Shanti Spa, Trident, Mumbai
You almost know if your visit to a spa is going to be successful after you have taken in the first whiff of incense, diffused aroma oils and the subtle hint of fresh flowers. I’m quite convinced a smell makes a spa, so in my book, Shanti Spa at the Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai, has a good thing going.
The spa is small—only five treatment rooms (two single, two double and a deluxe suite). Space constraints prompted the management to open the spa only to guests staying at the hotel. But day and weekend spa packages are available: You check in at 9am, and check out at 6pm on the same day for the day package, or check out at 2pm the next day if you choose the weekend deal. You get to park yourself in a premier room situated on the hotel’s refurbished floors (quite posh, you can look out on the Arabian Sea as you shower) and get a facial and a body massage as part of the spa package. If you’re a guest for the weekend, a buffet breakfast is thrown in as well.
The good stuff
Go to the spa well in time for your appointment. You’ll get to unwind in the lounge with a welcome drink till it’s time for your treatment. I got a Balinese massage with a blend of oils, and a Basic Cleansing Facial with Le Club des Createurs de Beaute products from France. The treatment room for one person is large, but the deluxe suite is roomy enough for a dinner party for eight. That is, if you are in the habit of having parties in a room with a good-sized Kohler bathtub for milk and rose and other speciality baths.
There are quite a few of those touches that make a spa special—woven jute slippers, soft comfy robes and a choice of incense sticks (jasmine, eucalyptus, lemon grass and bergamot), as well as a choice of teas after the treatment (camomile, jasmine and peppermint). And, I loved the warm water and rose petal foot soak with a soft massage that I got as soon as I was in the treatment room. Lovely touch.
The Balinese massage was good. Really good. I’ve never had a Balinese massage before so, maybe, that was part of the appeal. After experiencing therapist Edi’s strong movements, I decided she would be the kind of person I’d like to have on my side in a fight. She used knuckles, long strokes and reflexology techniques with a jasmine-scented oil.
The facial included cleansing, toning and exfoliating before a face massage and mask. It was strictly okay till the massage, which was so relaxing (with a cool crab-walk kind of movement along the chin) that I dozed off. I awoke smelling of at least two more aroma oils.
The weekend package offers one massage and facial per person, the same as the day package. Why would anyone choose a special spa package for two days when they can get the same treatments in a day? Right now, if you want more treatments, you have to pay for them.
This is not a complaint, but a suggestion: The welcome drink of watermelon juice could be more interesting. You don’t expect a good spa in a hotel which has some great restaurants to serve simple squashed fruit. Throw in some spices or herbs, get the F&B guys to customize a concoction, whatever. But don’t be predictable.
The rate for the day package is Rs9,000 for one person (the regular rack rate is Rs19,200 plus 10% tax) and Rs12,000 for two, inclusive of all taxes. The weekend deal costs Rs12,000 for one and Rs16,000 for two, all inclusive. Besides this, if you want to add extra treatments to the facial and massage, you pay Rs1,600 for a body scrub and Rs2,200 for a body wrap.