Oct 26, 2009

Cleansing it just right

This story was published in Business Standard Newspaper http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/cleansing-it-just-right/374178/ on Sunday

After bingeing on sweets, drinks and greasy food, a detox spa is what you need.

You’ve binged on all the booze, gorged on sweets, lined the stomach with greasy but gratifying Diwali meals. Now, you’re lethargic and dreary, too. Right? Well, what you need is a detox programme, after all those nights of playing teen-patti with kebabs, chips and pakoras by your side. It’s reassuring, all right, but unhealthy eating and late-night rounds of card parties will leave you tired, especially once the festivities are over and you need to rejuvenate yourself quickly to get back to the grind of daily stress and duties.

While it’s absolutely essential to eat right (a good idea is to go on a healthy fruit diet for a week), what I’d personally recommend is spa treatments to leave you relaxed and completely recharged.

A quick-fix weekend break at Ananda, a leading premium spa property, for instance, could be the perfect choice for the post-Diwali detox session. While the property is breathtakingly beautiful, the treatments at Ananda don’t disappoint either. As a post-Diwali fix, Ananda has a host of Ayurvedic treatments which, coupled with yoga and healthy food, aim at complete detoxification of the body. The signature treatments, perfect for post-Diwali detox, include wild rose salt glow (with rose oil and Dead Sea-salt cleansing scrub) and a 45-minute Indian body mask (dry exfoliation with therapeutic clay application for 45 minutes).

If a marathon detox session is what you need, then head to Goa’s Park Hyatt to experience the Samudra Ritual, a three-and-a-half-hour-long treatment that promises to leave you feeling revived from head to toe. The treatment combines hydrotherapy, dry scrubs and algae wraps with rigorous massages using creams that come packed with sea mineral scrubs. The cost: Rs 9,500.

If time is a constraint, we recommend Sole2Sole, a foot reflexology service started by Mallica Singh in Delhi’s Uday Park area. It makes sense to go in for a rejuvenating foot reflexogy treatment, especially because all the hectic Diwali activities have a direct impact on your feet.

Natasha Shah of The Nature Co adds,“Celebrations are bound to take a toll on the body, so it’s important to pamper oneself.” Shah says that a spa-at-home is also an option, what with the availability of quality products, soothing music and candles to create a soft glow. The Nature Co has introduced a special “white pepper cleansing milk”, with antiseptic and purifying qualities, that penetrates the skin to remove impurities. The company’s special range in the “detox” category includes cleansing milk creams, rose hydrating facial mist, corn-based exfoliating face packs and special aroma oils (rosemary-sage-thyme, for example) that promise to treat dull skin.

My personal suggestion, despite all the products you can purchase at stores, would be to get detox treatments done by experts. Thanks to mobile spa vans, you can get masseurs to come to your doorstep. They’ll recreate the magic of a spa in your humble room and transform it radically into a dreamy, wondrous place. Try Tattva, a mobile spa van which has introduced festive specials, including chocolate scrubs, foot spa treatment, facials, traditional Swedish back rubs and much more.

Like Tattva, The Park’s Aura Spa has introduced special spa treatments that are perfect for post-party souls. Our pick: Soothing Pumpkin, a treatment which comes packed with the goodness of beta-carotene, anti-oxidants and vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and alpha-hydroxyl acids. Blended with sesame seeds, the treatment helps sagging skin (something that happens when you consume too much alcohol) and hydrates the skin layers. Available at Rs 2,000 for one hour.

But the ultimate high in a spa experience would be the signature treatments that Aman offers. For an oil-free experience, try Saleekha, a special 90-minute Thai massage which aims at gentle yoga stretches while also using pressure points to energise tired muscles. At Rs 7,000, it’s the perfect recipe for a soothing tomorrow. The best part at Aman is that you can simply surrender yourself to the expert who, after studying your skin type and other details, will suggest a therapy for you. And if time’s a constraint, you could try Shiro, a simple head massage and wrap treatment where the therapist massages rosemary and hibiscus oils into the scalp. At Rs 1,500, it’s your answer to the hangover that you may have experienced after a night of drinking.

