BY SINEAD McManus
For spa lovers, treatments generally aren’t so much of a luxury as a necessity. They keep you feeling rejuvenated and energised while at the same time relaxing both mind and body. If any truly successful person were to tell you the secret to their prosperity, nine out of 10 times it would include a healthy balance of work and leisure.
I must confess that as a spa addict, I find gems everywhere – from a budget-friendly masseuse with very good hands on recommendation from a friend to a gorgeously decadent room filled with rich décor and sublime aromas. Shamana Spa in Bambolim has been on my mind ever since it opened its doors, but having never had the chance earlier, I took the first one I got.
Being part of a beautiful property such as the Grand Hyatt Goa only lends its majesty to the spa. The architects have somehow managed to create a Zen-like atmosphere of a mythical monasterysurrounded by an Indo-Portuguese palace. The extensive menu focuses mainly on South-East Asian treatments, and one can literally imagine beautifully dressed 17th century maidens walking the corridors with their consorts for their daily beauty regimens.
Shamana is, in fact, the Sanskrit word for balance, and the spa at the Grand Hyatt Goa clearly hits the nail on the head by incorporating luxury and natural therapy through international products infusing diamond, pearl and seaweed into their treatments.
The spa is five-star in every way, from the courteousness and knowledge of its staff, the impeccable hygiene, lush layout and variety on offer. It has a fitness centre, indoor lap pool and outdoor pools, whirlpools and wet areas with sauna, steam and plunge pool. With as many as 19 treatment rooms, Shamana allows for a decent number of guests to be serviced without making it feel crowded. These include six Shamana suites, a special Ayurveda suite and two Royal suites – still to be made operational – with hydrothermal facilities incorporating sunken baths, vitality pools and multi-sensory rain showers.
There is also a 120 square metre lifestyle studio that can host group and individual fitness sessions, such as yoga, aerobics or zumba. Like many spas in Goa, Shamana also allows for tailor-made treatments customised on recommendations by the spa expert.
Some of the popular treatments requested for include the Holistic Balinese Massage that improves circulation, aromatherapy which rejuvenates the body through holistic fragrance healing, the ayurvedicAbhyanga massage, a stimulating Thai foot massage and a Thai Meridian Massage which is an oil version of the traditional massage therapy that aids healing and rebalance.
After a consultation with the spa expert, I settled on the Shamana Spa Body Massage Candle Treatment. This isn’t something very common in many spas around Goa, but is an exceptionally good treatment that mixes aromatics and massage. Perfect to wash away the stress of the festive season!
Aromatic candles in the treatment suite are lit to lull the senses, relax the body and awaken the inner spirit. The candle burns to form a pool of luscious massage oil that is used in the treatment process. Close to body temperature, the oil can be used as a daily moisturiser, a massage potion or simply for its aromas.
Shamana Spa uses a body massage candle that is enriched with 100 per cent pure and certified Dead Sea minerals, pure jojoba, sweet almond oil and other essentials. The spa expert explained that this is perfect for use during the cool dry season when the skin gets dehydrated.
The 60-minute treatment involves a very well-delivered massage with the candle’s iridescent warm oil. It helps refresh and revitalise the body – the sweet aromatic tones uplifting the mood and relaxing the body. The potion’s Moroccan ArganAnd Evening Primrose Oil hydrates the skin for a softer, smoother and nourished feel.
According to the spa expert, the body massage candle treatment acts as a natural de-stressor, retains moisture in the skin, hydrates and nourishes it, smoothens out tans, gently exfoliates, cleans and promotes skin elasticity. All these leave one feeling very youthful indeed. It also includes anti-tan body polish, relaxes the mood and boosts immunity. All in all, a very well-rounded treatment.
The location of the spa and treatments offered allow for one to literally spend a retreat there. It’s cut off from the cityscape and although one cannot get panoramic views of the beach, a walk on the waterfront before or after the spa allows guests to set the mood or prolong it as required.
Shamana Spa is almost a getaway in itself.
BY SINEAD McManus