Kaya Kalp Spa sounds so swank, so salubrius, so right for a Diva–yet so far away. Set on 35 acres of lush gardens not too farfrom India’s Taj Mahal–yet many air hours away from America–visiting this 90,000 square foot royal pamper palace is no easy chore.
But from the looks of it, it just might be worth grabbing a $4, 445 Business Class ticket on Emirates Airline (www.emirates.com) –which of course is the Diva’s preferred mode of transportation.
And if you can get there, they’re offering quite a deal:
The Luxury Spa Getaway
A Visit to Kaya Kalp may be considered a journey through a world of regal luxury and pampering.
*1 fifty minutes Spa Treatment *Continental breakfast per person *Welcome Wellness Basket in the room. Includes protein Bars, nuts, sparkling beverages, bottle of water, seasonal fruit *4 PM late check for $335.00 a night, with a two night minimum stay.
This Spa experience, spread across more than 99,000 square feet, offers guests traditional therapies based on ancient customs in regal surroundings. This is where Mughal opulence comes together with meaningful experiences for the soul. This magnificent oasis of tranquility follows Mughal tradition in its extensive use of greenery and water, both important elements in gardens laid out by the Mughal Dynasty. It was Babar, the first Mughal Emperor, who brought into India his concept of gardens. With running water channels, fountains, fragrant flowers and fruit bearing trees, these were areas meant to be lived in – lulled by the soothing sound of running water, the fragrance of blossoming fruit trees and birdsong – often referred to as the ‘Gardens of Paradise’
At the Kaya Kalp, all these aspects have come together in a close synthesis between indoor and outer spaces. Many traditional influences of Mughal landscaping and architecture can be seen here – running water, fountains and outdoor rain water showers, courts full of greenery open to the skies and interiors embellished with stone latticework, mother of pearl, inlay and mirror work.
The Pomegranate Theme
In honor of Mughal Emperor Babar, the pomegranate fruit has been adapted as the theme (liet motif) of this very regal spa. It is widely believed that Babar, was responsible for bringing in a wide variety of fruit including the ‘pomegranate’ to India, across the Himalayas from his home land, Ferghana.
At Kaya Kalp, a ruby red pomegranate trellis is dramatically used along the wall and the ceiling. The same motif is repeated in the white terrazzo flooring inlaid with red engineered stone – stretching diagonally across the floor in a dramatic design concept.
A visit to the spa may be considered a journey through a world of luxury and pampering – the fabled India that travelers from across the seas, wrote about in their memoirs. In this regal lifestyle, Kaya Kalp – The Royal Spa captures the spiritual and medicinal legacies of the Mughal Dynasty. For instance, Babar’s legacy of fruit is highlighted through a luxurious ‘Pomegranate Aromasoul Massage’, which serves to detoxify, revitalize and elevate the senses. The ‘Pomegranate Ritual Scrub’, followed by the ‘Pomegranate Infusion Bath’, may be considered the ultimate in relaxation therapies – within a private garden atmosphere while sipping a glass of freshly squeezed pomegranate elixir.
Therapists at the Spa are trained to reach out through their expert hands, to bring guests the healing qualities of some of the world’s most precious stones and metals. These include the exotic ‘Illuminating Pearl and Gem Stone Facial’ and the ‘Chakra Balancing Gem Stone Massage’. Eight exquisitely designed luxury treatment suites, offer well-known therapies from across the world. ‘The Royal Mughal Hamam’, is the first luxury hamam in India and recreates the mood of the royal hamams of the Mughal Dynasty.
Other known spa therapies include the popular ‘Thai Massage’, the ‘Monticelli Mud Wrap’ and the ‘Mung Bean Soap Massage’. There is also a special suite set aside for India’s very own ‘Ayurvedic ‘ therapies, which include guidance in yoga, Shirodhara, Abhyanga and the famous hot Herbal Poultice Massage.
The Hair and Nail Spa, is a world of pampered luxury, equipped with the latest state of the art treatments, while the Water Therapy Room offers the essentials of all spas – steam, whirlpool and sauna.
The Mughal mood is heightened at the open-air 25 – metre lap pool, surrounded by relaxation areas. Set within a garden of fruit-bearing trees, lush green lawns and flowers, this is where specialty poolside treatments are offered. Refreshments and snacks are also served here, through a special menu consisting of unique recipes in keeping with the mood of the spa. n
India was one of only 12 countries worldwide to win the first Aga Khan Award, instituted in 1980. ITC Mughal was singled out for the award for “successfully achieving consistency with historical context.” The award’s committee described the hotel as “an expression of the culture and rich architectural tradition of the region with an entirely contemporary vocabulary of forms.”
With the addition of the Spa, a whole new dimension has been added to the hotel’s architecture, which was inspired by the use of space in Mughal Architecture, as seen at ‘Fatehpur Sikri’, the abandoned city built by Mughal Emperor Akbar. In keeping with the hotel’s ambience the new spa, adds to the Mughal mood, through close attention to detailing while maintaining its contemporary idiom.