A famous spa spot since it opened in 2005, Quan Spa at JW Marriott in Juhu Beach, Mumbai, receives a nod of approval
By: Arundhati De
Posted on: March 27, 2015
LF Says: ★★★
On the outset, I must disclose that as an utter and complete SoBo girl, anything beyond Haji Ali is considered “out of town” for me.
In early 2002, the JW Marriot opened its first property in India in Mumbai’s Juhu Beach. It was quite a landmark occasion in the Indian hospitality business. I distinctly remember the first time my entire family and I traversed the cityscapes to the suburbs for the opening of the iconic Enigma nightclub at the hotel. There was much excitement at home leading up to The Day of voyage.
Pulling into the impressive driveway, we arrived at the hotel with as much enthusiasm as we would have when reaching an exotic, foreign locale. It was wonderful to be on a beachfront property in the Maximum City. And the wow factor continued with the rocking nightclub, restaurants and café, not to mention, soon becoming the preferred hotel of the Bollywood Brigade.
Over the years, my work life has taken me out of my territorial comfort zone as I work in Lower Parel (or shall I call it Upper Worli). Spending a lot of time in commuting and traveling around the country, I do find the need to indulge in a soothing massage at my hotel spa every now and then. When I go to Pune, I stay at the smashing JW Marriot Hotel there, and always look forward to another pleasant stay in it. I have used the services of Quan Spa a few times and always left it feeling rejuvenated, repaired and relaxed.
It was a Sunday evening and I was looking forward to my first Quan Mumbai experience – it had been a hectic past few days and my body was looking forward to the pampering. I had made a complete ‘day out’ of the trip by attending a seminar at the hotel and indulging in a delicious and healthy Sunday brunch at the hotel poolside, enjoying the view of the Arabian Sea in front of me.
“The word Quan means source of water in Chinese,” the Spa Manager, Dr. Rashmi Ambastha, told me while welcoming me into the waiting area. Perhaps she had noticed my peculiar expression trying to understand the décor elements of the space. White pebble walkways, blue lighting, white furniture, not to mention the pièce-de-resistance – a dry fish tank with a full-sized human floating in it – lending a modern feel to the space. In operation since 2005, the spa has never been renovated since, which explains the current state of the tired reception area.
Dr. Ambastha advised me to try the 90-minute signature treatment - an aromatic, light-medium pressure massage. Wonderful, I thought as I filled in the mandatory sheet with the usual questions. I waited a short while with a soothing ginger tea concoction and shortly after, I was introduced to my therapist who ushered me towards my treatment room. I noticed that she could not have had the chance to review my completed form, which I had earnestly filled, mentioning certain problem areas to avoid and other areas to focus on.
Moving from the stark modern feel of the reception into the wood-toned spa area, I certainly found it more appealing and comforting. The single therapy room that I was taken to had all the features of a reputable spa, with an en-suite shower and changing room. I changed into my robe and chatted with the cheerful and friendly therapist as she proceeded to begin the treatment by cleaning my feet with water and aromatic salts.
Let the zen times roll…
I lay face down and let my therapist work her magic on me, giving into the ambient music and heavy aroma of Rose and Geranium infused oil. She was good. After all, she had been working at the spa since. The massage was fairly straightforward and old school. At the end of my 90 minutes, I was indeed more relaxed. I completed my experience with a refreshing, hot shower. I would have liked the recommended steam, but I didn’t feel up to walking out and making way to the common steam room, which along with the sauna, ice pool and jacuzzi are shared by members of the health club and spa clients.
I changed back into my clothes, wished my therapist farewell and rushed back up to catch the last glimpse of the setting sun. Dusk is always such a magical time, something is ending and something is beginning, all at the same moment. It felt nice to savour this moment, smelling like a fragrant garden!
As I made my way back to town, braving the Sunday traffic, I wondered if I would ever go back to the spa? Probably not since it was too darn far for me. Then I thought if I would tell my Burby friends (yes, I do have a few!) to try it out. Perhaps I would let them know since most certainly it had not disappointed. It is an obvious choice if you are a hotel or health club member due to the convenience factor. As a five-star spa, it lacked that extra je ne sais quoi, just about meeting all the expected norms. If one is paying five-star prices, then one should get something more out of a luxury experience.
For now, I’ll take my Quan Spa in Pune any day…
LF Says: ★★★
Coordinates: JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai, Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai, India
Ratings range from zero to five stars and signify the reviewer’s thoughts on the treatments, ambience and service.