Amatrra offers special detox packages for the festive season, in which therapeutic massages are designed to remove toxins. Radisson Espace has designed special therapies, including a lime and pink ginger body scrub, for example, that help in fighting pimples, skin infections and eruptions. Who said you can’t gorge on sweets, then?

Oct 20, 2009

Oct 10, 2009

Festive specials at Indian spa resorts

Celebrations just got a little more enthralling at the Kenilworth Beach Resort and Spa, Goa. This year, add a special touch to your Diwali celebrations, with a leisurely getaway to this amazing beach resort and spa getaway in Goa. The festive package at this five-star beach resort, for a three-night, four-day stay (October 16, 2009 to November 10, 2009, is Rs 30,000 for a ‘sea view’ room, Rs 27,000 for a ‘standard deluxe’ room and Rs 25,000 for a ‘garden view’ room (per couple).
The costs for single occupancy starts at Rs 21,000 and goes up to Rs 23,000 and Rs 26,000 (‘sea view’ room) respectively. For children between the age group of 10-12 years to be accommodated in the same room, the additional charges cost Rs 2,400-3,000.
Apart from gorging on cashews and port wine, you can also indulge in some sightseeing to the churches, temples and some nearby spice plantation areas. For water lovers there’s the 17,500 sq ft pool and you can use the pool and the Jacuzzi. There’s also free entry to R.E.D, the hotel’s discotheque.
The prices include buffet meals (three breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners, to be precise and children will be entitled to free ice cream coupons too.
It goes without saying that you’ll be also pampered with some irresistible spa therapies at the resort. Do indulge and share your experiences by writing a guest blog for us at SPAlendor. You can mail me on spalendor@gmail.com and I’ll definitely include your write-up on the blog. Send us pictures too.
The Kenilworth Beach Resort
Utorda, Salcete
Tel: 91 0832 6698888

Aura, The Park: New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakapatnam
Three new treatments from the house of Aura, Park’s very trendy spa centre have been introduced for the festive season. These rejuvenating and relaxing offers at Aura will ensure that you detox well after endless rounds of eating and binging and late night parties.
Sweets Moments – One complete hour of bliss is what you will be promised when sugarcane extracts will be used to knead your tired muscles. The “lactic acid crystals” from the sugarcane ensures in restoring the natural elasticity in the body.
Duration: One hour; price: Rs 2,150+taxes

Soothing Pumpkin – Pumpkin is rich in beta carotene and contains anti-oxidant vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and alpha-hydroxyl-acids. These properties blended with the power of sesame seeds help to reduce signs of ageing and hydrate the skin layers.
Duration: One hour; price: Rs 2,000+taxes

Kesar Kulfi - This beauty treatment is a blend of fragrant saffron (kesar) and nourishing almonds. Kesar is best known for its power of reducing facial lines. The face is gently cleansed with milk and then polished with a concoction of jaggery and semolina powder.
Duration: 1.15 hours; price: Rs 1,850+taxes

