Bath delights

Each time I am travelling I try to have a bath drawn out for me atleast one of the nights in my stay. It is the most relaxing feeling in the world, especially after a day of hectic meetings. I would so love to be able to do the same at my own home, don’t you? The Small Luxury hotels of the World (SLH) team has gotten us tips on just how we can do that

Chateau Mcely, Czech Republic

Hana Schwanzerbachova , Spa Manager, Chateau Mcley

“At Chateau Mcley, we have developed a range of organic products to showcasetraditional Bohemian herbal remedies, and Mcely Bouquet elixirs can be added to the bath for guests each night. At home, create a honey bath by dissolving one cup of honey, three spoons of virgin olive oil, two litres of unskimmed milk and one litre buttermilk into warm running bath water. Light candles and an aroma burner and relax in the bath for atleast 20mins. It was melt away your stress and leave your skin beautifully soft.”

Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia

Jennie Teo, Spa village Manager, Pangkor Laut Resort

“We offer a bath menu is all the rooms at Pangkor Laut Resort, and the Spa therapists draw them  out for our guests. At home I recommend “Lovers dip”-a sensuous milk bath scented by fresh rose petals, kaffir lime and stimulating essential oils:

Mix fresh pandan leaf juice with kaffir lime juice in the tub and pour milk (about 3 ltrs). Pandan leaves are very beneficial for health, they are even used to treat several skin disorders. Kaffir lime acts as a great rejuvenator, alleviates colds and helps restore energy. Its also an excellent astringent and has anti-bacterial ingredients. Fresh milk helps hydrate, alleviate redness and prevent irritated skin.”

Well fresh milk is what kept Cleopatra look stunning all those many years ago so who are we to argue

Spa Magic at Home

Spas have become a big rage and trend around the world. Especially since our hectic lifestyles and travels leave our skins dehyderated and bodies absolutely tired. I for one try to fit in a Spa appointment atleast once a month, and especially if I am travelling I try to take time out to visit the hotel spa atleast for a massage if nothing else. I know alot of people who do the same and I am sure none of us would mind having such handy tips at home to soothe our senses once in a while. Here again the Small luxury Hotels of the Worl (SLH) team has put together a few tips on how we can create a Spa at Home.

Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France

Delphine Duffours, Spa Manager, Les Sources de Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa

“Relaxation is a question of atmosphere – even in the most ordinary bathroom, you can recreate the atmosphere of a luxury spa, thanks to some accessories and products. Here are my 4 tips to spa bliss in your own home – firstly put some scented candles around your bath. A soft light and fragrance will fill your bathroom, for an immediate sensation of well-being. Secondly, put on some soothing music. Classical, background music or natural sounds, choose what has the most relaxing effect on you. Then – take your time. Be sure that you won’t be interrupted during this “spa session”, give yourself some time to focus on your well being. Prepare yourself a cup of green tea and a plate of fresh fruits high in potassium, like banana, kiwi, or avocado, to help relieve stress and anxiety.Finally, choose new beauty products, with soft textures and delicate fragrances. Take care of your body with a scrub, take time for a facial mask, massage and moisturize your body and your face.”

 Huvafen Fushi, NIYAMA and Desert Palm, Per AQUUM Retreats, Maldives – 

Jason Sloan, Group Director of Spa, Per AQUUM Retreats

Home scrub for skin like velvet, it works! Mix up some medium coarse salt or sugar (sugar is milder in texture and better for sensitive skin), cover the sugar/salt in grape-seed oil and some lavender essential oil. After being in the warm to hot bath for five minutes the skin has softened enough for you to scrub your legs arms and body as you bathe, the scrubbing circular action will remove dead skin and the oils will nourish, soothe and heal. Use with a loofah or exfoliating gloves if you wish. After the bath, shower with warm water to remove excess oils and pat dry, moisturise if necessary.

For a very gentle effective face peel; wash your face with a mild PH balanced cleanser. Mix fresh lemon juice with live natural unsweetened yoghurt leave on your face for 15 minutes (avoid eye area) and gently wash your face. Use a gentle toner and apply moisturiser. Very deep cleansing – try this regime 3 times a week and see the difference.Bring your spa to your bed – try adding lavender/rosewood to the final rinse in your wash cycle for your sheets!”

To check out more tips on how to create Hotel style at your home click here

Beauty Ritual: The Imperial Salon, New Delhi

Ritual: Elixir Ultime 24 Carats,90 minutes, Rs.3,200++
Location: The Imperial Salon, New Delhi

The Imperial Hotel, which in my opinion is the epitome of luxury, now introduces a large variety of luxurious skin and hair treatments at the Imperial Salon. These include Kerastase Ladies Hair and Nail treatments, Signature facials with Natura Bisse Products, Bridal Preparations, Nair Art and Nail Care along with OPI, Special treatments for male grooming needs and a retail shop for all Homecare products.

