Soothing music, incense sticks, fragrant oils and polite Thai therapists—we associate spas with all this. When a swanky new spa in Juhu announced that it uses a capsule with LED lights for a detoxification treatment, we decided to get the hi-tech experience first-hand.
The good stuff
Caressaa occupies a spacious two-storey building, with a salon on the ground floor and a spa on the upper level connected by a small lift. The interiors have been done in wood and stone, and the spa menu offers a variety of options, including rejuvenating massages, reflexology and anti-ageing treatments. There are seven treatment rooms, two of which house “Dermalife capsules”, and one is used for a “rope massage”.
The capsule comes in two versions: for hydrotherapy treatment and for dry heat, sauna treatment. Since I am more comfortable with water, I opted for the former. The machine was straight out of Avatar, looking like the capsule that the humans used to reach the Na’vis. With its colourful, blinking LED lights, many valves and a touch-screen menu, it seemed intriguing to say the least.
The Dermalife is not for claustrophobics. I am not one, but felt suffocated for a few moments before I could get used to it. You can control the temperature of the water, and I opted for “warm”.
Pamper yourself: The Dermalife Capsule.
In this option, steam envelops your lower body and a blast of pure oxygen hits your face. After a while, water showers hit you from below and the machine begins to vibrate. The showers alternatively hit your feet, your body, from below and then above. A gentle fragrant mist is released which, along with the LED lights and the Vichy shower, is supposed to relax and detoxify. Thirty minutes later, the attendant wipes you dry.
I stepped out of it feeling exactly like I do after a long swim.
This treatment is definitely not a relaxation therapy. There’s too much happening in too small a space for you to really relax.
For a good old massage, try the rope massage. The therapy room has ropes hanging from the ceiling. The therapist holds on to them while walking on you. The massage is done using feet and, later, hands. The Thai therapist balanced herself on my lower back and used her feet to massage my legs and the sides of the spine, at angles, and with a pressure, not possible with hands.
The spa uses warm electric blankets on all beds, which provide a warm cocoon, meant to produce a soporific effect. It was the most relaxing 40 minutes of massage I have had in a long time. The massage is done using a non-sticky spa cream, so there’s no need for a shower afterwards.
Candles, wood, natural stones— all the spa essentials are in place, but they don’t add up to a tasteful and serene ambience. The stone statues are overpowering, the waterfall in the lobby noisy and the music a little too loud. The spa manager first assigned me a male therapist for the Dermalife treatment, expecting a female client to get out of her bathrobe and into the capsule with the male therapist shutting the lid. After I complained, he was quickly replaced by a lady. But both of them had little knowledge of the machine beyond the basics. Once inside the capsule, even after you have chosen your desired temperature, brace yourself for cold spurts from every outlet before the water attains the desired temperature.
Treatments are available at Rs2,000 and above. The Dermalife Capsule costs Rs3,000 and the rope massage, Rs2,700.
For appointments, call 022-261226011.