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Essentials of a resort spa

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Since time immemorial, there has been a tradition of travelling to spas in the hope of finding effective cures for ailments. Today, spas have become an indispensable lifestyle ingredient and are being frequented due to the sheer incidence of stress and anxiety confronted by people from all walks of life. In the last decade, the spa industry in India has seen a phenomenal growth.

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Kerala, with its ancient Ayurvedic origins is seen as a hot bed for spa tourism. (Image Courtesy: Niraamaya Retreat)

Kerala, with its ancient Ayurvedic origins is seen as a hot bed for spa tourism,
even as destination spas have mushroomed in the Himalayan mountains. While Day Spas and Mall Spas have helped us survive the daily grind, for a comprehensive rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul, I would suggest going to a renowned resort spa which offers holistic healing.

One of the essentials of a good resort spa is unquestionably, its location. A resort spa would obviously have to be in natural and serene settings. A spa may be visually appealing, but if it is located in the middle of a polluted and noisy town, it doesn’t really help. A spa experience is all about rejuvenation and relaxing your senses. So obviously the location should reflect quietude and create the feeling of retreat and relaxation – lush green surroundings, pure clean air and preferably the only sounds that clients should hear are the soothing sounds from the elements of nature. While the experience is uplifting, is also extremely beneficial to the body when the first rays of the sun fall on the solar plexus.

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Another important factor is the amount of natural elements you can incorporate at your spa. They say ‘natural’ lighting is the best for healing, however, there should be provision for blinds to allow privacy and to create a relaxing atmosphere. For a more private spa session, the use of clever concealed light fixtures is required. Ambience of a spa also plays an active role – a warm reception experience, floral decorations, serene aura with effective sound proofing, soothing music and comfortable therapy rooms with good ventilation and lighting.

Since a spa experience indulges all the senses, it is essential to have gentle and relaxing smells that are not overpowering or overwhelming. Aromatherapy specialists are the best guides to develop an aroma that lends a soothing touch. Maintaining an optimum temperature is also important warm, not hot and cool, not cold.

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Personally, for me the emphasis is always been on hygiene and the safety. Your clients need to feel safe and positive with regard to spa equipments and hygiene. Best hygiene practises must be followed – sanitising of massage tables and other equipment, a thorough hand wash before any treatment, fumigation of therapy rooms, and use of disposables wherever applicable, is a must. Last, but not the least great emphasis should be laid on the staff of a spa. Competent staff needs to be sensitive to client needs. This means great care should be taken to ‘listen’ to the client and effective communication must follow. A spa experience need not end with therapies. Spas should have follow-ups or progress check with the clients.