Get Alive with Wellness

By Sharmila Chand

Ancient Ayurvedic healing, Swedish therapy techniques, relaxing Thai massages, organic products, an outstanding facial… it is time to immerse oneself in all encompassing rejuvenating treatments at Alive Spa, housed within Radisson Blu Agra Taj East Gate. 

During my recent visit to Agra, I kept one afternoon free just to pamper myself at the oasis of wellness, steered by a dedicated team of therapists.

After a brief chat with the Spa Head made me realise how serious the team is in focusing towards their guests’ inner peace and tranquility through varied therapies. The spa presents an ideal zone for respite, with great care and attention.

The spa has a repertoire of blissful treatments designed to treat your senses. Choose from Alive Spa’s signature Indian deep tissue or reflexology massage, or make an appointment for a rejuvenating facial, skin treatment, detoxifying wrap or body exfoliation.

The spa also offers manicures, pedicures and waxing treatments. The in-house hair stylist at the salon can help you find your perfect look for an exciting evening in the city. Tired from a full day of sightseeing? Choose a quick 30 minutes head or a foot massage to relax yourself.

Overall, the spa presents an oasis of serene wellness in our lives full of tension and pollution.

During visit to the spa, I got to meet Nivedan Kukreti, the Spa Director, Alive Spa, who has 15 years of experience in rooms division and spa operations.

He has been associated with hotel brands like ITC, The Oberoi Group, Shangri-La and The LaLiT Group before taking up his role as the Director Operations at the Radisson Blu Agra Taj East Gate. The excerpts of the interview with the seasoned wellness professional follow:

What are the kind of changes you have witnessed in the Indian spa industry during the past five-six years?

Statistics has shown that the industry is showing growth. More and more Indians are taking to spas.  The spa holiday market in today’s date is a force to reckon with.

The latest upcoming trend is of guests opting for spa packages for holidays, wherein they are travelling to destinations just to avail of the spa facilities.

They are also seen choosing the package which has a mix of different variety of treatments ranging from western to eastern therapies.  

What are the key challenges towards opening a spa in India?

One of the key challenges that a new spa or an existing one in India faces is to source quality therapists and to retain them.

How do you address this challenge?

We have our own in-house trainers who coach and mentor the team. We also have professional institutions backing our spa in sourcing quality manpower.

How do you decide on the spa treatments?

While designing the right therapies one has to be mindful of the market that one is operating in. At the Alive Spa, we have tried to cater to both our local clientele and international guests by offering them a choice of treatments.

As Agra is a one night destination for many travellers, many of the guests may not have a lot of time to take comprehensive spa treatments but when they come back from a full day of sightseeing, they can choose a quick 30 minutes head or a foot massage with our spa to relax themselves. Our local clientele comes to our spa and choose a two to three hour package.

As our market is very price-sensitive, another important factor which plays a major role in creating a spa menu in the Indian wellness industry is the pricing.

What do you enjoy the most about being a Spa Director?

The best part about my job is to understand the guests’ need and understanding why they are choosing a certain package and not others.

It also gives me an opportunity to up sell the treatments.   

Could you tell us the USP of the spa, which you are presently managing? What distinguishes it from others?

Our spa offers varied treatments from east to the west, with unique setting and a comprehensive wellness for full body and mind.

We source our own organic products for use in our treatments and have created signature treatments that distinguish us from others.

Can you name one of your signature treatments?

Our signature treatments include our Radisson Facial which is a 90 minutes package, including use of organic products, especially aloe vera toner, which produces extremely satisfying results.

What is your favourite treatment to receive and why it is so?

My favourite is the Indian Deep Tissue Massage which is a special offering at our spa. It works deep into the muscles and releases a lot of tension, leaving you fresh by the end of the treatment.

Any other point you wish to make?

Spas were once considered as luxury, but now with the fast pace of living it has become part of our lifestyles.

This trend offers a great boost to the Indian wellness industry and will take it to the next level in the years to come.

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