September 29, 2009
Spas in Mumbai have been mushrooming at every neighborhood corner and mall. Each of them tries to create a niche and attract the naïve, over-worked and stressed Mumbai people.
Most of the exhausted, middle and upper working class seeks out spas within their residential area so that they can enjoy some luxury without having to wrestle the humongous traffic that Mumbai is famous for.
I too fall in this category of people who want to unwind and desire to be transported few miles away into a galaxy where they can live like royalties and have attendants looking after their every need.
The Ayush Therapy Centre started by Lever was truly a divine place to settle in on a Sunday afternoon. I said “was” because their branch at Khar West closed down and moved to Lokhandwala near Fame Adlabs. The setup at Ayush was well-maintained, hygienic and the therapists really understood your physical and mental requirements before assigning any type of massage. Their packages were reasonably priced and they were trained in the art of customer satisfaction. The best part of their immaculate service was serving a glass of lukewarm water which seemed like a concoction of freshly ground cumin seeds and herbs, after a steaming yet relaxing shower. That’s a true sign of customer service which builds into strong customer relationship and retention. A customer automatically develops an invisible bond of royalty. Value for money four out of five rating based on my experience.
Another wonderful place for Ayurvedic massage is the Kerala Ayurvedic massage centre located at Prabhadevi. Here too great care is taken to understand the ailments of a person and appropriate herbs are mixed in oils and massaged into the body. The only drawback here is lying on slippery hard benches for massages. Value for money three out of five rating based on my experience.
Couple of months old is yet another spa called Iosis located at the junction of Khar Danda. It calls itself Medi-Spa and includes slimming centre, massages, salon and spa treatments. Initially, it didn’t advertise much and the information was leaked out through friends at the club and gym. The ambience creates larger than life experiences with candles, dimmed light fixtures and kneeling life-sized statues. Their brochure lists a lot of services and over-enthusiastic girls across the counter explain them. When I inquired I wasn’t aware that this spa was a part of Shilpa Shetty’s business venture. She did appear on the walls and brochures but then all celebrities endorse anything and everything nowadays.
Later, I came to about it when one of my relative was badly treated at their opening ceremony. A relative of mine too had signed up for a massage package and had asked the masseuse to take an appointment on a particular date. At the appointed time when she reached there, the receptionist said that she had no appointment and told her to come back tomorrow. The rude attitude didn’t go well with my aged relative and she asked her to call the masseuse who took the appointment. She waited patiently to be attended to. In the meantime, the owner of this spa was hustling bustling around to get the inauguration ceremonies done (although, there were no guests around). She instructed her staff to move the chairs, indirectly hinting that my relative should get up. After waiting for twenty minutes with no help from the receptionist, my relative had no choice but to leave, labeled more as a trespasser than a member of this brand of luxury spa.
The massages done here have exotic names but are very average. The aroma therapy massage is a joke because there is no fragrance of any aromatic oils. You will actually have to ask the attendant, “Are you using aromatic oil? What fragrance is it?” One of the best aroma massages that I have relished was at the spa, Taj Fort Aquada, Goa. This divine experience is engraved in my mind and body so deeply that it is almost unerasable. They had an amazing combination of oils which by mere inhalation relaxes you. Before the onset of the massage, you already feel rejuvenated. Here their aromatic facials, hair treatments too are commendable.
Facials at Iosis when compared with facials at VLCC or Lakme salon fall short. They seem to be using imported products from Germany but somehow they don’t seem to give effective results. While the facials at VLCC and their products are truly valuable. Lakme salon at Juhu too provides facials that have value for money and give the desired effect.
Staff management at VLCC is extremely good. While the staff at Iosis forgets to jot down appointments, give payment receipts of another customer and then scratch it out and write down your name. They perennially never have hot water. So after a massage you either take a chilled shower or go out with oil-stained body and take a shower at home. Value for money – one out of five rating based on my experience.
VLCC centre at Juhu has recently launched a day spa experience. I have yet to try it out. If anyone has had the opportunity to experience it, then do write in. Our readers would love to know.
So what should you keep in mind before signing in for spa and salon packages?
