The Oberoi Spa
Strictly speaking, The Oberoi Spa shouldn't make this list as it is solely for the use of hotel guests or those escorts prepared to book
a room on a day use basis. The reason it is included is purely visual. Of all Delhi's spas, this one is easily the most arresting. Clean, contemporary and ultra-stylish,
it is the work of UK based designers virgile and Stone and is operated by the Thai chain, Banyan Tree Resorts. The low-lit indoor pool, with its rough textured columns and raised infinity pool, is a real marvel- the perfect, calming ambience for a soak at the end of a long day. Any kinks that can't be removed with a few laps can be taken care of in the treatment rooms, where the all Balinese staff offer everything from Jet Lag Massage and Ayurvedic body scrubs to Vichy shower treatments and deep-tissue manipulation. The Oberoi, Or Zakir Hussain Marg,
T 0112436 3030, www.oberoidelhi.com
WHERE TO GO IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE TOWN
For centuries, Delhi's rulers and their subjects, stuck with a climate that would make the Devil give thanks for his eternity in hell, have retreated to cooler climes each summer. For the Moghuls, this meant relocating to their pleasure gardens on Srinagar's Lake Dal, ID days' journey away in the Vale of Kashmir. The British opted to stay closer to home - each summer they moved their capital, lock, stock and barrel, to Shimla, a town two days' journey to the north nestled in the Himalayan foothills. Nowadays, the proliferation of budget airlines allows contemporary Delhi-ites and their escorts to do much the same, albeit with far less bother. Srinagar is 90 minutes away by plane, Shimla about the same by chartered helicopter, while the seaside resorts in places like Goa, Kerala-and even the Andamans are now all possible weekend getaways.
Tempting as it may be to leave Delhi's heat and dust for a weekend on the beach or a stroll through Himalayan pine forests, there are also a number of fascinating destinations within easier striking distance. Tiger-spotting at CorbettNational Park (Dhikala, Tall 2794 8870), 300km from Delhi, for example, or shopping for jewellery in Jaipur, 260km away, with lunch at the fabulous Rambagh Palace (Bhawani Singh Road, T 014 1221 I9I9) as an extra treat. They certainly won't offer much respite from the sun, but the trips listed here are worth their weight in perspiration. Escort recommended.