Ladies Salon entrance, Imperial Salon, www.stylecity.in

My love for the Imperial Hotel, its Old world charm and exclusive services is very well known, which is why I never turn down an invite from them and am never disappointed. This time was no different as I tried out their Elixir Ultime 24 Carats ritual. The idea behind this treatment is to provide shine, nourishment, protection and resistance for the hair. This ritual combines a customization of treatments and massage techniques that best suit you to make you feel relaxed and beautify your hair.

Elixir Ultime 24 Carats,Imperial Salon, www.stylecity.in Elixir Ultime 24 Carats,Imperial Salon, www.stylecity.in

The treatment begins with a Personalized Hair and Scalp Analysis with a Diagnostic Camera. This is to profile the thickness of hair shaft, sebum levels in hair, scalp sensitivity, any dandruff and hair loss. My results were that I have healthy roots but dry hair thanks to over use of chemicals and hence my treatment will focus more on my hair strands than the roots. The “Exilr Ultime” which was recommended for my hair starts with a shampoo and followed by the application of a Hair Booster and a beautifying oil masque, Oleo. Oleo – Complexe is precious luxury oil that contains Maize Oil for Nourishment, Pracaxi Oil for strengthening, Argan Oil for protection and Camellia Oil for smoothening. This is applied section by section across the hair and followed by a gentle massage.The in- depth massage has 7 steps that concentrate on enhancing hair growth, stimulating the scalp and encouraging circulating that provides long term hair beautification and also de stressing your crown chakra. These massage techniques which incorporates pressure point massage techniques, occipital work, push and pull and raking techniques from India, Bali and Thailand create a deep relaxation. After the oil massage, mask application ritual the hair is rinsed and a small amount of Elixir Ultime is run through the hair before a smoothing blow dry and style. And your hair looks a feels like a million bucks.

Beauty Ritual: Aayna, New Delhi

Locations: Aayna, Mehrauli, New Delhi
Treatment: HydarFacial, Rs.5,000 (plus tax)

From time immemorial, women want to look beautiful, be it Cleopatra the Egyptian queen or our own Indian queens, like Jodha and Rani Padmavati. But these women were never considered bimbos or incapable. If anything, their beauty, only increased their appeal. So when did making effort to look beautiful or wanting to enhance ones looks become derogatory? Here is where Dr.Simal Soin comes into play with AAYNA, “a concept born out of a dream to create something unique and timeless. It is a temple of beauty where we create and enhance beauty – both outer and inner.”
Aayna, New Delhi

Spread over 4,400 sq feet and having 11 treatment rooms, walking in to AAYNA feels like walking into a boutique hotel, with vintage decor and old world charm, decorated by Dr.Simal Soin herself. Dr. Simal Soin is one of  India’s leading cosmetic dermatologists. Apart from conventional therapeutics, she gained vast experience in cosmetic dermatology including the use of all modern laser equipment for treatment of variety of skin concerns, botox and various fillers. At Aayna, she offers a team of world-class of dermatologists, aesthetic doctors and skin therapists, and to complement the looks, they also have an in house nutrition specialist. They also offer us medical pedicures by Margaret Dabbs of London for the first time in India.
After my consult with Dr.Soin, I was advised to try the Hydra Facial. For those of you who read the blog, know I have super sensitive skin and am filled with fear at the mention of someone touching my face with products. This fear has become even worst due to some recent development in Hormonal issues, for which I am on treatment and may end up going for an operation. After listening to my fear and issues, I was first given a consult with Dr.Gargi, the in house nutritionist to plan a diet chart for me to help me lose the weight I have put on and generally keep me healthier. I felt slightly better after this, as she convinced me a lot of my weight gain, mood swings and skin issues are to do with my Hormonal issues, and should get sorted after the treatment and operation (if reqd). So now I felt relieved and was mentally more prepared to go in for the Hydra Facial.

