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Holistic Heaven
The Heavenly Spa at the Westin Pune Koregaon Park, is a lovely reminder of why it is among the recognized spa brands globally

Situated in one of the most upscale areas of the city, The Westin Pune Koregaon Park, is a favourite with local and global guests. It’s easy to see why this huge property appeals to so many – especially those inclined towards wellness. Within its expansive walls, Westin strives to make guest experience not only memorable but also wholesome.

Westin for Wellness
Of all Starwood brands, Westin embodies wellness and has a number of features that underline this. Westin prides itself on the Six Pillars of Wellness, which comprise ‘Eat Well, Work Well, Sleep Well, Move Well, Feel Well and Play Well’. All Westin properties execute these six wellness dimensions with offerings like the Heavenly BedTM, SuperFoodsTM, Westin WorkoutTM, Gear Lending Program, RUNWestin and of course, The Heavenly SpaTM.

All these trademarked concepts ensure that a guest experiences wellness from the inside out. The Heavenly Bed is a cult favourite with 10 luxurious layers that ensures perfect sleep, while the SuperFoods program serves super nutritious cuisine. Every element of the SuperFoods is in itself smart and full of flavor, which contains unparalleled, age obliterating concentrations of nutrients, low impact calories and synergistic powers. With the Westin Workouts, Gear Lending and RUNWestin programs, the hotel chain lays a special emphasis on its guests’ fitness.

Enter heaven
Along with sleep, fitness and nutrition, rejuvenation is also another important offering at the Westin properties. All weary minds and bodies turn to The Heavenly Spa, to feel renewed and recharged. The spa works on the triple concepts on ‘Uplifting, Serenity and Sensory experience’, making sure its guests experience every treatment on those three levels.

The Heavenly Spa opened its doors in December 2009, along with the hotel’s opening. It is spread over 5000 sq. ft. of lavish space with subtly decorated interiors. The warm color palette and classy design is the work of Singapore-based interior designer James Park Associates and Architect Design Cell. Situated on the ground level, the spa has six treatment rooms in all – 4 single rooms, 1 couple suite and 1 Thai massage room. The rooms have evocative names like Enrich, Elevate, Evolve, Emerge, Embrace and Escape. They have attached steam and shower facilities and there are separate wet areas for men and women too. In addition, there is a relaxation room called Sanctuary, and a consultation room, where the spa manager, Dr. Darshana Sawale, helps guests choose the right treatment. A trained Ayurveda physician, Sawale’s guidance is indispensible, especially in the case of Ayurvedic treatments.

Beyond-the-body treatments
Apart from Ayurvedic treatments, the spa also offers a host of Western treatments. The spa menu has recently undergone a complete makeover, under the personal supervision of Jeremy Mc Carthy, Global Spa Director for Westin. The makeover is a result of the spa tying up with Aromatherapy Associates, who will now be supplying a luxurious range of products to the establishment. The new menu features 5 signature treatments, four of which are brand new. The fifth is The Heavenly Signature Massage, which has been retained, as it is a cult classic, featuring a heated bed.

Mc Carthy, an experienced spa professional and a qualified psychologist, has designed each treatment protocol with underlying psychological principles which enrich a treatment experience.

The guest is first welcomed with an Apple & Cinnamon elixir – both SuperFoods ingredients – making for a refreshing start. After a consultation, a guest is led to the treatment room, where he or she is asked to choose from among three stones imprinted with a positive word like Love, Gratitude or Hope. This is called the 3-Stone Ritual, which helps set the mood and emotion for the duration of the treatment. The chosen stone is then placed in the bowl under the face cradle, so it reinforces the emotion throughout the treatment.

The Heavenly Spa also follows another beautiful concept called ‘The Burden Basket’, whereby the designated therapist states that they are leaving behind all their emotional burdens before commencing the treatment. This is done symbolically, with the therapist placing a few pebbles in the basket and then hanging the basket outside the door as a ‘Session in progress’ sign. Mc Carthy believes that a therapist ought to proffer treatment with a ‘clean slate’; because Buy Cialis negative emotions and vibes may transfer from the therapist to the guest.

