Exploring India’s Most Luxurious Spas
Warm spice bundle massages and cooling lentil exfoliants; hot-oil head massages and nourishing, revitalizing shampoos; treatments based on your horoscope; top-of-the-line gyms; pomegranate and fig pedicures; womb-shaped floatation rooms offering hydrotherapy – welcome to the uber-luxury spas of contemporary India. The concept of spas in India has changed considerably from simple massages to specialized treatments utilizing the country’s rich heritage and history, particularly the 5,000-year-old science of life philosophy, Ayurveda. Combining this enduring and timeless legacy with contemporary Western presentation, these unique spas stand out in terms of services, facilities and experiences. There is a treatment of every taste: with oils, without oils; with water, without water; high-tech gyms with personal trainers and gentle relaxation pools for the weary; treatments to clean and smooth the skin, soothe tense muscles, and invigorate the body and spirit. And, of course, treatments are available for singles or couples as desired.
Over the past few years, India has seen a phenomenal growth in the spa industry, and many spas here have been rated by Condé Nast and Forbes as some of the best in the world, not just for the luxurious treatments they offer but for their holistic approach to rejuvenating mind, body and soul. Here are three of the top luxury spas in India:
Kaya Kalp – The Royal Spa
Located in the city of Agra and hosted by the ITC Mughal hotel, this opulent destination spa may be the largest in all of Asia. About a year old, the pomegranate-themed Kaya Kalp pays tribute to the traditions and legendary love of grandeur of the Mughal empire with 99,000 square feet of luxury. A backdrop of 35 acres of outdoor pools, orchards, channels of running water, butterfly gardens, and luscious green quiet spots was created to transport you into peace and tranquility.
The interiors of the spa would surely make the Mughals proud – gentle, geometrically perfect marble lattices, mother-of-pearl inlays, colorful bougainvillea in beautiful ceramic pots and ruby red engineered stones inlayed in white terrazzo flooring. Complete the process of your royal rejuvenation with both modern and traditional treatments that claim to have their roots in ancient Mughal customs and traditions! Try to recapture Mughal Emperor Barbar’s love of all things pomegranate with a luxurious Aromasoul Massage and follow it with a pomegranate infusion bath. Request outdoor treatments near the 25-meter lap pool or in one of the more private rejuvenation areas; Kaya Kalp ensures privacy along with pampering. Once your treatments are done, Kaya Kalp even adds pomegranate to your diet with a refreshing pomegranate-ginger elixir.
“Amatrra” translates as the silence between successive chants of the meditative word Om. In the context of the spa, it refers to being able to unlock and balance your energies. This unique, 45,000-square-foot spa in India’s capital, New Delhi, has two convenient locations: the Ashok Hotel and Le Meridian. A gentle quietness permeates the spa despite its location in the heart of the city. The spa –recently declared one the ten best in the world – takes a holistic approach to mind, body and soul rejuvenation, combining astrology, ancient and modern medicine, naturopathy, and twenty-first century technology called “Astroveda” and equipment to create a unique spa treatment plan for guests. This customized regime includes not only the best therapies but the best oils, dietary prescriptions, appropriate aromas, colors and gemstones for each guest based on their Astrovedic or planetary diagnosis. Treatments include a specialized “dry hydrotherapy” in which guests float over a film of water in the “floaterium,” a womb-shaped room enhanced by aromatherapy and a faux starry night. Or get your seven chakras (energy points) balanced with a hot oil treatment or special “rain massage” to help relieve tension and relax the body. A lifestyle spa, Amatrra focuses on more than just massage treatments – Ayurvedic herbal baths, a state-of-the-art gym, a juice bar and more will bring you steps closer to self-realization in harmony with the cosmos.
Offering “health through water,” the Quan Spa is a quiet oasis located in the supremely charming J.W. Marriott hotel in the affluent Mumbai suburb, Juhu. Quan, which is Chinese for “source of pure water,” combines Oriental know-how with the ancient Indian science of life, Ayurveda, to create unique treatments steeped in tradition but contemporary in style. This award-winning spa radiates elegance as soothing sounds of flowing water provide a relaxing backdrop for treatment areas enveloped in the gentle aromas of essential oils. An amber-hued saffron-chamomile tea welcomes guests into the spa’s waiting areas designed with calming hues of white and turquoise. Exceptionally well-trained therapists offer treatments ranging from whole-body energy healing treatments focusing on the chakras or energy centers of the body, to a hot Malabar Body Polish with warming spices and a cooling lentil exfoliant to moderate the heat of the spices, to a Spice Bundle Massage utilizing oils, wild spices, and hand-picked forest herbs to bring warmth and pain relief to the body. All treatments are offered in the spa’s private or “for couples” rooms sporting cream-colored walls and natural bamboo flooring. In addition, trained staff work with guests to offer a complete Ayurvedic analysis of their system.
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