Aayna, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

Aayna, New Delhi, www.stylecity.in

The HydraFacial treatment is a non-invasive, painless serum based treatment performed under medical guidance, which gives a customized solution for all skin types. Hydration is the core of beautiful, luminous skin.The Hydra Facial is hydrating treatment which gives an instant glow and assists in reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, blocked up and enlarged pores, sensitive or acne-prone skin, brown spots and hyper pigmentation.
The process of HydraFacial treatment includes five essential steps that are as follows:
Cleansing and Exfoliation – Dead cells are gently removed to uncover smoother healthy skin
Peeling Serums – Gentle chemical peeling cleanses pores and improves pigmentation
Extractions – Painless, quick extraction of blackheads & whiteheads with a special vacuum tip.
Hydration – Vortex fusion technology for deep penetration of antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, which help hydrate skin and reduce signs of aging.
Protection – The Hydrafacial range of products used during the treatment include a special sunscreen which looks invisible on skin and helps sustain and secure treatment results.

The Verdict: I fell in love with my skin after years. So much so that I did something I have never done in all my years as a lifestyle journalist, I actually made an appointment for my next treatment and plan to continue this for the next 3-4 months till my marks reduce and I move to a more intense treatment. As for my nutrition program? Dr. Gargi has followed up and I lost over 2kgs in a week, (despite cheating sometimes)
Address : ‘Ambawatta One’, H-5/5, First Floor, Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi-110030. (Land Mark – Facing the Qutab Minar)
Timings : 10:00am to 7:00pm
For Appointments : (+91) 96502-06153, (+91) 96502-05873, (+91) 98711-38222

Beauty Ritual: Ishana Nature Spa, Saket, New Delhi

Spa Ritual: Santisukh Tranquility Massage, 90 minutes, Rs.3650
Location: Ishana Nature Spa, MGF Metropolitan Mall, Saket

Now that the New year festivities have slightly mellowed down, I cant think of a better way to start the year of hectic work and even more social events than a Spa visit. So that is what I did to start 2014 with my visit to Ishana Nature Spa. Ishana Nature Spa offers a cocoon of luxurious comfort and enriches your experience further with a range of traditional therapies. Based upon centuries-old Ayurvedic tenets and enriched with an exclusive range of natural ingredients, the therapies at Ishana aim to support balance and enhance bliss in your life.

Spa, www.stylecity.in

From the moment you enter the Ishana Nature Spa, everything you feel and touch is pure and gentle – every extravagance stimulates a feeling of well being as you surrender yourself to the very caring and experienced hands of the expertly trained therapists. The city spa, located at MGF Mall, Saket is a spa lifestyle brand that brings Asian heritage to the spa scenario in Delhi and the Ishana Nature Spa therapies are designed to provide maximum benefits to the discerning guest. If you remember few months ago I had visited the Ishana Experience centre at IGI airport, which was more about the experience than the actual spa treatment but was a great experience, so my level of expectation had been set quite high when visiting the Nature Spa at Saket. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The first thing you notice during the treatment is the heated bed, which makes it extremely comfortable to have a treatment during the winters. The second is the absolute expertise of the therapist as she slowly massages the knots out of your muscles. I always find it strange when a busy mall has such serene places, they are relaxing and definitely worth a visit. Of course here too is a gift shop where you can buy products completely Indian and organic in nature. Though I suggest you do it prior to the massage, as post massage you want nothing but a cup of chai as you cuddle in bed with a novel.

Ishana: A Holistic experience

The appeal of a complete Indian holistic and spiritual experience is no longer just restricted to Indians, in fact it is as much if not way more popular with foreigners. A lot of people come to India to seek such spiritual experiences, and in response to this shift in lifestyle, Ishana has been conceived by The Spa Group as an ‘experiential’ retail destination that brings together several aspects of Indian heritage, spirituality, arts and crafts, conscious living and lifestyle encapsulated in an enchanting ambience under one roof.

Healing Pool- Ishana Experience Center,T3, IGI Airport, www.stylecity.in

Regal Cafe, Ishana Experience Center, T3, IGI Airport, www.stylecity.in

Even though I must have passed by the Ishana experience centre at the T3 departure terminal, IGI International Airport at least 10 times in the past 2 and half year, I never really ventured into this store. The overtly Indian products on display and the Indian music playing in the background was not too much of an attraction for me, as I felt it is another retail store catered to attract foreigners as they return from India. Such an misconception that was, as besides being a retail store, it provides services like Ayurvedic consultation, Astrology readings, live dance & music performances, Mehandi application, live craft demonstrations and even express spa treatments and a small café so you can have a complete Indian experience before you board your flight. My experience began with first having a glass of “Aam Panna” at the Regal Café, a traditional Indian summer drink or original mocktail if you would like to call it, this is supposed to be excellent to keep the body cool in the summers. In fact all the drinks and the few snacks served here are kept as healthy and fresh as possible, keeping in mind with the theme of the experience. There are live musicians that play Indian music throughout the day and are often accompanied by Dancers who perform to Indian folk dances. The Ayurvedic section is the next section I visited, unfortunately the in-house consultant was on leave that day else you can get complimentary Ayurvedic consultation from the Doctor and can buy the prescribed medications or oils from the store. They also have a lot of Indian sweets and spices which you can carry with you to gift or simply take home with you.