Samudra Ritual with Exotic Sea Minerals at The Park Hyatt, Goa: This has to be the season’s best offering. The Park Hyatt, Goa, is bringing together the magic of yoga and ayurveda and exotic sea minerals in a wonderfully sublime therapy called the Samudra Ritual. The three-hour luxurious and rejuvenating spa ritual with uplifting properties of natural sea based ingredients, starts with micronized marine algae body wrap, followed by marma massage and a detox facial.
The treatment begins with a steam in the private hydrotherapy room attached to the spa suite where an aromatic steam bath is prepared to optimize your experience with the therapist and the therapy. Beginning with specially blended aromatic oils that will be burning on your arrival and a private plunge pool with warm water smeared with floral extracts, the purifying welcome ritual of soaking the feet in water filled with rose petals also includes an exfoliating rock salt cleaning treatment.
The therapy commences in aesthetically-designed suites complete with soft lighting, comfy beds and aromas of oils and candles. After a “marine algae wrap”, used to dry brush the body, the warm marine mineral mix is then gently smeared over and cocooned around the body to generate heat and induce detoxification.
What follows is a traditional Marma massage, a combination of energy point stimulation and gentle strokes designed to stimulate the natural cleansing processes in the body and improve the mind-body balance. The grand finale includes a revitalizing “marine facial” where sea minerals are used to hydrate and enrich the face. This replenishing treatment helps to combat the signs of premature ageing by restoring the natural balance of the skin. Additionally, there’s an ancient herbal concoction where one could conclude with a mineral bath salt soak or saffron infused milk bath soak in their private plunge pool. A cup of organic tea in the tranquil tea lounge that follows the treatment is the best way to say a quiet thank-you for the rich experience.
Duration: 3.5 hours; Rs 9,000+tax

Festive special

With the festive season upon us, leading cosmetic brands have announced some of their new range of products. From “eco-friendly” creams and lotions, to special limited edition range of cosmetics, to even diamond extracts which have been incorporated for anti-ageing creams, the options in the world of cosmetics is immense. What’s more, brands like Estee Lauder is also customizing some of its range with a special machine that can engrave the name of your loved ones.

Going natural
This year, unguents from the house of The Body Shop shift increasingly towards eco-friendly ingredients. One of my personal favourites is the Shea range of body lotions though I also love the peppermint foot soak range that’s come out especially for the festive season. The brand has also taken a major lead with the gift packaging that is made from recycled materials like renewable bamboo, water hyacinth leaves, palm leaves and other naturally derived materials. Price: Rs 1,500 +

Mineral worthy
Apart from customizing the products for the festive season with their special engraving machine, Estee Lauder recently announced two new products especially created for the Indian woman. Both, the Nutritious Vita-Mineral Loose Powder (SPF 15) and Nutritious Vita-Mineral Liquid (SPF 10) are packed with the goodness of pomegranate, which comes packed with numerous skin boosting nutrients and potent antioxidants including vitamin C and vitamin E as well as iron and potassium to provide a burst of radiance to the skin for a healthy glow. Dermatologist tested, fragrance-free, non-acnegenic, and oil-absorbing, the products are available at the Estee Lauder outlets all over the country. Price: Rs 1,950 each

Limited edition, please
Renowned brand Vichy Laboratories has announced its limited edition for the festive season. What’s more, these products will have up to 40 per cent reduction in prices from the brand’s anti-ageing, anti-imperfection and hydrating care range. From creams and lotions specifically created for sensitive skins, the limited range also includes anti-wrinkle and soothing care solutions for the dry skin. A good idea would be to also check out their special trial packets that come in very trendy gift packaging options. Price: Rs 990+

Diamond for the face
A leading name in skincare, Oriflame’s products are made from natural ingredients and for the festive season, it has, for the Asian region introduced the Diamond Cellular anti-ageing cream. Even as researchers study and debate the goodness of anti-ageing creams, claiming that these can be very harmful in the long run, Oriflame’s new offering boasts of “genuine diamond powder making the skin look visibly younger”. The liniment, according to experts at Oriflame, actually prolongs cell longevity, slowing down the skin ageing process to help keep your skin looking forever young. The diamond powder is said to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by 67 per cent, while brightening the complexion by 76 per cent. Rs 2190

Much like the queen
If budget is a constraint and you’d still like a high-end brand in your bag this season, don’t give Forest Essential’s Rani Padmawati lip balm a miss. Anyway, with the winter setting in, this will be a must for the season. Packed with natural ingredients, these creamy buttery lip balms are made with royal jelly, shea butter, organic beeswax, fruit butter, aloe, jojoba oil and vitamin E. So nourish your lips with this offering from Forest Essentials. Price: Rs 475