At the airport, my bags and I were whisked away by a hotel driver named Sanjay. Dressed in crisp white shirt, black vest and slacks, he greeted me with an earnest warm welcome, soft voice and smiling eyes, and settled me into a gorgeous 7 series BMW with Wi-Fi, snacks and air conditioning. Sanjay made certain I was comfortable and had plenty of water for the 20-minute ride to the hotel. I was blissfully on my way.
The JW Marriott Mumbai Hotel & Spa is a one-of-a-kind oasis of luxury, elegance and serenity. Nestled along Juhu Beach and overlooking the Arabian Sea, the hotel is separated from the noise and crowds on the streets by 30-foot gates and double checkpoint security worthy of a president. Rich and famous Bollywood stars often make appearances here in the sunset hours.
Entering the hotel lobby, you are welcomed by its grandeur and sweeping ocean views from every angle. The interior is opulent: the gleaming marble floors, grand chandeliers, ornate artifacts and exotic carpets are a feast for the eyes. The oceanfront grounds are lush and serene with indigenous gardens, exotic pagodas and lotus ponds. The 60-foot T-shaped affinity pool faces the sea, and sculptures of Buddha and Shiva are perched high, adorning and blessing the waters below.
Following a deep eight-hour sleep, I awoke ready for a day at the hotel’s Quan Spa. Quan comes from the Chinese word meaning “the source of pure water” –interpreted in this spa as water’s power to cleanse, balance, and heal. Your sensory journey begins even before entering the spa, from the beautiful hues of aquamarine and sea blue in the stairwell to the crystal glass of the spa lobby to the sight and sound of a water wall in the reception lounge.
My reception was a typically warm and gracious Indian welcome. My therapist Magmar gently exchanged my shoes for fitted slippers while I indulged in a chilled local mango juice and refreshing cold towel served on a silver platter adorned with a fresh cut rose.
After brief discussion, Magmar selected the 90-minute Aromatherapy Associates Massage, which is based on the healing properties of pure essential oils and customized to your wishes. I chose ylang ylang and lavender to help re-balance my body and clear my mind of congestion. The treatment started with a simple yet effective 10 minute-head massage. Within seconds, I was pleasantly overcome with the subtly invigorating fragrances of the essential oils easing me into calm and tranquility. Methodically moving on to my body, Magmar quickly had me under her spell as she applied medium pressure and used long, smooth, mesmerizing strokes in rhythm with the music. As she hailed from the north of India, near the Tibetan border, she incorporated indigenous techniques using knuckles, thumbs, elbows and forearm.
The massage was followed by an Aromatherapy Associates Facial. This consisted of two deep cleansings, a purifying scrub with natural clay and an exfoliating scrub made from finely ground olive pits to polish and smooth the skin. My skin tingling with cleanliness, a a chilled 15-minute Thalgo fish oil mask was applied, rich in omega-3 and -6 to repair dry skin. The scent of fish was strong but I knew it was working! Next was an AA anti-aging serum to stimulate natural collagen levels and rich repair nourishing cream. Finally, eye serum was applied using lymph drain strokes to tighten and brighten tired eyes.
Looking and feeling refreshed, I finished a renewed and spirited spa addict!
If your travels bring you to Mumbai, I highly recommend the Quan Spa at JW Marriott Mumbai for a treat you won’t forget!