The spa industry in India has seen some phenomenal growth in recent years. Kerala, with its ayurvedic roots, has emerged as a hot destination for spa tourism. You'll also find some wonderfully refreshing destination spas in the mountains, and enticing resort spas in India.
As well as skin treatments and massages, most spas in India have now evolved to include a number of different therapies, such as reflexology, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, and meditation. All you need to do is lie back and enjoy being pampered!
Here are the 10 best luxury spas in India.
Set amongst cedar forests, with fresh air and a view of snow capped mountains, the Spa Pavilion at the Oberoi's Wildflower Hall Resort
is a haven of tranquility. Twice voted "India’s Best Spa Resort" in the World Travel Awards, the spa uses plant and flower essences in its aromatherapy and Ayurveda based treatments.
- Address: Oberoi Wildflower Hall Resort, Shimla in the Himalayas, Chharabra, Shimla. Ph: (91 177) 264-8585.
- Cost: $90-$130 for massages, $50 for body scrubs, $85 for body wraps, Ayurvedic treatments from $80, spa programs from $130, $25 for yoga, meditation, & pranayama.
- What's Good: The luxurious Himalayan Retreat spa program, which includes body scrub, Indian head massage, full body massage, and Himalayan cedar bath.
The Ananda In the Himalayas is another award winning spa in India, set against the soothing background of the Himalayas. The spacious destination spa is built on a Maharaja's palace estate. It offers therapeutic treatments based on traditional Indian practices of ayurveda, yoga and meditation. There's also an enticing spa boutique, stocking everything from music to organic food. A three night minimum stay is required.
- Address: The Palace Estate, Narendra Nagar Dist. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttarakhand. Ph: (91 1378) 227-500.
- Cost: Accommodation and spa packages start from around $500 per person per night, and include special cuisine and treatments.
- What's Good: The five night Stress Management Package will leave you feeling relaxed and energized.
Opened in March 2008 and declared the "World's Best City Spa" by the UK's Tatler Magazine
within six months, Kaya Kalp is a spa like no other. Spread over 99,000 square feet of unsurpassed opulence, it could very well be the biggest spa in Asia. However, it's the jaw dropping grandeur of the spa that will take your breath away.
- Address: ITC Mughal Hotel, Taj Ganj, Agra.
Ph: (91 562) 233-1701.
- Cost: $35 for a 30 minute tension reliever massage, $95 for a 90 minute facial, $105 for the 100 minute Royal Mughal Hamam Spa Journey, $160 for the 150 minute Passage to India Spa Journey. Three hour couples packages, $350.
- What's Good: Passage to India Spa Journey, which combines guided meditation with ayurvedic treatments to restore the mind and body.
Winner of "Best Resort Spa" at the 2007 AsiaSpa awards, Maya Spa is located amidst the Kerala backwaters on the shores of Vembanad Lake. It's the largest spa in southern India and has two wings -- one dedicated to Ayurvedic treatments, and the other to Oriental and Western style treatments including massage, skin treatments, reflexology, and Shiatsu. The resort also has a special meditation and yoga pavilion on an island in the lagoon.
- Address: Zuri Resort & Spa Kumarakom, Kerala.
Ph: (91 481) 252-7272.
- Cost: Accommodation & spa packages from around $500 for a double per night.
- What's Good: The Cloud 9 massage, where you'll receive a relaxing head massage while floating on an enveloping water bed to help relax tensed up muscles.
As if the alluring lake setting of the Taj Lake Palace
isn't enough, the Jiva spa takes it to a whole new level. Its exquisite treatment suites, with hand painted heritage frescoes adorning their walls, are the perfect places to relax and receive an unwind. What really makes this spa unique though, is its Royal Spa Boat. It will take you gliding across Lake Pichola as you soak in the spa bath on the deck or get an aromatherapy massage.
- Address: The Taj Lake Palace, Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajashtan.
Ph: (91 294) 2528800.