1) Take a trial offer. Make sure the products and treatments agree with you. The Swedish massage at Iosis was the worst massage of my life. The masseuse refused to reduce pressure while giving me a massage inspite of constantly telling her that it is causing immense pain. As I complained at the reception of the excruciating massage, I was told, my body is new to Swedish massage and I will just have to get used to it. The following three days, I spent in pain as my joints ached and I had fever. The body ache could be compared to the symptoms of viral fever. After consultation with my family doctor, it was clear that the pressure was too hard that didn’t suit my joints and nerve endings. It had nothing to do with getting used to a massage.
2) Compare prices with other spas and salons before signing on the dotted line.
3) If there is any pain or allergy caused after the spa treatment, immediately consult your doctor and do not take the advice of the salon or spa.
4) Make sure if there is an option for a refund. Most places don’t have this facility. Ask if your spa package is transferrable to a friend or relative. In a situation where some treatment doesn’t suit you and it’s already paid for in advance, then someone else could use it.
Most people look for services that provide value for money. They are even willing to pay a hefty sum for few hours of complete mind and body relaxation. But falling short on service is not an ideal way to develop customer loyalty. Of course, most spas don’t care what individual members think or feel about their services because their audience is aimed for a different class of people of a particular field of profession, but they should take a moment to think that their money too is hard earned and they are also paying customers.
©Nayna, 2007-2009. All Rights Reserved.
September 25, 2009
Birthdays are meant for celebration. A day with special meaning connected with you bringing joy and happiness to your household. Birthday is a joyous occasion. It depends on how an individual feels about birthdays.
Young adults are in a hurry to get older while those in their mid-twenties worry about ageing. Men and women in their thirties dilly dally in admitting their correct age while those in their forties begin a new innings of their life.
Most of us plan a small event to celebrate birthdays. It could be an intimate gathering of friends and family sharing a meal or taking friends out for a movie and dinner or going for a romantic night out with your partner or husband. But what if the person or friends who you cherish the most forgets about your birthday?
Belated birthday wishes are most annoying. If you have forgotten then forget about it totally. Wishing someone with belated birthday wishes means nothing. It shows you in poor light. It clearly indicates that you don’t care enough about the person. If you did, then you would have wished on the apt day.
I agree, it is not always possible to remember everyone’s birthday but there are simple ways to make people aware that you care. There are various online birthday reminder software’s available where you can add your friends list of birthdays and anniversaries. You can make use of your mobile phone’s notes and add the birthday date and keep an alarm as reminder. Various online e-cards have the facility of sending your chosen card and message on the exact birthday, and this facility is free. They maintain a good database where you can prepare and queue your e-card a month in advance.
Sending your friend belated birthday sms or text messages is another sure shot way to make the person know how indifferent you are. A phone call is the ideal way to apologize instead of a belated birthday wishes e-card or sms.
Birthday comes only once a year. If you care about the person then you will make sure that you don’t miss the opportunity to wish them well. If you have forgotten your girlfriend’s birthday then rest assured that an apology will never work unless you were struggling between life and death. You will have work extra hard to make it up to her. Make a note of her birthday immediately so that you don’t repeat this mistake again in the coming years. Belated birthday wishes are not an acceptable norm atleast amongst close friends.
Here are some tips on how to buy a birthday gift for your friend or partner.
If you are on a limited budget then this article is just for you- Shopping On A Budget.
Buying presents is not everyone’s forte. The following article gives you an insight on the types of gifts that you can present besides flowers, box of scented candles or chocolate hampers -A Practical Guide To Buying Gifts.
How to select the right type of perfume for your lady friend is also not easy. Find out the right perfume based on her personality- How To Smell Right-A Guide To Choose Perfumes.
©Nayna, 2007-2009. All Rights Reserved.
September 24, 2009
Today is the first day of Durga Mahotsav 2009. This day is called Sashti. The deity shown in the photographs are of Shivaji Park, Dadar organized by the Bengal Club. These are the first morning images where you will find that there are no flowers, garlands or any activity around. This is mainly because the Bondhon has not been done.
The Bondhon ritual where life is invoked in the idol, Praanprathista is usually done in Shivaji Park in the evenings as per the timings decided by the committee members of this trust.
©Nayna, 2007-2009. All Rights Reserved.