Why you must try a Turkish bath

Oct 19, 2014, 07:21 IST | Deepali Dhingra

A Turkish bath or hammam is considered the ultimate luxurious experience. Deepali Dhingra takes one and comes out feeling rejuvenated

In a city like Mumbai, we’re always in a rush — whether it’s to cook, pack our tiffin or take a bath. The concept of taking a luxurious bath is left for the weekends, that too, if you find time from the endless chores that pile up through the week. So when L’occitane invited me for a Hammam experiential at the Spa La Vie, I couldn’t wait to try it out.

Pic for representational purpose only

The 8,000 square feet wellness sanctuary was like an oasis in the middle of a desert. One step inside and I felt the hustle and bustle of the city melt away. The lilting music, the comforting aroma of essential oils in the air was like a soothing balm for my senses, and I happily exchanged my walking shoes for the Osho slippers the spa assistant brought me. A hot, comforting drink of boiled ginger, lime, honey and basil later — very effective for digestion, I was told — I was ready for the Relaxing Rain experience.

My spa therapist, Zuchobeni, took me inside the room for the hammam set, and after washing my feet, asked me to take a steam bath to open the pores for the experience. I had been told that the hammam set includes a massage on a heated stone bed and that’s what I had been waiting for. Zuchobeni asked me to lie on the stone bed that occupied the centre of the room. Although it wasn’t heated at that time, slowly but steadily, I felt the temperature rise to a comfortable warm. My therapist, meanwhile, started massaging me with shea butter and crushed walnut scrub. Her deft fingers worked on my legs, feet, arms and back, exfoliating the skin and removing all the knots and tension from my muscles.

Later, lying on my back, she continued the massage on my neck, shoulders, arms, tummy and legs. The heated stone bed added to the luxurious experience and I felt as if I was lying on a giant hot water bottle, which was providing warmth to the entire body. The exfoliating massage over, Zuchobeni used a damp towel to wipe off the scrub. I stepped inside the steam room once again and when I stepped outside, she was wearing a raincoat. I was soon to find out why.

Back on the heated stone bed, the jets on the ceiling opened up to let out a spray of hot water on my body. Combined with the bath that my therapist started giving me with lavender foaming gel, the sleep-inducing massage was the ultimate pampering experience. After rinsing out the foam with clean water, it was with a lot of reluctance on my part that I left the stone bed. The therapist proceeded to rub a moisturising shea butter lotion on my body. Smelling faintly of lavender and shea butter, my body glowing with all the pampering it had received in the last one hour, I stepped out, feeling heady with the experience. Queen Elizabeth was known to take milk baths with rose petals, but give me this bathing experience any day and I’d be happy with it.

Where: Spa la Vie by L’OCCITANE, adjacent to Lodha Bellissimo, Apollo Mills Compound, Lower Parel
Contact: 23059055
Price: Relaxing rain Hammam set Rs 4 ,500 for 60 mins

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