfect. These were clearly the quickest 30 minutes of my life and when Daava said that the treatment was done, I was disappointed, not by her massage (oh it was heaven!), but the duration of it. For the price, I was hoping it would last at least an hour.
Price Rs 1,800 for 30 minutes
Where Sofitel, C-57, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (E)
Contact 61175000


There’s nothing better than a relaxing, rejuvenating break from the chaos and disarray of the rain outside and at Mudraa Spa, you’ll get nothing less. I visited the 3,000 square foot spa to experience their luxurious monsoon special. If you’re worried about travelling to the spa on a rainy day, don’t be, because it’s definitely worth trucking through muck and travelling through water logged roads. Once you push open the (extremely heavy) large wooden doors, you’re engulfed by a wave of tranquility in a lobby where speaking above a whisper seems like a crime. After waiting for them to prepare the fresh fruit scrub, I was escorted up a flight of stairs towards the foot bath area and seated on a plush sofa, while my feet were washed and pressed dry. In my spa room, I was made to lie down to experience the Papaya Body Scrub and wrap, which was a luxurious experience where I was scrubbed, exfoliated, wrapped and massaged expertly. The only downside is that it’s quite messy, so you’ll have to clock in a lot of shower time to scrub it all off. But, after the massage, it’s worth a little extra effort to get papaya and pomegranate pieces from the scrub out of your hair. And, the basil scent of the wrap lingers deliciously on your skin. Next up was the Chakra Balancing using Hot Stones. Chakra Balancing aside, there are several reasons to opt for this treatment. My therapist was so good, I couldn’t tell where her hands let off and the stones began. The massage was deft, quick but not hurried and so luxurious that I felt like royalty after the relaxing hour. After another shower to wash the oil off, I was treated to a calming facial, perfect for sensitive skin, without too much scrubbing, poking or prodding. Instead of feeling like my skin was being peeled off, I felt soothed and massaged. The three-hour treatment may seem expensive at first glance, but it’s more than worthy of its price tag — especially since picking each treatment individually and putting them together will cost you more in any case. The treatment is apt for the monsoon because it will wash away seasonal irritation, help monsoon weary skin and keep you feeling cosy (courtesy the hot stones) and refreshed. I was smiling for hours afterward, even in the midst of a downpour.
Price Rs 6,500 for 3 hours
Where 1st Floor, N. K. M. International House, 178 Backbay Reclamation, Babubhai Chinai Road, Marine Drive
Contact 66346662/ 66346663

The monsoon and bad feet go hand-in-hand. And unfortunately, I know that well. Mucky streets mean your feet get dirty, unreliable public transport means they get tired walking and wearing closed shoes leads to several other problems. But, don’t fret as Aroma Thai promises to help out with their Head to Toe Signature Massage. They first cleanse your feet with a mint and lemongrass foot scrub. This is followed by an intense pure aroma oil massage that improves lymphatic fluid circulation. The massage was good; my therapist used an ample amount of pressure. However, there were some aspects that left me a little… distracted. My therapist’s vibrating cellphone, an amusing bout of hiccups from another and being able to hear the flush from the rest room close by made the 90 minutes more entertaining than relaxing. Would I go back? Yes, not just for the foot massage but for the back massage that was doled out after. Bones cracked and knots kneaded, it gets a thumbs up from me. If 90 minutes is too long for you, they have a Foot Sampler massage for `925 that lasts only half an hour. Overall, a quick but intense experience.
Price Rs 1,725 for 90 minutes
Where Outlets in Bandra, Breach Candy, Kurla, Malad and Ghatkopar Contact 26056871

It takes more than a run-off-the-mill massage to fix the damage done by a painful Monday at work. My apprehensions were put to rest by the enchanting Asian décor, rubescent interiors and the waft of peppermint. After a quick form filling process, my therapist led me to my room and so began my Aroma Massage. I picked lavender oil and my masseuse skillfully controlled the pressure, making sure it was not painful. I was in seventh lavender heaven by the end of the relaxing experience which culminated in steam and a shower. Their eye for detail really won me over. The room had everything, from Bisleri bottled water to a hairdryer, Set Wet hair gels and Q-tips. The green tea post massage made Richfeel my favourite spa in the city. Don’t be fooled by the deceptively dingy look, take a peep inside and we guarantee, you won’t leave without a massage.
Price Rs 2,800 for 60 minutes
Where Richfeel Spa, Sagar Mansion, 40 Bhulabhai Desai Road.
Contact 23516228

After a tiring, pollution-heavy commute to Saki Naka, any spa treatment less than perfect would have been a big disappointment. However, Caressaa Day Spa surprised me — from the light and nature inspired tunes playing in the background to the I-wish-it-never-ended hot stone body massage. The manager of the cosy spa told me that the Hot Stone therapy was perfect for the monsoon and so, I opted for an hour and a half long session of the same. The treatment started with some much needed stretching of my various body muscles and the therapist expertly kneaded and massaged all my pressure points — I was already in bliss and the treatment hadn’t even begun. As far as the actual treatment is concerned, I just let myself slip into a reverie of sorts with a feeling of relaxation spreading through my body. I don’t think there was a single muscle of my body that the therapist missed during the massage. By the end of it, which came too soon, I was in an exhilarated mental state and a completely revived physical one. The Hot Stone massage at Caressaa Day spa is worth every paisa you’ll be spending on it. Do not miss out on this one. Trust us.
Price Rs 4,500 for 90 minutes
Where Caressaa Day Spa, Peninsula Grand Hotel, Saki Naka, Andheri (E)
Contact 28531111

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