The relaunch of Shanaya (Hebrew for ‘ray of light’), the Leela Ambience Convention Hotel’s spa, had me venturing into east Delhi recently. The premier luxury and business hotel in the area, the Leela is now a preferred destination for staycations as well. After my visit, I’m convinced it has at least something to do with the spa, undoubtedly a bright spot in any guest experience.
And it’s getting better. The spa has upped the ante with the launch of Thalgo treatments, which use completely natural marine-based products made in France. Martina Odyuo, a Thalgo facial expert who was present at the launch, said, “The treatments are organically prepared to purify, hydrate and firm the skin. The products are all natural and have not been tested on animals.” Besides the introduction of the premium Thalgo facials and range, there are also new therapies and techniques in the spa menu, like reflexology and hot stone therapy. There is a renewed interest in aromatherapy, which now plays a big part in all the treatments. The therapists have all been re-trained under the expert eye of the new spa manager, Karma Choki, who hails from Bhutan, where she worked with Aman Resorts.
From the moment I arrived at the spa, the staff—all fluffy, warm smiles—fussed over me, setting me up in the reception area with a cup of green tea. On their recommendation, I opted for their signature ritual, the Shanaya Harmony, which now incorporates a Thalgo facial.
Once I had been through the sauna and steam rooms, Anju, my therapist, led me to a spacious treatment room. I happened to mention a niggling neck and shoulder pain, which had affected my arm and neck movement noticeably. With the studied nonchalance of a bonesetter, Anju, quite literally, took things into her hands and sorted me out before proceeding with the treatment. Now that’s a proper therapist.
My indulgent two-hour ritual began with a gentle scrub and shower, which left my skin fragrant and smooth. Then came the massage, using long, rhythmic strokes. Anju was an expert (but I knew that already), and the stress just seemed to melt away under her assured touch. Finally, it was time for the eagerly anticipated Thalgo facial. It turned out to be not a conventional ‘cosmetic’ facial at all, taking instead a gentle and more holistic approach to skincare. For once, my face looked like a million bucks.
I followed up the spa treatment with a meal at Café Knosh, their excellent all-day dining restaurant. If the Leela’s spa is great, the food is even better, with generous and eclectic buffet offerings. In fact, they offer all of this as a day package, which includes lunch, a spa treatment, and use of the gym and pool. After such an indulgent day out, I felt, at least briefly, in harmony with the universe.
Location: The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, 1, CBD Maharaj Surajmal Road, Near Yamuna Sports Complex, Delhi - 110032
The Spa: 5 treatment rooms
Packages: Ladies’ Day Out (complimentary access to fitness centre and pool, 60min spa treatment, buffet lunch) for ₹2,999 all-inclusive (men can avail a similar offer). For senior citizens, there’s Young at Heart, with the same offerings but including a glass of wine/beer for ₹2,749/weekday, ₹3,000/weekend.
Contact: +91-11-7172123, theleela.com