The Nature Spa,  Ishana Experience Center, T3, IGI Airport, www.stylecity.in

From here I sat down to get my palm read, which is again a complimentary service, so it is a quick 5 minute read. How true it will be or not only time will tell but one thing she did tell me was I used to have a managerial job (Well yes, being a Style Editor and team leader is more managerial that creative) but have now quit it and have moved to something in writing or studying (My Blog, and now teaching) Anyway, this will be my chosen profession now and I will get a lot of name and fame (Fingers crossed) but I will never make that much money from this profession. As in I will never have shortage of money but it will always be other peoples, namely my father, my partner etc. But the bright side, I will be very content and will do lots of great work and reach out to a lot of people (Yaay!). My partner himself will not be born in the same place as me, and in 2015 I move to live in another city for a while possibly to study. I then moved on to check out their spa service at The Nature Spa, which at the airport they have kept as express services and dry massages all for less that 60 mins. They do have a proper Spa in the city, which I will review and let you know about. The express service was brilliant. So firstly the massage chairs are placed such that you can see the hangar and planes taking off, I went in the day but I can just imagine how amazing it would look at night. As for the treatments, I first tried “Padma Vrinda” the foot massage for 30 mins (Rs.1,435), the only massage which uses oil, it is the perfect treatment if you are like me and are normally in heels, as it concentrates on your calves and sole of your feet. It is also an amazing treatment for the airport, which lets be honest are super exhausting. The next treatment I tried was “Prana Prasanga” the back massage for 30 mins (Rs.1,635). This is a dry massage done over your clothes. Again it is extremely relaxing and just the perfect thing if you have a hectic travel schedule or just don’t have time to go in for a proper spa treatment. I assure you, this is just the thing you need and you will have a restful flight. Finally before leaving the store I stepped into the healing pool for 5 mins, which is an ankle deep pool with a copper base and energized water, to remove pranic energy blocks from the human system. This water is energized by a lingam created through a process of yogic alchemy and consecrated by Sadhguru – Spiritual Master and founder of Isha Foundation, Coimbatore. It is the only other such structure in existence other than the ones at the Isha Yoga Centre, Coimbatore. I don’t know much about the power of the pool or if it actually affects you as my spiritual beliefs are more inwards than outwards but when I got back from this experience I slept like a baby till my mother woke me up for dinner. So next time you are flying out from Delhi you know exactly what you need to do while you await your flight.

Beauty Ritual:The Spa at Shangri-La, New Delhi

Spa Ritual: Serenity Ritual, 210 minutes, Rs.12,000
Location: The Spa Shangri-La, New Delhi

Spa Corridor,Spa at Shangri-La, New Delhi

If there is one indulgence you have on your list this summer; for your birthday, anniversary or just general arrival of summer- Please book in to Shangri-La, New Delhi for their Serenity Ritual. Here is why, for 5 days after the treatment I was stepping out of my place without make-up, was being complimented for the glow on my face and my skin felt as soft as a baby’s. For those of you who have not met me, I have suffered from sensitive-troubled skin all my life, which means I am very hesitant of anyone touching my face with any sort of ingredients. So for me to go through a treatment and recommending it, speaks for a lot. It begins with a steam-sauna for 10-15 minutes. You are then taken through a large courtyard to one of the 5 treatment rooms for your session. The first thing you notice, the rooms are quite big, not cramped with a small water body in the room. The sound of water, at least to me is very comforting, so that combined with the music immediately begins to unwind me.

Soma,Spa at Shangri-La, New Delhi

We then begin with the BIODROGA scrub, which is a sort of salt scrub applied over the body. BIODROGA combines the most noble ingredients of nature with highly efficient high-tech components. Researched, developed and
manufactured in its own laboratories and production sites in Baden. The scrub is not the most pleasant feeling, especially if you have any cuts on the body as it hurts those parts but trust me the pain is well worth it in the end. After about 60 mins of being scrubbed thoroughly, you are asked to rinse it with water, which is when you instantly notice your skin has become 10 times softer and you have lost at least 3 layers of muck which you had not even realised existed. The next step is a full body aroma massage with a combination of Swedish massage which under the expert fingers of the therapist, makes your body feel like liquid. All the knots are removed and you are given a foot-reflexology before being wrapped in a BIODROGA milk and honey wrap. This wrap has nourishing qualities to replenish your dehydrated body with humidity. All this before the magic facial- BIODROGA Oxygenating facial. Again the treatment while being relaxing is not the most comfortable as the product tends to be slightly itchy. Though the therapist promised me, it won’t have any after effect it is just how the product works. And well she was right, I did not have any after effect except positive ones. So like I said, if there is one indulgence this summer, I recommend you try out the Serenity Ritual at Shangri-La Spa. I promise you will not be disappointed