- Cost:Signature "Pehlwan Malish" Warrior Massage massage $90. Scrubs & wraps $40. Royal Spa Boat packages from $300 for two.
- What's Good: The Romantic Spa Escapade and Romantic Spa Indulgence packages on the Royal Spa Boat.
Voted "World’s Number One Spa" and "Best Spa in the Asian and Indian Subcontinent" by the readers of Conde Nast Traveller in 2006, Sereno Spa is a real delight for the senses. Located on a quiet Goa beach and spread over 36,000 square feet, the stunning outdoor spa pavilions have breathtaking sea views. A delicious range of ayurvedic inspired massage, skin, and body treatments is on offer.
- Address: Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, Arossim Beach, Cansaulim, South Goa. Ph: (91 832) 272-1234.
- Cost: Around $600 for a one night spa package for two.
- What's Good: The Synchronised Abhyanga "Four Hands Massage", designed to invigorate the body. The Traditional Marma Facial, which includes a crown chakra massage, is excellent for mature skin types.
Conde Nast Traveller readers rated the Jiva Spa, at the Taj Malabar Hotel, as one of their Top 10 favorite hotel spas in Asia for 2008. Located on a peaceful island, the spa looks out over a shimmering swimming pool that appears to merge into the ocean. Guests can choose from in-depth Ayurveda programs, traditional Indian massages, body scrubs, Ashtanga yoga and meditation. Perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation!
- Address: Taj Malabar Hotel, Willingdon Island, Cochin.
Ph: (91 484) 2666811/2668010.
- What's Good: The signature Jivaniya energizing treatment relives tension an improves blood circulation. It includes an exfoliating herbal scrub, heat stimulating wrap, and massage. The Narikela coconut scrub is a house favorite.
The sensuous Amatrra Spa defines itself as the only metropolitan standalone lifestyle spa in India. It was awarded "Best Day Spa" by AsiaSpa India in 2007, and was recognized by Forbes as one of the "10 Best Spas in India" in 2006. The spa is unique in that its treatments are based on the ancient study of "Astroveda" -- a combination of Ayurveda and astrology.
- Address: The Ashok Hotel, Diplomatic Enclave, 50 B Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. Ph: (91 484) 2666811/2668010.
- Cost: Aromatic baths $35. Massages and detoxification treatments from $60. Spa & lunch package $65. Half day packages $200. Full day packages from $350.
- What's Good: Fully inclusive packages including wellness consultation, spa therapy, meditation, reflexology, and food.
The opulent Quan Spa won Asia Spa's "New Spa of the Year" Award in 2006, and was one of Conde Nast Traveler's Hot Spas for 2007. This is a place where you can truly indulge yourself. The spa has four different types of treatments on offer -- rejuvenating, detoxifying, enhancing, and Indian style massages. What's great is that you don't have to be a hotel guest to visit this spa.
- Address: JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu Beach.
Ph: (91 22)6693-3610.
- Cost: $40-$70 for body polish, baths, or massages. $90-$120 for facial therapy and body wraps. $120-$220 for Ayurvedic rituals.
- What's Good: The hotel offers spa and accommodation packages from $400-460, which include a variety of spa massages. The spa also has a lavish room for couples.
What could me more exquisite than relaxing in a bath full of flowers, with a view of the Taj Mahal outside? You can turn this dream into reality at the Oberoi Amarvilas Spa. The spa claims that it befits the self-indulgence of royalty, and its not wrong. Couples will find it impossible not to feel romantic! Treatments blend classic Ayurvedic techniques with traditional Thai massage, and use exotic herbal oils and creams of ancient Indian royalty.
- Address: Oberoi Amarvillas, Taj East Gate Road, Agra.
Ph: (91 562) 223-1515.
- Cost: Treatments start from around $50 for a body scrub, and go up to $220 for the most extensive spa program.
- What's Good: The three hour Noor-e-Taj program, which combines body scrub, wrap, massage and bath.