Best Spas in Delhi: The Imperial Spa

Best Spas in Delhi: The Imperial Spa
Photo Credit: Puneet K. Paliwal

The signature synchronised four-hands massage at The Imperial is a spa-junkie's dream come true

Amit Dixit
September 12 , 2017
02 Min Read

Of course, there’s a lift, but to make a grand entrance, nothing can beat the gently winding staircase down to the Imperial Spa. Natural light floods this subterranean world of long passages and Moroccan arches. Attendants flutter around you, offering a Vitamin C-packed welcome drink, cold towels and the spa menu. The spa is unique in having a Sufi theme, with verses by mystic poets like Rumi and Kabir etched liberally across the space. In fact, their range of skincare spa products is also called Sufi and includes seven heavenly massage oil blends, each offering different benefits. I walk right into the aroma of the Oil of Kabir wafting in the air. This frankincense and neroli blend has a woody, resinous and fragrant aroma, and is said to uplift. So I stick with it for my Imperial Synergy, the spa’s signature synchronised four-hands massage—my first ever.

The gorgeous staircase to the Imperial Spa

In retrospect, all I can do is wonder. What took me so long? There is nothing in the spa universe like a synchronised massage. But, first, I submit to the soothing ministrations of a hydrotherapy pool, another debut. In the treatment room, my therapists, Philla and Mimi, work in stunning coordination. I had requested deep pressure, and the long, firm strokes don’t disappoint. Emerging in a happy fuzz, I am handed a small note with suggestions for areas that need attention and can be addressed in a future treatment. I began as a four-hands massage newbie, but by the end I was a bhakt. Maybe it’s like Rumi said: “What you seek is seeking you.”

The driving force behind the spa and its Sufi theme is director Jacqualine Tara Herron. She joined the spa before it launched in 2010, helmed it till 2014, then left to develop a wellness retreat in China, before rejoining the Imperial in 2016. It is her passion that imbues the spa with that special ‘imperial’ quality. Besides the spa, there is a salon, as well as a health & racquet club. They also retail the top-end Natura Bisse skincare range. While the spa is for resident guests only, the salon is open to all (and they do offer a few M,massages for their female guests at the salon). I’d say the spa is worth checking into the hotel for. There’s an in-house Ayurvedic doctor and traditional Ayurvedic rituals and spa cuisine are on offer. The treatment rooms too are each unique in their own way. Among them, the lavish Moghul Suite (top pic) comes with its own steam, sauna and bath, and is the setting for a pull-out-all-the- stops four-hour couple treatment.

Imperial Synergy from 8800/75mins, taxes extra (spa reception: +91-11-41116210/1, salon reception: +91-11-41116323/4, health & racquet club: +91-11-41116212, theimperialspa@,

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