There was a time when only a few hotels had salons, much less spas! Thankfully that has changed and a spa is no longer a cheesy massage session in the parlour next door or a whimsy that’s satisfied on a trip abroad – a spa date is now a way of life for many. At least in good ‘ol G-town, most of us enjoy a spa visit every fortnight or so! I’m deeply partial towards Asian massage techniques; Ayurveda is more of a winter option and at Spa Lounge, Pullman, Gurgaon, you can enjoy a bit of both. Nestled in the underbelly of the looming and centrally located Pullman Hotel, Gurgaon, the Spa Lounge is no longer a franchise but a spa facility operated entirely by the hotel (since January 2014) and I felt this control has helped it turn a new leaf.
Like most hotel spas, Spa Lounge is serene, fragrant and comfortingly quiet. Cliched as it may sound, you do feel like the city had been left far far behind! It’s not grand in terms of space but it offers all the basic spa services in a fairly compact zone. After a quick tete a tete with the spa manager, it was clear that the new Spa Lounge was more steeped in hospitality and had a better menu than the brand handling the space earlier. The USP of Spa Lounge is definitely the Shirodhara Ayurvedic massage, where aromatic oils are poured, rather dripped over the forehead, and it is said to aid mental clarity and even provide relief for certain medical conditions. At the Spa Lounge, the special summer Shirodhara is done with buttermilk and includes 40 minutes of Abhyanga massage too. Apart from in-house guests, the Spa Lounge seems quite busy with walk ins too – there were two ladies pouring over the menu as we browsed.
The Spa Lounge has therapies between 30 – 80 minutes. 30 minutes includes hand or back and shoulders, the longer duration therapies are Warm Stone (60 mins, INR 3500) and Shirodhara (60 mins, INR 3500). I needed stress relief over clarity so I was suggested the Balinese (50 mins, INR 2900) and I chose 50 minutes. I would have chosen the longer session but sadly the spa has a Steam Room but no Sauna which I prefer a stint in after a massage, pity! My therapy room was impeccable (which ought to be a given at hotel spas) and my therapist was very well spoken, courteous and as time passed, excellent with her hands. The massage was perfect; I was asked about the pressure at intervals and I could ask for specific areas to be worked on and 50 minutes were over in what felt like 5! I was happy to note that the shower was in my room; I don’t like traipsing across corridors for a shower, not as an oily mess at least. The bath products were thankfully individually packed and not installed on the wall but I did miss a hook for my towel, which lay soaking wet on the marble seat inside the shower. As I enjoyed a cup of hot green tea, I wondered if I ought to have chosen a longer massage!
The Spa Lounge has an adjoining salon as well, called ‘Cutting Edge’. Equipped with all the basics for a quick spruce up, I popped in for what they call an Express Manicure and it was a revelation. No water, no soap, just a dry scrub and massage, nails cleaned and filed and buffed to a sparkle and I was done in less than 20 minutes. It is a bit of a short cut but then I didn’t really have an eternity to spare. I’m planning to go back for the Sports Massage (50 mins, INR 2900) and also try their Honey and Almond Scrub (45 mins, INR 2900) but to be honest what sounds most promising at this junction is the Unwind Yourself (120 mins, INR 5499) package, now that’s a good prospect!