If a hotel could have demeanour,Aman,New Delhi would best be described as coolly detached. Once you get accustomed to the starkness and empty corridors,very different from Delhis other bustling 5-star properties,maybe its the desolate feel that contributes in creating the perfect spa ambience.
The Aman Spa situated a level below the lobby has dark floors and an airy feel and smells faintly,and not unpleasantly,of jasmine. Karen Biancardi,the spa manager whos worked on aesthetic elements in spa properties in Indonesia and Sri Lanka has been in India for three years,training the staff on acupressure,facials and skin treatments. She recommends the Khidmat,Amans Signature Massage for me,a combination of long and short strokes,with bits of reiki and acupressure thrown in. Predictably,the spa rooms are sanctuary like with the kind of understated luxury that costs a fortune to achieve. My 22-year-old therapist,the smiling Sherap Zangpo from Sikkim is impossibly professional and explains the massage briefly in hushed tones. The oil,a heady mix of sandalwood and pomegranate does its magic,and the massage,alternately soothing with occasional stretching and pummeling is certainly an experience.
In the highly competitive spa business (in the last year,over 50 day spas have opened in Delhi and almost every hotel now offers a dedicated spa service),Aman will stand out not for providing significantly better treatments than everybody else,but for their impeccably trained staff and imaginative add-ons. Before a massage,you can opt for an extensive yoga session at Lodhi Gardens. Or relax in an original Turkish Hammam. Our guests are interested in learning more about India and traditional healing treatments in Ayurveda,which is where we specialize, says Biancardi. The Spa Training and Recreation Manager at The Aman,Richard Mark Rosens,enthusiastically describes the complicated training process he put all aspiring therapists to,before they could measure up to the exacting standards set by Aman. It was boot camp for a year with finger tip push ups,Pilates and aerobic exercise. Our therapists have to understand the human body which will eventually reflect in the massage, says Rosens. The rest of us,meanwhile,for those all too brief 60 minutes,can soak in the serene water body filled with Bangalore black marble pebbles and magnificent Dholpur statues.
The Khidmat Massage costs Rs 7,000 including taxes. For Amans Spa menu,