WRAPPED IN KOKUM @ SERENO SPA, GOA
Modelled on a typical Goan village with its posada-styled villas, Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa is a beachfront retreat that boasts of vast stretches of green exotic flora and a never ending pool. With sunken baths and rain showers in every room, I get the feeling of entering a tropical paradise. Winding alleys lead me to a sprawling wellness sanctuary, Sereno Spa.
A brief consultation with the resident spa manager, Dr Ratheesh Kumar, gives a bird’s-eye view of the exhaustive treatment menu with customised programmes to promote wellness, detoxification and tranquility. Also an Ayurvedic physician, he hands over a questionnaire to determine my prakriti or constitution. For the uninitiated, Ayurveda believes that our bodies have a blend of three doshas, with one or two being the dominant ones — kapha (earth), vata (air) and pitta (heat). Wellbeing prevails when all of them are balanced. The massages are adapted with different oils and techniques to complement the body’s constitution.
Since I wanted a head-to-toe treatment which also took care of the stubborn tan, I was booked for the Summer Refresher where the indigenous Goan kokum is used. I was surprised to discover that this popular sour fruit, the dried version of which adds a tangy touch to coastal curries, also has many beauty benefits. “Kokum (Gracinia indica), besides its cooling properties, is also rich in antioxidants that prevent the formation of free radicals. It helps to retain the skin’s youthful appearance. Medically speaking, kokum is applied locally to relieve allergic rashes of the skin which are common during summer months,” stated Dr Kumar.
The treatment suites are named after a flower or a spice, informed my therapist, as she ushered me into a room where the French windows opened to a private garden and a mini pool. The treatment started with the signature foot soak, which comprised water infused with aromatic rock salts. A fragrant Kokum Coconut Scrub, applied in deft medium pressured strokes, prepped the body for a Kokum Honey Wrap which felt pleasantly cool. The pampering continued with a comforting massage with cold-pressed almond oil. As the therapist began the manipulation of the muscles using strong, firm effleurage strokes, I drifted into a state of absolute peace. The treatment lived up to its claim and left me with a smooth, tan-free complexion. - Aparrna Gupta
UNWIND WITH STONES @ ESPA SPA, THE LEELA PALACE, CHENNAI
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