What, exactly, are spas for? You get a nice maalish, take a shower and go home, right? Non, je ne comprends pas, I realise, having visited the Decléor Aroma Care Spa in the gorgeous Hatworks Boulevard bungalow. Forget mere mollycoddling, this Bengaluru-based spa falls at your feet. Literally. My ‘therapist’ begins by embracing my feet so fervently, I fear I’m supposed to reciprocate in some way. Not so — this is only a welcome ritual. From that moment on, none of life’s weightiest problems matter as much as the question of whether my skin type is mature or sensitive, whether I want my toenails cut squarish or round, and if I’d like a head massage while I wait for my body mask to kick in.
The Serena Spa company operates spas in luxury hotels and resorts across Asia. They are also the exclusive distributors of Decléor products in India, and this particular spa is the result of that marriage. The vibe is natural and Mediterranean, the colours are yellow and white, and customisation appears to be the key. Facials come in three varieties of seriousness. The Perfect Body treatment for women segues into combinations of various body parts — you may choose between the Perfect Bust and the Perfect Legs & Knees, for instance, though I’d recommend that you deprive not an inch of skin and take either an Aroma Body Massage or an Aroma Body Envelopment.
These have further subdivisions depending on whether you want to emerge detoxed, recharged, relaxed, or refreshed. All overlapping states of being, I admit, but the French Decléor seems very interested in the fine differences between them. The company specialises in aromatherapy and its products have classy, plain white labels full of fine print in English and French: woe to those who confuse a Flow Balm with a Toning one.
The Aroma Body Envelopment Detox starts with the application of a vitamin-rich paste, following which I’m lathered with a nice-smelling balm made of grapefruit, shea butter, basil and pepper (how’s that for indulgence: being smothered with what other people would eat?). Next I’m mummified in a gooey green mask — a combination of algae, witch-hazel, sea-salts, talc and other exotic gifts of nature. Finally, the Aquaroma massage with hot water from the spa’s hydra-headed centre-piece — a Vichy shower whose nine heads, adjustable for angle, pressure and temperature, are positioned over your supine self.
For a pedicure, you sit in a cosy alcove with your feet in a floor-level sink in which rose petals drift and the taps kept running so that the water is always pristine. The spa sets great store by water. Makes sense, since I’m told that ‘spa’ is an acronym for Sanitus per Aqua — the cry that went up among injured Romans who fell into a spring and found themselves miraculously healed. Thankfully, you don’t need a war wound to visit a spa these days, I think, as I glide off in my Decléor glow.
Treatments Couples massages, facials, Vichy shower, firming, cellulite, whitening and body wraps, apart from salon services such as pedicure and manicure
Treatment Rates Rs 2,000-3,400
Treatment Packages Rs 15,398-17,984 (5 days)
Contact 080-32915290, www.serenaspa.com