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Divine Therapy: An Interview with Prabhat Verma, Executive Vice President — Operations, South India, International and Ancillary Businesses, IHCL

In an insightful conversation with Today’s Traveller, Prabhat Verma, Executive Vice President – Operations, South India, International and Ancillary Businesses, IHCL, sheds light on IHCL’s approach to Wellness, how it has kept abreast with current trends and how it has captured the Wellness market.

Q. What is the philosophy behind the IHCL approach to Wellness (Spa and Salon) in its many offerings across its properties?
Jiva is the only Indian spa brand in the world with unique Indian signature spa therapies and spa experiences. Located at over 60 IHCL hotels in India and international destinations, the ethos of Jiva Spa draws on the rich and ancient wellness heritage of India; the fabled lifestyle and culture of Indian royalty through the centuries; and the healing therapies that embrace Indian spirituality. All products used at Jiva Spas are natural and uniquely developed from Indian herbs, essential oils and special ingredients.

To expand our wellness offerings, we recently introduced our salon brand niu&nau – unisex salons that will present a reimagined experience with distinctive design and cutting-edge treatments delivered by professional stylists and therapists. The re-imagined salon experience at niu&nau merges expertise with personalisation to create an elevated offering. We look forward to introducing the brand to 10 more locations by the end of 2020.
Q. What are the signature treatments of the Jiva Spa that have won them international acclaim?
Jiva Signature experiences weave ancient Indian wellness philosophies and the natural assets of the region beautifully.
These are one-of-a-kind experiences and not available in any other spa in the world. Abhisheka and Vishrama are a few of the signature experiences available across some of the Jiva Spas.
Abhisheka is a purifying ritual that draws from India’s ancient ceremonial cleansing rituals. Here, the healing water from the Ganges along with the 5 purifying nectars is used to create a purifying experience. Vishrama is a relaxing deep muscular massage to melt away your stress. An application of hot compress of therapeutic Indian herbs works on your tired and sore muscles. The invigorating massage is wrapped up with gentle strokes to soothe the muscles as you slip into sheer bliss. Amongst other signature treatments: Gudda Bath at Taj Madikeri Resort & Spa, Coorg and Mangal Snan at Taj Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior are most sought after. Mangal Snan is a truly royal affair. It is a saffron-infused royal bath accompanied by live classical music.
Gudda Bath, on the other hand, draws from the local ethos of Coorg where water used for bathing is heated in a Gudda
or copper vessel on a wood-fire. After an hour-long traditional massage, a bath with hot water from the Gudda is used to increase peripheral circulation, leaving you refreshed.
We have also witnessed increasing number of men engaging in various spa experiences at Jiva, like Pehlwan Malish, an ancient powerful oil massage.
Q. How do longstanding treatments absorb current therapies to keep abreast of lifestyle needs?
At Jiva, we treat our guests to the time-honoured rituals that reflect the essence of ancient Indian Healing wisdom and culture. Jiva spa therapies are extensively researched and weaved in to fit in with modern practical needs.
For example, a rising number of business travellers are looking to de-stress and rejuvenate themselves by extracting an hour between meetings. Jiva signature experiences like Jagr, a quick 45-min therapy, and Trupti are designed to help erase fatigue and restore well-being. Panchakarma too is a popular therapy for cleansing toxins from the body that de-stresses both mind and body. Each treatment and experience has been carefully selected to initiate physical, mental and spiritual equilibrium.
Q. In what way is IHCL poised to capture the market’s growing demand for Wellness, Beauty and grooming?
Today more than ever, the world is turning towards India, the birthplace of authentic Ayurveda and Mystic Yoga. Also, the trend of combining holidays and spa retreats is on the rise. Spa holidays can be tailor-made to fit individual requirements, right from the stay to the cuisine that is wholesome and nurturing, ensuring that your wellbeing is in expert hands. At our Taj Bekal Resort & Spa, Kerala, we offer specially designed long-term special needs wellness packages through our multi-day Yoga Retreats and Ayurveda Journeys where a guest goes home with more than a massage – a healthy lifestyle. With the growing economy and increased disposable incomes, there is a distinct shift in the lifestyle of the ever increasing working population. The re-imagination of the salons at IHCL hotels has been undertaken with a view to unlock the potential of the salons while catering to the evolving needs of
our guests. niu&nau brings together technical expertise with the quintessential warmth that IHCL is world renowned for.

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