The newly opened Zen Serena Spa at the Hotel Metropolitan Nikko in New Delhi offers a welcome respite from the hectic pace of the nearby business district of Connaught Place. The Serena chain, with locations in the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Kerala, offers facials with all natural ingredients, including a few that actually sound delicious (anyone in the mood for some coffee and oranges?), massages, body scrubs, access to a small gym and a hair salon.
Seven therapy rooms make up the spa and each is dedicated to a different speciality. There is the pedicure room, the manicure room, Marma massages (their signature) in the Marma room, hot rocks in the Zen room, body wraps in the Cocoon room and Ayurvedic massages in the Serenity room. In the Adam and Eve room, couples can get herbal baths, simultaneous massage treatments and optional body scrubs. Not too shabby a date.
Despite a rope dangling menacingly in the middle of the Marma room, I opted for the crème de la crème offering of the spa: the Marma massage. After a great shower (perfect pressure, perfect temperature) and a quick steam bath, my masseuse proceeded to walk all over me, literally. Hence, the rope. She held it as she applied more pressure than any massage I’ve ever had in the past.
It’s a bit unnerving at first to have someone’s feet all over you, but after a few minutes, I was in near-coma from relaxation. The massage moved to a normal table and was followed by a delicious-smelling body scrub. After another sinful shower, I stumbled to the relaxation area for some herbal tea and to revel in a state of complete body bliss.
The good stuff
The highly trained staff (a year at the Serena spa institute in Mangalore) know their skin. Instead of the usual tedious spa routine of a 20-minute skin consultation, Siraj Halyara, the manager, gave me a 20-second look over and declared: “Oily combination, sensitive skin, yogurt and tamarack treatment.” It felt almost like a magic trick, he nailed it so effortlessly.
Despite the near-perfect showers, the drainage does not accommodate much water pouring down and it can be a problem when trying to rinse off a body scrub. Also, the minimalist design lacks a sumptuous comfort-feel that is usual at most spas.
Facials start at Rs1,800; body scrubs begin at Rs1,350. The price of wooing that special someone with the Adam and Eve package? Rs11,000. And the Marma massage package, which is a 90-minute marathon session, includes a steam bath, a massage, and a body scrub and will set you back Rs3,400, but it’s worth every paisa.