APR 2017

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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spa hopping [ 60 ] • DAYSPA • april 2017 Rambagh Palace, Jaipur Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is a fi ve-hour bus ride from New Delhi and one of the country's creative hubs. Famous for gemstones, embroidery and block-print textiles, this is where high-end brands from Chanel to Valentino source textiles and decorative wares. Away from the bazaars stands the delightful Rambagh Palace, a former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur, adorned with scalloped archways, cascading fountains and sprawling gardens inhabited by strolling peacocks. Since opening in 2006, the spa has proved particularly popular with hotel guests, the majority of whom hail from India, the U.S. and the U.K. From the women's changing area—fi tted with a steam room, sauna and experience shower—I was met by my therapist and led to one of three spa tents. Intrigued by the increasingly popular practice of cupping, I chose the Ventoz Indian Cupping service (90 min./$125). "Per Ayurveda, cupping helps to improve blood circulation and remove toxins from the body, which are stored in the form of knots," explains spa manager Rohit Barotra. As I lay facedown on the massage table, the therapist dragged a heated glass over my tight back and shoulders, creating a vacuum that sucked up the skin and unleashed tension. Paired with a deep muscle massage, the treatment provided an overall feeling of lightness. Afterward, I was faced with a diffi cult decision: Should I linger on the day bed and enjoy an early dinner of tofu and raw papaya salad from the hotel restaurant's healthy menu, or while away the rest of the afternoon poolside with a cup of warm detoxifying tulsi (holy basil) tea? Reveling in my relaxed state, I chose the latter. R J g d P a Lodhi Hotel, New Delhi Lodhi Hotel is located just 15 minutes from the heart of New Delhi, built by the British in the early 1900s and inaugurated as the capital of India in 1931. Pulling up to the elegant porte cochere, I was welcomed by an air of quiet luxury. Entering through the sleek lobby, I made my way along a wide stone corridor to The Spa at Lodhi, a dimly lit space of vaulted mosaic ceilings and back-lit jaalis (patterned latticed screens). Here spa-goers will fi nd New Delhi's only hammam, which is designed with two temperature-controlled chambers and a marble plinth used during the traditional Posha exfoliation treatment (90 min./$120). Separate men's and women's areas encompass eight large treatment rooms, each with a day bed, Jacuzzi, rain shower and eucalyptus steam room. I was here to experience the Pizhichil service (60 min./$120), an Ayurvedic off ering said to strengthen the immune system. "This therapy is known as the King's Treatment because of its popularity with the Maharajahs of ancient India," says general manager Vikram Aditya Singh, who adds that the combination of massage and heated healing oil application is ideal for addressing joint pain, insomnia and jet lag. Seven of the spa's therapists have trained with a senior Ayurvedic practitioner under a doctor's supervision to perform these Ayurvedic treatments. Pizhichil involves the rhythmic application of a warm balaswagandhadi herbal oil blend containing—among other ingredients— ashwagandha (Indian ginseng), a natural detoxifi er thought to off er healing and antiaging properties. The therapist poured the oil over my entire body, then worked it in with a deep massage that relaxed my muscles and relieved my creaky joints. Ayurvedic doctors typically prescribe a course of Pizhichil treatments over 7 to 21 days—especially to guests with vata (air and ether) imbalances—but after just one session I noticed my glowing skin, improved mood and renewed state of mind. Because Indian healing therapies are gaining the attention of the spa's local and international clientele (a ratio of 40 to 60 percent, respectively), Lodhi is in the process of dedicating a space to Ayurvedic practices. "This area will have the ambience of a traditional, authentic South Indian Ayurvedic treatment room, complete with equipment and massage beds from Kerala," notes Singh. TOP: COURTESY LODHI HOTEL; BOTTOM: COURTESY RAMBAGH PALACE

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