Get Leashed Goes to India

Photo: Umaid Bhawan Palace at Near Circuit House Road, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India; tajhotels.com

If Jay Z had the chance to spoil Beyonce while on holiday in Rajasthan, surely he would have chosen Jiva Spa – one of the world’s top hotel spa brands – at this exquisite palace. Try the Sushupti treatment for total unbridled bliss; it’s a hedonistic delight you won’t find anywhere else, for a spa day to end all spa days. The classic Sushupti played a ritualistic role in preparing Rajasthan’s wealthiest, most ravishing brides for their wedding day. My therapist arrives early to prepare the treatment suite, one of eight rooms in this sprawling residence, once the sensual, private enclave of the Maharaja’s most favored bride.

Photo: Umaid Bhawan Palace at Near Circuit House Road, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India; tajhotels.com

She initiates the ritual by cleansing my feet in a copper bowl of warm water, lathering me up with rose and jasmine petals. She then exfoliates my body with a blend of rice, honey and cream, drawing out every delicious stroke. True to Jiva’s preference for organic over synthetic materials, I’m then cocooned in a luxurious conditioning wrap using soft cotton sheets – not the disposable plastic or foil still used by many luxury hotel spas. As she releases me from the wrap, I smell more like a five star dessert than a jet-lagged nomad.

Photo: Umaid Bhawan Palace at Near Circuit House Road, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India; tajhotels.com

After I shower off the paste in an enormous steam shower, she guides me to a warm bath of pure milk and beautifying rosewater. Surrounded by scarlet rose petals, I soak in this fragrant broth (wishing I had a straw or spoon as my nose detects traces of cardamom and clove). Deeply nourishing massage stimulates blood circulation while the milk bath soothes the mind. The finisher, a languid facial massage, tames an unbalanced complexion with calming oils. After two hours of epic pampering, she invites me to “rest” on the suite’s palatial terrace, overlooking pristine palace gardens and the historic Mehrangarh Fort in the distance.

Photo: Umaid Bhawan Palace at Near Circuit House Road, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India; tajhotels.com