Staycations have become a much-needed necessity in today’s time…isn’t it? While we all travel frequently in work/business to various cities, we sometimes need a break from the mundane routine to rejuvenate ourselves. I remember I was in Mumbai on work and was totally occupied so much so that I was looking for a short break, just a pure relaxation time and that’s exactly what staycations are supposed to be. I got lucky when I was in Gurugram last month for work when I collaborated with Taj City Center Gurugram for an experiential.
Set in the heart of India’s financial and technological “Millennium City” the hotel is just a stone throw distance from all the major hubs. The strikingly contemporary tower houses 208 luxurious rooms and suites furnished with all the modern amenities for discerning travelers. As you walk into the hotel – you’d notice the urban aesthetics that reflects in the imposing glass and granite façade with latticed Indian accents and locally-inspired motifs.
A sneak peek into the 350 sq.ft Luxury Room category and you’d notice the calming views of the swimming pool. The room features merbau wooden flooring with minimalistic décor interspersed with jewel-toned furnishings.
My experiential at Taj City Center Gurugram included the Signature Spa at Taj’s award-winning Jiva Spa followed by a chef’s table at the iconic Thai Pavilion – India’s first Thai fine dining brand.
After living in denial for many years, I’ve finally come around – Spa’s are a necessity for life. There I just said it! Just a few days ago I was in Bali doing the regular touristy stuff and was longing for a pure relaxation time and that’s exactly what Spa’s are supposed to be for. The Jiva Spa at the Taj City Center Gurugram is so good and so well equipped that it forms a tranquil atmosphere. The philosophy of Jiva Spa is rooted in India’s ancient approach to wellness and the treatments are drawn on this, the fabled lifestyle and culture of Indian royalty and the healing therapies, which embrace Indian spirituality
Soon after the consultation, I was lead to the waiting room and treated to a hot cup of Vishudhi Chai. Made from fresh organic jaggery, lemon and garnished with whole-leaf basil, the chai was meant to detoxify.
The experience began with the masseuse greeting with a warm smile and a namaste followed by a Pada Mardana – a traditional massage therapy for the tired soles. My experiential package included Orja Dayaka – a deep muscular massage to lift your spirits and a soothing Neem Facial. A special blend of oil, laced with the fragrance of nagarmotha, patchouli, tulsi & aswagandha worked quite well on the post-holiday, deep-seated aches. And what an indulgence it was! Those 90-mins went by ever so quickly…sigh!
Cleansed to the very pore thanks to a sojourn in the attached steam room, which took care of those last knots, and a luxuriating shower later, it was time for lunch at the award-winning Thai Pavilion.
The striking interiors of Thai Pavilion grabbed my attention almost immediately as I entered the restaurant. The walls are traditional wood joint from royal Thai residence façade merging with an ornate Indian wood carving, establishing an intermixed language between the two cultures.
The experience extended to the cutlery on the table and later with the food as well. Started off with Tom Yum soup that was as authentic as it could get. Som Tam with its palate tickling sweet & spicy flavors was on point while the Pla Rad Prik – crispy deep fried prawns topped with homemade spicy sweet chili sauce was absolutely exceptional. Phad phak kiew kratiem of home-styled stir-fried vegetables not only served as an appetizer but also complimented the mains of Thai Green Curry and steamed rice. Tub Tim Krob – the quintessential Thai dessert was the perfect finish to what is one of the best Thai meal I’ve had in a really long time. Kudos to MasterChef Prajuab who curated this special lunch experience.
‘Ka Prow’ i.e.; basil is my favorite ingredient in the kitchen and ‘PlaKa Prow’ – stir fried fish with basil is my favorite dish” says Chef Prajuab with a warm smile who hails from the southern Thai city of Phatthalung and has also served with to the likes of global leaders like Nelson Mandela and Jacques Chirac and several other Bollywood celebrities.