Natural materials and modern technology blend beautifully in the Thai Spa, which is designed to entice mall shoppers to unwind, says Sapna Kulshrestha.
When it comes to spa design, the single universal theme is tranquillity – for every element of spa interiors centres around it. At The Thai Spa, the design favours natural materials to achieve this objective; it is the archetype of spa design that blends traditional design elements with modern execution.
Launched in May this year by renowned UK hairstylist Guy Kremer in alliance with Eyecatcher salon, the Thai Spa nestles on the first floor of a South Mumbai mall – ideally located to tempt shopping-weary bodies.
There are no doors and the reception is open to the mall area to welcome all, adhering to their tagline “Walk in to De-stress”.
The spa cum salon centre, designed by Indonesian designers Jenny Kartika Harto and Ade Christian Arwanto of Iconic Design Image, is spread across 1200 sq ft. Divided into salon, foot spa and body spa, it follows “The 3 C concept” i.e. catchy, comfort and classy.
The salon boasts of a vibrant colour bar section, with earthy finishes and contemporary fixtures giving the space a minimalist yet luxurious ambience.
The design concept is to blend in nature and the commercial industry and yet be eyecatching – so that’s how the designers came up with the interesting feature of ‘Woogloo’ (Wood Igloo), the circular wooden space frame over the curved hair wash platform for back wash. This exceptional feature adds a hip and trendy quotient to the otherwise unadorned space.
The unique character of the salon is evident in inconspicuous details such as the product display shelves with colour lighting and the translucent waterfall that creates a distinctive ambience.
The open floor plan gives a sense of continuity, while the carefully-designed concealed and accent lights that illuminate this moderate space create a welcoming feel.
Within the open plan of the salon cum spa, the spaces are defined by the use of different floor finishes and light treatment such as bright, direct daylight for the salon and dim, indirect lighting for the spa – making for an easy transition from one
space to another.
Opposite the salon is the spa section, which has two massage rooms and a room for foot massage chairs from Thailand. The therapists are trained in special Thai therapy that does not require products and is a form of passive yoga.
From a simple foot massage to a Royal Thai Body Massage, the day spa offers something for everyone. In contrast to the salon, the décor of the spa area draws inspiration from traditional Thai designs and transports guests to Thailand with its choice of colour palette and decorative elements.
The multi-tiered brickwork in the massage treatment room is inspired by Thai temple architecture.
Accent lighting on built-in ledges at various levels lends a mystical glow. The concealed light from behind the brick wall near the floor adds a sense of lightness to the weighty brickwork even as it enhances the surreal feel of the atmosphere.
Seamlessly blending into the setting is a table-top basin of earthen finish in a corner surrounded by wood and mirror panels.
This is a cleverly designed space where the interior treatment and accessories fundamentally impact the end user’s experience. The room also has an attached shower room with inbuilt steam area.
Step into the massage room that includes a Jacuzzi tub, and it has a completely different appearance. The dark rustic-finish ceramic tile wall forms the backdrop for the mosaic bath-tub, while light wood panels on the remaining walls add a fresh and airy feel.
The interplay of contrasting shades of light wood, dark stone finish wall and pebble-like mosaic seem like an extension of nature.
Mellow light streaming in from the louvered panels augments the natural look created with earthy materials.
The Eyecatcher group has four centres in Kolkata, and plans branches countrywide – including in Pune, Ahmedabad and Guwahati. True to its name, all the accessories in the Thai Spa including the bedcovers, displays and Buddha statues (besides the clients’ suits as well as the therapists) have been imported from Thailand for an authentic Thai spa experience.
The laidback aura provides a peaceful sanctuary within a bustling mall. The challenges faced by the design team were limitations of space and the stipulation of blending the salon and spa.
The woogloo backwash, the brick wall construction and the risk of future leakage of the water curtain feature in the spa were some other practical considerations. Yet, the overall design treatment and modern infrastructure have successfully made this spa, whose clientele boasts of Mumbai’s movie stars and celebrities, on par with international spas.
Area: 1,200 sq ft
Location: Lower Parel, Mumbai
Date of Commencement of Project: 1st April 2009
Date of Completion of Project: 25th May, 09
Design Consultancy: Iconic Design Image
Address: Citiloft Sudirman 1007- 1008, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Tel no: +62 21 25558964
Designers: Jenny Kartika Harto; Ade Christian Arwanto
Architect & Contractor: Gautam Wadhwani; Sagittaire
Tel no: +91 98201 43018
HVAC, Lighting: Sagittaire
Customized Interior fittings: Sagittaire