Everyone in the city longs for fresh nature coupled with relaxation. Westin Sohna Resort & Spa gives the perfect formula with its newly constructed spa villas and partnership with Kairali to provide an authentic Ayurveda experience. Here's our review
By: Soumya Jain
Posted on: October 10, 2012
The ancient Indian science of complete wellness, Ayurveda, has created a mark on the world. That’s old news. But administrating Ayurveda in the correct way is also important. World over, Ayurveda has become more than a fancy word now, and is being adopted as a lifestyle which many follow strictly.
So when Westin Hotels & Resorts partnered with Kairali, a well-known group giving operating Ayurvedic health resorts, spas and centers across the world, it sent out the message that Westin is serious about giving its guests in India a truly authentic experience. And the Kairali Group is an apt partner. All Ayurvedic treatments at Heavenly Spa, as the spa at all Westin properties is called, are given and managed by Kairali.
I struck a double bonanza when I got a chance visit The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa finally (a scenic property little beyond the business hub of Gurgaon, NCR) and experience their Heavenly Spa too. The spa has different identities depending on its location. At Westin Sohna, it assumes gigantic proportions, with each area designated a certain task for your body or consciousness.
The wellness journey
After winding through the resort, we reached the elegantly designed spa reception. The spa manager, Mr Ankit Rawat, greeted us and offered to show around before we got down to ‘work’. Talking about the partnership with Kairali, he said, “Ayurveda is extremely popular, not only amongst expats, but also Indians. We are certain that the demand will only grow further as the Indian spa industry is annually growing at a steady 20-30 per cent and currently stands at INR 1,500 crores with Ayurveda being one of the fastest growing verticals.”
When Westin Sohna had opened about four years ago, the stunning images of the property had been lapped up by the media eagerly. But the image of their meditation pyramid, Peace, bathed in golden light, captured the most eyeballs. The pyramid, on actually seeing it, was even larger than I had expected. Surrounded by water on all sides, its inside was literally as silent as a tomb, facilitating the calmness and concentration needed to meditate. In the Yoga room, a sublime Buddha looked over, as you twisted your limbs for internal wellness.
Separate areas for men and women included steam, sauna and Jacuzzi. And the seven treatment rooms, each having a different name, were more like mini suites. They were designed keeping nature in mind with a little pool outside and ample use of wood. Sunlight streamed in which could be blocked off with traditional jute curtains if you wish.
Mr Rawat, who has worked in myriad destinations and cultures like Ananda in the Himalayas, Raffles International, Mandarin Oriental and The Leela Hotels & Resorts, has also introduced Spa Villas at Westin Sohna to offer a complete proposition to the time-pressed weekend guest who wants to make the most of his time. Guests at the spa villas don’t need to visit the Heavenly Spa to get their treatment done. The villas come complete with a special wooden bed for Ayurveda treatments and a traditional sauna box.
An oily treat
Recommending Abhyanga, a traditional Ayurveda treatment, Mr Rawat handed me over to Tincy, a chatty and cheerful therapist. After the usual changing routine, we strode over to Chakra – the treatment room – which sported a wooden Ayurveda bed with a brass pot over it. The treatment started with a head massage with traditional oil made from herbs and medicinal plants. This oil balances and calms the mind, and pacifies the aggravated vata dosha*. While massaging, Tincy rattled off advice to me. “You should apply this oil every week and wash it off with warm water. It reduces hair fall,” she said. I replied that I don’t have time to go through this ritual. “But it’s just once every week!” she said exasperatedly, while trying not to show her wonder on how I can’t manage to take out 15 minutes for my hair.
Hair done, she prepared to work on the rest of me. Using warm Ayurvedic oil, she administered strong, powerful strokes with medium pressure. Opposed to feeling drowsy like you usually tend to do during spa treatments, I felt wide awake, discerning each and every movement. This was proof of the fact that the luke warm oil was meant to detoxify the body, nourish it and promote healthy blood circulation and joints.
Tincy clucked like a mother hen and said, “You are very thin. Eat bananas and eat at night. That’s when you’ll get fattest!” she said smiling. I laughed back wishing it was that simple.
Taking up my face next, without using any oil, she massaged and pressed a few points, which instantly led me to sleep. Relaxed and calmed, I kept on dozing till I felt Tincy near my below, who didn’t want to wake me up rudely.
Slathered in a thick layer of 150ml oil which she had used, Tincy guided me towards the steam and sauna areas. After a few minutes in each, we moved towards the shower area. With a glass wall on one side, it gave the effect of an open air shower area. Traditional, Ayurvedic concoctions of body scrub and shampoo were placed to aid in removing all the excess oil. The body scrub, which Tincy called as powder, contains Vetiveria, green gram powder and Vigna radiate while the shampoo contains Gooseberry, Henna, Albizia Lebbeck and Bhringraja. Both these products, and more, are available on retail at the Heavenly Spa.
Scrubbed, blissful and flaunting a glow, I strolled towards the restaurant to appease my ravenous hunger.
Coordinates: The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa, Vatika Complex, P.O. Box Dhaula, Karanki Road, Sohna-Gurgaon, Haryana, India
*Ayurveda works on the principle of balancing Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas, representing the elements of air, fire and water respectively.