I’ve been a bit sick this last week (flu, nothing serious) & that has made me fall behind on a lot of work. Oh well, I’m catching up now.
Last week I got to experience citybliss, Mumbai’s first spa-on-wheels. Well, you heard that right, it’s a spa in the back of a luxury van that roams around the city.
Spas are usually the ultimate in indulgence (& expensive too) but I have more than a few problems with them usually – They’re so stuffy. I have to dress up at least a little to go to a spa, when all I want to wear are pyjamas (since I’ve never worn pyjamas out baggy jeans will suffice). We don’t own a car, a trip to & from a spa means a grungy rickshaw ride & though I normally don’t complain much about it, I’m not a fan of getting all of the city’s dust & pollution on me right after I’ve spent time getting pampered at a spa. And calling them home is not an option, I’m very apprehensive at the thought of letting strangers into my home.
Citybliss definitely seemed like the answer to all of these problems so I was pretty happy to give it a try.
An appointment was scheduled for 2PM, they would pick me up from home & either park nearby or take me for a spin (yes they do offer some services in a moving vehicle too, just a few are stationary-vehicle-only).
I’d almost forgotten about it. I mean I knew that they would come but in the Mumbai traffic I wouldn’t have begrudged them half an hour or so. I was at home so I had a ton of stuff to keep myself occupied. Well imagine my surprise when I got a call few minutes before 2 o’clock- they had parked just outside my gate & were waiting for me! I threw on the first clothes I could find & went down really quick.
Right enough the spa-on-wheels was in the parking lot waiting for me.

The vehicle is pretty big & the inside is spacious too. As soon as I entered I was asked to remove my footwear & slip into cozy cane bedroom slippers. I opted for a foot massage. And as the therapist got the stuff ready, I spent the time looking around. There’s a very large tv screen in front that’s connected to a camera in front of the vehicle. It’s fun to watch, (I imagine it’ll be a lot more fun when the vehicle is moving). The seats & interiors really reminded me of flying business class, you know? I liked it.
In a minute she was ready for me & that’s when the blissful part started.  The curtains were drawn, lights dimmed & there was comforting instrumental music playing. They asked me how much I wanted my seat to recline & made it so. And finally they put a fluffy blanket over my arms & lap. As someone who’s so into technology, I find it very hard to switch off but at this point it was truly happening – I allowed myself to stop fiddling with my phone & actually be in the moment & relax.
This girl was the spa therapist who did my foot massage (she was so shy).
She washed my feet in a tub of warm  water & for the next half an hour took turns massaging each foot while the other one was cosily wrapped like a burrito. And she was really good at it. She had firm hands but she was also very gently, she didn’t handle my feet roughly at all & was very intuitive to any flinching or tensing from my side (well I’d never been for a proper foot massage before & got a little scared when I saw that rounded wooden tool they use).
After my massage was done she sprayed my feet with a lemongrass spray so not only did they feel good but they smelled lovely as well. As the foot massage finished I was actually pretty sad to leave this little happy place. But of course I had to, so I snapped the above photo, said my goodbyes & left. (A word of advice, watch you’re head when you’re stepping out of the van. I’m not very tall & I knocked mine. It didn’t hurt at all but I still felt rather silly).
The cherry on top of this wonderful experience was that the walk from the van to my front door took all of three minutes. I do not need a ton of fresh flowers & zen fountains in a fancy spa to help me relax. Just the though of having such a nice spa experience minutes outside my home is relaxing to me. After this, I’d recommend them in a heartbeat. Another innovative service they offer is airport pickups… imagine getting picked up at the airport, getting a foot massage & then you’re home! This is just what Mumbai needed, thank you.
Follow @citybliss on twitter, for updates on where they’re passing, etc. They even give away free massages!