Whether you stay at the Imperial New Delhi or not, it is worth visiting their spa, appropriately named the Imperial Spa and Salon, for so many different reasons. The design, ambience, and services are only to name a few of its highlights. (My apologies in advance for the lack of photos, but I normally don’t carry my phone or camera with me when I go to get massages done. However there are great photos on the website that you can see here!)
I made it a point to book a massage there on this trip because I had read so many great reviews and seen so many beautiful photos. It had been a while since my last massage, so I was quite excited! My initial visit to the spa was to take a quick peek and get some pricing information, which was very attractive. The glass-domed entrance is located right around the corner from the pool, with the business center on the opposite side. It should be noted thought, that there is no air conditioning when you first walk through the doors and down the staircase. And in August, with 90-plus-degree weather, it can be quite overwhelming. But after the first flight of stairs, the cool air hits you and all is better.
As you descend the spiral staircase, a very friendly staff awaits at the front desk. The cool, white marble floors add a sense of luxury, and the scent of incense adds relaxation and zen to your mood. After a quick chat with the receptionist, I was given a menu of services to take with me. So off I went, back to the pool to relax and decide which massage service I wanted to have done. I was very excited to book my appointment and return to see what else this beautiful spa had to offer.
I wouldn’t consider myself new to massage, but I also wouldn’t consider myself an avid spa-goer. Normally, when I need a good, deep tissue massage, I head over to my regular spot in the East Village in New York City. Its your standard massage and acupuncture parlor, but a little nicer for New York City standards. However, it is exactly that, a massage parlor. There is not relaxing before massage time, no tea offered or anything for that matter. Its in and out, quick, and gets the job done, for a very good price. But since I’m on vacation, why not splurge right?
I’m all about trying new things, and even though this menu offered some of the same massages that I’m familiar with and have had done, there were also those that I’ve never had done, and a couple that I’ve never even heard of! In the end, I opted for the “Balinese Oil Massage.” And I’m glad that I did!
When the time finally arrived, I made my way back to the spa. After checking in, the male attendant was nice enough to show me the locker room, and provided me with an undergarment to wear under my robe. The spa keeps men’s and women’s sides separate, so the attendant escorted me to the Jacuzzi area, where there was also a sauna, steam room, and showers. The attention to detail in the spa’s construction is incredible. And, I was lucky enough to be the only person using the facilities while I was there, so I pretended for a moment, that I was actually in my own imaginary mansion. I imagined what actually having a bathroom like this would actually be like!
After getting my fix, I moved onto the waiting area, which was donned with luxurious lounge chairs, partitions to separate the men from the women, and drenched with natural light. I was greeted promptly again by the same attendant, who brought a small tray of nuts and dried fruit. He also took my tea order and returned quickly with the best ginger tea I’ve had so far. As I relaxed, my attention was drawn to the magazines lying on the table in front of me. They were local Indian publications about fashion, and what seemed like the lifestyle and activities of India’s socialites. It’s interesting to see how other countries portray these things, especially in a place where the disparity is very apparent.
I was eventually led into the room where my massage was to take place. The smell of incense relaxed me as I lay on the table, waiting for the therapist to begin. But before any of this, I was asked to choose the type of oil I wanted. There were about five to choose from. I decided to have her use sandalwood scented oil, as its one of my favorite smells. And after she finally returned to begin, the rest all seems like a blur. At one point, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep. It was, hands down, one of the best massages I’ve had in a long time. And the best part is that it was two hours long!
After all was said and done, I returned to the showers to wash off the oil, sat in the sauna for a few minutes, and proceeded to the front to check out. Almost three hours later, I felt like I was walking on clouds. I also felt like I needed to eat, so I changed and went to 1911 Restaurant in the hotel for some lunch. A great way to start the day!