Diamonds from Space for a glowing face

All of us love to look good and present ourselves in the best light.Younger looking skin is a sure way to assure that and 111 Skin, the ground breaking label has created an extraordinary product “Celestial Black Diamond Night Cream” that promises to keep your skin healthy and visibly younger. The regular ingredients in the cream are Hyaluronic acid, N-cystine and Centella Asiatica that work effectively on the three layers of skin to replenish and rebuild the cells matrix. But the new element to the concept of skin care are rare black diamond particles that are believed to have formed in space. The black diamond particles are basically microspheres and that’s why they are able to penetrate the deeper dermal layer of the skin helping the skin retain its youth. Well ladies, what are we waiting for, now it seems like a solitaire is good on your finger and black diamond is good for your face.
Price– 50ml bottle at $900.

111-Skins-Cream-with-Diamond-Particles

Beauty Ritual: The Four Fountains Spa, New Delhi

RITUAL: Chocolicious Massage, 60 mins, Rs.2,199
LOCATION: The Four Fountains Spa, South Extension, New Delhi

Spa Treatment, Four Foundatins spa

So I know it has been long since gave you an update on new Spa treatments or reviewed a Spa but don’t blame me- blame the weather. I mean seriously the last thing someone like me, who abhors winters needs is cold products applied on my body. So I started this years Spa reviews post 15th February when its less cold with The Four Fountains Spa-one of the largest Spa chains in India with around 17 outlets all around the country. I learnt two new things about myself after this treatment 1.Always book a Spa treatment for Tuesday 2.I might actually start loving chocolate and I am not a chocolate fan. The former cause to have the best results of a Spa treatment, you need to resist alcohol, heavy food and need to be completely rested for 24 hours before and after the treatment. And the latter because though I prefer other sweets to eat I love chocolate for my body, which I learnt after this treatment.

My treatment started with a consultation with the in-house doctor who wanted to check my stress level so she could recommend the right treatment and prescribe a diet and exercise for me to follow at home. No marks for guessing, I come in the high stress category and the diet plan makes me want to cry- it says AVOID ALCOHOL, so have decided to follow it after the weekend! The decor of the place is simple with a no fuss approach, it has six body treatment rooms and one foot massage room. The one thing I had wondered was how they will manage to keep the sounds out in South Extension market, but they did somehow, and all I could hear was soothing music.

Chocolate and VanillaThe treatment I decided to try out was the Chocolicious massage, which uses a blend of dark chocolate and aromatic vanilla to create the perfect potion for your body. Dark chocolate is known to contain antioxidants that help you retain moisture and prevent loss of elasticity while Vanilla is known to reduce anxiety, both are well-known aphrodisiacs, so besides triggering the sex drive they also help release stress. The idea is to apply this concoction over the body with firm deep strokes, so the chocolate can soak into the body and work its magic. My therapist did a great job with that, in fact even I had not realised how stiff some areas of my body had become till she applied pressure there and I almost collapsed first in pain and then in relief when those joints opened up. After the massage is done I was told to go in for a shower, but this time I decided I will not use soap instead just wipe the excess chocolate with plain water. And since it was Tuesday, it did not matter as I knew all I had to do was go home  and get into pajamas. When I woke up the next day my skin was definitely feeling soft and as I write this article after two days I can confirm my skin is super soft. The winter dryness has vanished like magic, though I have been having strange chocolate cravings since the treatment but that I can live with as long as my skin glows and feels soft. So I highly recommend you go in for this treatment to do away with the winter blues 🙂

StyleCity 2013 Giveaways!

StyleCity in association with ChaA Wellness and Spa Concepts brings to you a great way to start your 2013!

Thai-herbal-compress-massage

Win the essence of traditional Thai massage and body treatments — ChaA Wellness and Spa products, created from ancient Thai rituals and modern day spa treatments.
Here is how you win a fabulous hamper from ChaA
1. What is your favourite spa treatment and the best spa experience you have had?
2. Send that to us at aparna.stylecity@gmail.com or comment in the comment section below.


Terms and conditions

  • The decisions of judges will be final
  • Winners for this contest will be announced on February 4, 2013
  • Contest open for residents of India only