Dear men of Chennai. This post is for you so listen in. If your wife or partner has forwarded you this article, then take note and take action. I have been guilty of failing to take action on our wedding anniversary and the consequences have been dire, but I think I’ve figured out a way to ensure it never happens again because I’ve found a winning anniversary gift formula.
There is an expectation upon us men to do something romantic when it comes to the anniversary. A few weeks ago my wife and I were at Focaccia at Hyatt Regency. We got talking, as you do, to the marketing manager of the hotel about our super unromantic wedding and worse, how I failed to make that up for that on our first anniversary. The marketing manager waited until Chef Mauro had whisked my wife off to another one of the live counters and in a conspiratorial manner leaned in and asked me what my plans were for this year. Yikes, our anniversary was only ten days (I think) away and I hadn’t given it any thought. Then why don’t I, she suggested, book a couples therapy session at the Siddh Spa in the hotel?
What, I asked incredulously, is involved in a couples therapy? The last time I had a massage in India was in Kerala and the Ayervedic male masseuse made a determined attempt to turn my insides out as he dug into my muscles and parted them at the seams. It was perhaps the single most painful experience of my life and I’ve never had a massage since. In other words, I was going to need some more convincing.
It’s very romantic, she assured me, and I would earn extra brownie points for being the most awesome husband. I mulled the idea over in my head. My wife loves massages. I love getting extra brownies points and while I had pretty much got the handy-man-around-the-house part down, I definitely needed to work on my spontaneous romance. Deal, I said, book us in.
Ten (I think) days later, on our wedding anniversary, I had read up on how to be romantic. It said to bring her a gift in the morning and say something cute about her. So I improvised a little and brought her a cup of tea in bed and said “Happy anniversary, fart face! I’ve got a surprise for you!” Her expression sent me scurrying back to the kitchen Googling things not to call your wife when you are trying to be romantic. Eventually though, we were in an Uber and heading to the Hyatt Regency. She had no idea what was in store for her. She thought we were going back to see Chef Mauro for his Italian brunch again.
As I guided her to the Siddh Spa, she looked at me with some puzzlement, what was I up to? “Keep going, it’s all been taken care of!” And it really had. The staff at the spa had been briefed about the occasion and greeted us warmly.
The first part of couples therapy was to take place separately with a sauna followed by a steam. Given Chennai’s famous climate a sauna seemed a little bit redundant in the city – I could simply turn off the A/C and get one for free. However, as I sat in the cozy log-cabin-inspired sauna room, I could feel my muscles relaxing. Apparently sauna’s can help you look younger as all your pores open up and even make your hair look better, which was good for me, but more importantly, I knew my wife would look and feel great when she’d finished her sauna – and as men know, there is nothing better than a happy wife!
The steam room was a bit weird at first because I felt like I was breathing in hot clouds, but after a couple of minutes I soon got used to it. Both saunas and steam rooms offer similar benefits, but a good ten minutes in a steam room helps open up your blood vessels and transports oxygen to every part of your body – adding to that “I feel great” euphoria.
I wrapped myself in the super-soft luxury bath robe and made my way to the rejuvenation area. My wife was already there, her skin glowing and she looked radiant – yes, I think this couples therapy was going to work out real well for me. Umm, for us. After a refreshing drink and cold towel, we were led to the couples therapy room. It was glorious. Like a luxury apartment, it didn’t feel like you were in a hotel or even spa, it felt like you had won the lottery and built a massage room right in your own home. The lights were dim, gentle music played and my wife was definitely impressed.
After the horrible ayurvedic massage that I had received in Kerala, I told the staff at the Siddh Spa that I needed something super-relaxing and not something that felt like I had gone ten rounds with Godzilla. We laid face down on to the firm, but cushioned massage tables, positioning our faces in those little round holes. As the masseuse went to work, my nervousness about being torn limb from limb quickly subsided and I completely relaxed.
Remembering that this session wasn’t just about me, I turned my head to see if my wife was doing OK but at that moment she let out a small groan as her masseuse worked on her lower back. That was followed by a giggle and an apology – yeah, she was definitely getting her money’s worth from the massage!
We were having a full body massage, head, feet, legs, arms. Every muscle was massaged to relieve any sense of tension. As the masseuse massaged my head, I was half afraid that I might fall asleep and start snoring – and that wouldn’t have helped the romantic atmosphere that had been created. After a blissful hour, the therapy was over. My wife looked like she had just come down from seventh heaven. Was it good, I asked? Oh God, yes she murmured.
After we’d got changed and transported back to reality we headed down to sample Chef Mauro’s incredible Italian brunch once again. As she sipped on her Prosecco wine and finished off her tiramisu, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her look so content. As for me, I gave myself a high five. I think I’d finally done it! I had been the perfect husband and given my wife the romantic anniversary that she deserved. As she took another sip, another realization came to me. There was a question that I had been putting off and seeing my wife so blissfully happy it had to be now or never…”So honey, you know how I just came back from that boys weekend in Dubai, well next month my friend Tim is having a bachelor party in Prague…”
Booking Your Romantic Couples Therapy at Siddh Spa
The Siddh Spa contains six individual and couple therapy rooms, separate sauna and steam rooms for men and women and a fully equipped gym. It is open daily from 8:00am to 10pm while the gym is open 24 hours a day. Along with the sauna, steam and massage, you get robes and towels, soft slippers, complimentary bottled water and lockers to keep all your items. Before your therapy begins, you can tell the masseuse which parts of your body to focus on and how much pressure you are comfortable with.
We enjoyed the Nidhra therapy which was Rs 2,700 per person for 60 minutes. Both Asian and modern western massage types are offered. Prices for other treatments range from 2,000 to 5,500.
Address: 365, Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, India