Plush, stylish and regal: Kaya Kalp – the Royal Spa gives new meaning to royal treatment. From the extravagant wellness treatments to the paradisical landscaping, the spa is especially designed to provide a living experience of regal being. Voted by many as one of the best spas in India, the Royal Spa is a perfect blending of old-world charm and modern-day spa pampering.
Stepping foot into the spa, it’s easy to see how Kaya Kalp has gained such recognition. Davina Hassell, the Spa Manager, guides me around the lavish property and explains, “The spa industry in India is still in its growing stage. I’m proud to say that Kaya Kalp is at the forefront of it and we’re working hard to strive for growth.”
The flagship Kaya Kalp spa located in ITC Mughal Agra Hotel is India’s biggest spa to date, sprawling over 99,000 square feet in area. Since opening its doors in 2008, the spa has already nabbed 8 prestigious awards, one of which is the Best City Spa awarded by Condé Nast Traveller.
Inside the spa, the Mughal mood is infectious. Kaya Kalp is designed using many elements from Mughal dynasty architecture: from latticework to bronzed lamps to velvet upholstery. Delhi-based architect and landscape designer, Pradeep Sachdeva, uses the pomegranate fruit as the theme of the spa – a fruit representative of the Mughal dynasty. Ruby red pomegranate designs can be seen in the design on the walls, ceiling and white terrazzo flooring.
The spa ground extends to the lush, tropical gardens. Running fountains flow, while fragrant flowers and fruit bearing trees blossom under the sunlight. Adapting the garden concept brought in by Baber, the first Mughal Emperor, the Kaya Kalp – Royal Spa adds in that eden atmosphere that can be felt all over the city. We are after all in Agra, the garden city most famous for India’s emblem, the Taj Mahal.
After an exhausting day of visiting the city’s numerous monuments, a rejuvenating spa treatment is just what you need. From traditional Ayurvedic rituals to chakra balancing and gem stone massages, there is a large assortment of holistic treatments and spa journeys on offer. A Royal Mughal hammam, resembling those of the old Persian days, is another interesting feature of the spa. Enjoy a deep cleansing body scrub, an oil massage, a scalp massage or simply lounge around the bath. Couples who want some intimate privacy can opt for the Taj Mahal Romance treatment, which includes Ayurvedic massages, guided meditation and Shirodhara therapy enjoyed together.
Curious to try out the spa’s most unique treatment, I book myself in for the Pomegranate Journey. My therapist first cleans my feet with water – a tradition used by the South Indians to welcome guests into their houses. To begin the journey, we start with a Pomegranate ritual scrub. Kaya Kalp’s signature blend of natural fruits such as pomegranate, lime and ginger, mixed with organic brown sugar allows the body to be gently exfoliated. It deeply cleanses, polishes and softens the body. Next, I get a deliciously healthy bath of pomegranate fruit essence, while sipping freshly squeezed pomegranate and lime juice. After feeling utterly relaxed, my treatment culminates with an Indian aromasoul ritual massage where my body is instantly revitalized with the use of traditional aromatherapy.
Towards the end of my journey, I feel enlighted – physically rejuvenated from the spa treatments, and intellectually enriched from experiencing India’s culture and history.