Luxury spa: Sereno Spa, Park Hyatt, Goa

Luxury spa: Sereno Spa, Park Hyatt, Goa
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The largest spa in Goa, the Sereno Spa in Park Hyatt, offers a range of special Ayurvedic treatments, including Abhyangams

Nayantara Patel
September 24 , 2014
04 Min Read

The Park Hyatt Resort & Spa, Goa is an excellent resort in several respects, but if I had to pick a single reason to holiday here rather than at any of the scores of other luxury resorts in Goa, it would be for its Sereno Spa. To start with, it’s huge — spread over 36,000 sq ft, this is the largest spa in the resort-ridden state. It’s got an impressive-by-any-standard 16 therapy rooms, both the regular indoor treatment rooms as well as the new ‘outdoor pavilions’, with attractive views of a clean, quiet, white beach. All are equipped with steam rooms and some with outdoor plunge pools.

 

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I prepared to address my difficult assignment: of having no less than three spa treatments in my day-and-a-half at the resort. No punishment, you think? But I forgot to say that I am not a ‘spa person’. I hate being touched (am childishly ticklish), dislike disrobing in public (defined as anybody other than me) and intensely dislike the very word ‘wellness’. All of which is to say that I clearly don’t know what’s good for me.

 

Dr Pramod Kumar knows. Incredibly, he spent an hour talking to me about my ‘specific needs’. I had been prepared for a consultation with the Ayurvedic doctor as a necessary prelude to the main act, this being standard in most serious spas. Just as I was congratulating myself on my patient fielding of questions about age, medical history, lifestyle, ‘unhealthy habits’, and so on, something weird happened: I began to actually volunteer information. I found myself droning on about the impossibility of finding a cure for my migraines, the nagging ache in my lower back, the long-lost battle to quit the fragrant smoke, the difficulty of finding time to exercise... The kind of stuff that’s deeply boring to everyone except you and your shrink. And that’s just it: a spa like this is as an excellent shrink for your body. To enter the doctor’s room is to enter for a few hours a blissfully narcissistic realm, where every single smiling person here cares intensely about each aching muscle and every malfunctioning blood vessel in your body.

 

When the consultation was over, I was already feeling better — and I hadn’t even entered the therapy room. A very discreet young woman showed me the way very gently, then very softly issued various instructions which involved my clothes, jewellery, the steam room, towels and disposable underwear, and disappeared very quietly. Ten minutes later she re-entered, steered me onto the massage table, apparently oblivious to my unattractive state of deshabille, and began her work of the next 60 minutes. It’s a tremendous tribute to the masseuse and a terrible shame for me, the journo, that I have only a foggy recollection of just what she did. Its name was Marma Abhyanga, of that much I am certain, and it was the most pleasurable thing to have happened to me since I first discovered you-know-what (no, don’t go there, there isn’t even a remote connection). In some deeper reaches of my mind, I remember even registering pain.

 

That night I slept like I had never slept before on a too-soft hotel bed. The next morning, I had a yoga session in the soundproof yoga studio, where yet another soft-spoken spa staffer guided me through the surya namaskar, showed me asanas to relieve back pain and led me through breathing exercises for my migraine.

 

Feeling lighter in both body and mind than I had for years, I went sausage-shopping in Margao. Feeling less grumpy than I had for months, I returned to the resort, altogether ready to embrace the remaining spa treatments (a Traditional Marma Facial followed by a Choornaswedam — a back massage with herbal poultices). I left with three bulging envelopes: extensive but simplified notes on how to weave yoga into my daily life (“yoga is not simply about exercise”), instructions for asanas that would help my specific problems, and a nutrition and fitness plan. Once I was back in Delhi, the magazine had a new cover story, and you’ve just read why.


The information


Treatments  Ayurvedic ‘touch’ treatments (including specialised Abhyangams), Ayurvedic body treatments (including Choornaswedam), Ayurvedic facials, apart from specialised Ayurvedic treatments.
Treatment Rates 1hr: Rs 3,500, 1hr30min: Rs 4,500, 2hr: Rs 6,000
Treatment Package Marine ritual, includes toning body wrap, body massage and facial (3hr30min): Rs 9,000
Room Tariff Rs 4,500-98,500
Contact 0832-2721234, http://goa.park.hyatt.com
Recommended
Although it has an extensive spa menu, the Sereno Spa operates differently to the other spas reviewed: treatments are decided after consultation with the physician. But whatever your dosha, there’s an Abhyanga for you. Also try the Indian Clay Body Wrap. All treatments begin at Rs 3,500 for 60min.


1

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resort rio September 21 , 2021

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