Not another Review!!

Not another review! What makes this different? Well, for starters, the person(s) reviewing stuff here are people who grew up in a world thats far removed from "the Reviews on Gruyere cheese and Asparagus..." In other words,
1. We love Amul butter - the salted yummy thing better than all the 'sophisticated' imported butter in the world!
2. We love the gooey, drippy sweetness of Indian sweets
3. We have, at some point in our lives, ate spoonfulls of Milkmaid conensed milk - right out of the can
4. We understand food and wine pairing (Courtesy the persistent lecturers in Hotel mgmt college), but would rather have chilled beer or the exotic looking potent cocktail with our spicy chicken tikkas or fish fries
5. Prefer to use words like 'delicate' for silks and 'sharp' for tools... NOT food!
6 Are dying find product which make lives easier for working mothers, wives, girlfriends or considerate (also read that as hen pecked) husbands and boyfriends!

So go on... pour your heart out about stuff you liked or hated!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review - Spa Hibiscus

I am a sucker for spas. From the smell of the essential oils to the candles, to the soothing instrumental music and the hushed tones in which the staff talk to each other (don't even get me started on informal conversation among staff members while attending to customers!) I am in love with the Spa experience. Thus, it should be of no surprise then that I need no coaxing to visit one.

I am now a frequent visitor to a day spa located in the oh-so-upper-middle-class locality of Mayur Vihar. The location is of importance here, because one should remember that the location is completely residential, and thus have over a dozen beauty parlours, hair salons etc. scattered within 50 meters of each other.

And yet, this one has stood out amongst all the others, drawing in women AND men in for spa treatments. Yes, you read that right - men too. My love story with Spa Hibiscus began a couple of years ago when a hotelier friend excitedly called me up asking me what my plans for the evening was. Of course, she knew I would drop everything to join her for a 'spa day out' .....

Let me go straight to the experience:

1. Ambiance : Yup! Its all in there - the unmistakable lemongrass oil, the lovely strains of haunting piped music, the smiling staff talking in hushed tones with an eager-to-help attitude. Comfortable waiting area, cordoned off areas for privacy, and squeaky clean. (The cleanliness comes by way of a couple of housekeeping staff constantly wiping, dusting and polishing)

2. Service: Now we all know that the crux of a spa experience is the service levels. Surprises here too - there was not a single instance which made me think 'if only they did this.....'. Let me give you a few examples:
  • You are 'allotted' a spa personnel to take care of your treatments/services. From the preliminary 'Good morning', the spa staff take over the services so smoothly, you don't realize all the various ingredients coming together to provide a complex treatment.
  • The service staff are in no hurry to complete the work in hand to take over a new customer. (you know how in most places they put on a face mask and you start wondering if they forgot you were waiting? That doesn't happen here.) In fact, if there is a service that involves a mandatory wait, such a drying masque, then the staff promptly tells you how long a wait its going to be, and proceeds to give you a surprisingly good shoulder massage! Blown away!
  • You will not catch any of the informal banter between the service staff in this spa - but does this mean that they are a grouchy lot? No - to the contrary there are quite a few smiles doing the rounds - to you as well as each other. Now that's what I like - respect for fellow human beings - even if its for the barely literate girl who sweeps the floor! 
3. Spa offerings : From that perfect haircut to the wonderful pedicure that leaves you with an urge to keep looking at your feet, this place has it all. There are facials, clean-ups (which is a rather unfair word for a treatment that's so effective), and all the other beauty treatments you can think of (including chocolate treatments). And then, of course there are the steam rooms and the saunas that add to the already pampered feeling you get. Don't forget to try out the hibiscus tea or a little sandwich (complimentary during your treatments) which are offered to you.

4. Value for money : Let me put it this way. When you walk in the door of the Hibiscus Spa, you almost shudder to think the dent it might leave in your purse - especially if you've been to the five star hotel spas. The reason? It looks and feels just as if you have made a detour into the Sheraton to get your pedicure done! But please walk up to the reception and ask for their rate list. That's when you begin to breathe and a smile crosses your lips - its far less than what you expected!

My favorite services are the clean ups and the pedicures (as you probably have guessed already) and I have not gone anywhere else to get these services since then)

The Hibiscus Spa (currently in 4 locations) is now a growing chain, moving out of Delhi into other locations too. It is run like clockwork under the eagle eyes of Shweta Jai Gupta, a young entrepreneur, who has incorporated her learning from a long career in hospitality into the culture of the Spa.

Bottom line : This place will prove true value for money - especially if you are a stickler for services, cleanliness and the luxuries that a good spa can provide. They also offer annual memberships - for individuals or couples (of  Rs.5000, 10000 or 20000) which are a convenient way to avail the services here.

Further information at