Kaya Kalp – The Royal Spa at ITC Sonar Kolkata juxtaposes various facets of wellness with the goodness of Bengali traditions. By Priyanka Chakrabarti

There’s richness and relaxation oozing out of Kaya Kalp’s walls. Dark mahogany interiors, golden silk curtains, bright zinnias floating in ceramic bowls and greenery in every corner make it look like a haven of holistic healing.

As I settle down in the reception, I am offered a pomegranate cooler to soothe my senses. It is a humid afternoon, but a quick pat with a hot towel surprisingly makes me feel fresh. I sit back and flip through the spa menu and decide on the two-hour Eastern Journey.

Spa At ITC Sonar Kolkata

My masseuse, Jiraporn from Thailand, escorts me to the therapy room. She starts with a gentle foot massage with a mixture of sea salt, rosemary and eucalyptus oil. She seems to know exactly where to apply pressure; her touch almost instinctive. She washes my feet with lukewarm water, wipes them with a towel and then astonishes me by starting to pound my feet with a wooden paddle! “Foot pounding is a great way to boost blood circulation,” she says.

After about 10 minutes I am ready for my massage. I lie face-down on the therapy table and take three deep breaths, visualising all the stress escaping my nostrils in the form of dark grey smoke. Jiraporn starts polishing my body with a homemade scrub made up of Gobindobhog rice, sandalwood, moong dal, turmeric and hints of Gondhoraj lemon juice. After 30 minutes of gentle scrubbing, I wash myself clean, readying myself for the oil massage.

Spa At ITC Sonar Kolkata

I lie back on the table and Jiraporn massages my back with a lime and ginger oil. She tells me the oil is great for healing. I can’t agree more. Thirty minutes down and the knots in my neck and shoulders have disappeared. I am drowsy yet alert. The massage strokes are long and the pressure sturdy. She kneads my back and then moves to my legs, arms and stomach. The session concludes with a firm head massage.

Jiraporn turns on the hot water in the shower. The water envelopes me in a loving embrace. I wipe myself dry, put on a fresh robe and sip on a hot cup of green tea before heading out for dinner. I seem to have internalised the physical calm the therapy aroused in me.

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If you are looking for a fruity delight, opt for the Exotic Pomegranate Journey. This two-hour therapy starts with a invigorating pomegranate body scrub and concludes with a relaxing oil massage.

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