A spa experience that makes you feel like royalty

Ever wanted to feel like Cleopatra, the lovely Egyptian Queen? Like hang out with Caesar and rule the world? Or better still slap on some super eye makeup, beaded wig and hang out with Richard Burton? There is a chance to do just that at the newly opened Jiva Grande at the Taj West End.

You feel like royalty already as you go to the spa in a Jaguar. The jag purrs to a halt at the oldest block of the hotel, 1887 to be precise and instantly merges with the lush foliage.

I am welcomed by the spa manager and over some tea shown the spa menu. There is Sushupti, which includes a bath with raw milk (Cleo again!), Vishrama, a deep muscular massage and Vishuddi for detox. I opt for Vishrama feeling a need for relaxation rather than queening it.

I go on a spa tour and check out the three treatment rooms—there is a couple room, Sangam, and two singles Akash and Prithvi. The spa is full of earth-friendly stuff from the naming of the treatment rooms to the herbs and even linen which hand-combed, organic, herbally dyed and sun bleached. Spread over 7,000 square feet, Jiva Grande includes wet area facilities, a relaxation and a fitness area.

I am handed over to Nisha who takes me through the wet area. There is a steam room with a starlit ceiling which is way too cool. There is also a brilliant timer—a posh hour glass timed for 10, 20, 30 minutes. After the steam room is the sauna and then the ice fountain. Finally there is the experiential shower, which has these knobs proclaiming tropical rain, thunderstorm and Caribbean mist. Nisha tells me to press the knobs in sequence, which I dutifully do. And am I surprised or what? Tropical rain comes with blinking lights and tropical sounds and so I am prepared for similar light and sound effects for the other two. And there is a fourth knob, which is a combination of all the above three. I feel I can stay in the shower forever and be in my own private rainforest.

Vishrama beckons so I head off to the treatment room where the therapist Charmi greets me by washing my feet in scented water. Vishrama is truly relaxing as Charmi skilfully massages all the stresses of knotted nerves away. The hot compress of therapeutic herbs including salt, carom seeds stone flower, nutmeg and many more is suitably heavenly and there is also fragrant aromatic oils used in the massage. As I float away on a sea of well-being, I tell myself, it sure is nice to feel royal once in a while!

Jiva Grande is at The Taj West End, Race Course Road. Call 66605660.