Other special touches include the guests being given some dark chocolate – a SuperFood – after the treatment and the unique hooded bathrobes for guests who want just that much more privacy.

Before a treatment begins, the guest is given a hot towel wipe on his or her feet, instead of a foot ritual. A gentle ring on a Tibetan Bowl announces the start of the treatment, while filling the air with positive vibrations. I surrendered myself to the expert therapist and let her ease away my fatigue and niggling pains.

On the shelves
All treatments rendered at the Heavenly Spa are effective not just because of the technique but also the products. Premium brands like Pevonia are used for facials, while Pevonia, Oligodermie and Phytomer are used for scrubs. Oils are sourced from popular local brand, Kelkar Foods, which supplies to all leading spas in India.

In retail, the spa stocks products like bathing bars, face washes, body washes, face gels and lip balms by Rustic Art, an organic products’ brand based in Satara, Maharashtra. They also sell diffusers by Passion Indulge. These are fast selling items because they are reasonably priced.

Fitness first
The therapy did wonders for my gym sore muscles, and the fitness freak in me got curious about the spa’s fitness facilities. As mentioned above, the Westin hotels accord fitness a lot of importance with a number of programs and facilities like the gym and pool. The gym is large with an array of cardio and weight equipment.

The open air pool on the second floor of the hotel is also popular with the guests as are the squash courts. In fact, the squash courts at the Westin are among the few in the city and are hence almost always booked. One of the courts is for guests to use, while the other is used for training.

Other fitness activities offered in the spa/hotel include Yoga, Aerobics, Zumba and dance. Dr. Sawale, the spa manger, who is also a certified Yoga trainer, holds complementary and paid Yoga sessions for guests at the separate Yoga room in the hotel. The spa also plans to add Bollywood dance classes in association with a Pune-based dance academy soon, thereby widening the scope of fitness activities at the spa.

Staff and training
The Heavenly Spa takes its therapists as seriously as its therapies. The spa employs a team of 7 therapists (all female), 3 gym instructors, and 1 pool attendant, along with a spa manager and an assistant spa manager. The housekeeping is done by the hotel’s housekeeping team.
The basic recruitment criteria for therapists are a spa therapist certificate course and at least two years of experience. Spa manager, Dr. Sawale also tests them on massage skills and prefers to get references of past record from their previous employers.

Training and refresher sessions are periodically held by brands, updating the skills of therapists. Many such sessions are recorded to be shown to new joinees later. This ensures that all therapists are at par will their skill sets.

To heaven and back
I could vouch for the expertise of the therapists by the experience I had at the Heavenly Spa. Lying on the treatment bed of the beautiful couple therapy room, soaking in the luxury and ambient music, inhaling the scent of the Westin Signature White Tea and Aloe essential oil, I felt all my worries melt away, and I wondered when I would get to make this trip to heaven again.

Fact File

Name of the Spa: The Heavenly Spa at Westin, Pune, Koregaon Park
Address/Contact: 36/3-B, Koregaon Park Annexe, Mundhawa Road, Ghorpadi, Access Rd, Koregaon Park Annexe, Mundhwa, Pune, Maharashtra, Ph: 020-6721 0000
Global spa director: Jeremy McCarthy
Spa manager: Dr. Darshana Sawale
Spa area: 5000 sq. ft.
Spa team: 12 (including therapists, gym instructors and pool attendant)
Spa facilities: 6 treatment rooms, including one couple room and a Thai massage room, attached steam and shower facilities, separate changing rooms and wet areas for men and women, Indo-Western treatments
Spa timings: 8:00 am to 9:00 pm
Tariff: Rs 1700 to Rs 13500 plus Taxes

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