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Hotel - Jiva Grande Spa, Vivanta by Taj Surajkund.

Summary: Shringar Special (Review)

Tucked within the vicinity of the Tughlaqabad fort, Vivanta by Taj at Surajkund is an idyllic property where one need not step too far away from the city for a rejuvenating sojourn. Projected as an haute wedding destination within the Delhi-NCR area with services that definitely match up to the claim, Vivanta has curated special experiences for the entire nuptial brigade. From dining to wellness to ceremonies such as 'renewal of vows', the hotel aims to be a holistic getaway retreat.

And here enveloped by quaint splendour, the recently introduced Jiva Grande spa complements the above with signature therapies for ultimate bridal pampering.

Checking into the hotel post a hectic work week, I was ushered to Jiva for their signature Shringar therapy--a traditional take on the beauty ritual of an Indian bride. The therapist began with a relaxing foot bath infused with oils of rose, jasmine and mogra that set the mood for what was to follow.

An Indian-style arti came next, as if to gently nudge me to a different, calming realm. A lit diya within a puja tray, and a teeka of sindoor and tumeric was used to welcome me.

Then I was given a detailed explanation of the old ayurvedic ubtan (scrub) additives used in the first stage of the treatment. Chickpea flour or besan exfoliates gently to remove dead external cells. Sandalwood lends its many benefits that include anti-ageing, anti-inflammation, and a heady scent. Saffron brightens skin that has lost its sheen due to pollution and sun. Tumeric and basil address skin concerns such as infections and blemishes. And finally, fuller's earth or multani mitti drains toxins and leaves the skin taut and supple. The time-tested recipe was mixed, and then applied to my whole body in firm strokes that scrubbed away dead skin. Patrons of course are first consulted about the potency of the scrub on the face--so as to not trigger sensitivity. The cooling affect felt subtle on my summer acne, and my sensory nerves were tickled with wholesome aromas.

Then follows a bath, with hot milk anointed by rose petals within a copper vessel. The high temperature may be a little uncomfortable, but it benefits the scrubbing process. With your skin detoxified and smooth as silk, the therapist then indulges you in a long aromatherapy massage using signature oil blends of your choice from Jiva's product line. Vials included energising blends, deep tissue blends, and more. Or you may just opt for a pure fragrance instead. For me, the biggest tell-tale sign of an excellent massage is to be lulled into peaceful slumber--and I was not disappointed. The hour long deep-tissue massage undid not just those knots at my neck, but left me as relaxed and lazy as one who's been pampered at whim. I was woken up gently, for a final shower with cold water to wash away the extra oil, and close off pores.

A second arti followed, with a present of bangles and mogra strands--reminiscent of the sanctity of marriage, and fertility of womanhood.

With the wedding season peaking at the moment, I would recommend this therapy for brides-to-be and her friends. The spa menu at Jiva also offers myriad other treatments that include Indian aromatherapy, ayurvedic massages, yoga rejuvenation, soundarya or beauty rituals, and more. You may also bring the spa experience to your room with the introduction of the Jiva Bliss Suite, and Jiva Indulgence Room. And while you are at it, I suggest you definitely sign up for their rich, historical story-telling trail around Surajkund, and feel like the princess you are post your spa session.

At a Glance

WHAT: A resort tucked within city vicinities

WHERE: Surajkund, Faridabad, Haryana;

COST: The Shringar therapy is priced at Rs. 9,500 + taxes

VERDICT: Perfect for weekend spa getaways, or intimate special ceremonies

PAY: Rs. 66,000 for minimum stay of 3 nights in a Superior Charm room. Package includes breakfast, one spa lunch, two therapies at Jiva per person and yoga-meditation sessions

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Publication:India Today Travel Plus
Date:Dec 1, 2013
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