"All rejuvenated and with satiated taste buds, I boarded walked out happy and relaxed."
By Natalia Ningthoujam

New Delhi, July 6 - There was a time when only business class flyers could enjoy airport lounges. But Plaza Premium Lounge, at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here, offers live kitchen, spa services and other comforts to all kinds of travellers without burning a hole in their pocket.

Inaugurated in 2009, the pay-per-use Plaza Premium Lounge has two transit hotels, four lounges and one spa, massage and shower facility under the umbrella of Plaza Premium Lounge in the capital.

Our ultimate goal is to give comfort, convenience, value, love and care to our guest and elevate the airport experience, Mohan Limbu, country manager - India, Plaza Premium Lounge, told IANS.

The transit hotel offers well-designed rooms with amenities.

It can be used by a traveller who has a short transit time to longer transit time e.g. a traveller who has five hours on his hand would love to shower, rest a bit before he heads to his next destination.

We also have independent airport lounges where a guest can use the lounge service in airside and enjoy food and beverage, Wi-fi, shower, spa and massage services or simply relax and unwind with our comfortable seating options, he added.

In the last few months, the domestic lounge has gone through changes and I was game for an experiential.

As the word premium is attached to the name of the lounge, I expected the tariff to be comfortable only to the elites. Surprisingly, the price of the services at the domestic lounge starts from Rs.1,000 plus taxes.

It's just the beginning.

If you wish to enjoy the Swedish massage, it will cost you extra Rs.1,600 plus taxes. Those with less time on hand and can't go for full body massage, can opt for relaxing foot reflexology, which is priced from Rs.500 plus taxes onwards. Or seated massage to give relief to head, neck, shoulder and back.

Quench your thirst at the bar, which currently serves alcohol only, and pay according to consumption.

As I reached the lounge, I could see some of the guests relaxing on the comfortable sofas and the soft lighting was creating a soothing effect. Some professionals were utilising the transit period to clear the backlog by using the new plush seating with USB ports.

After looking around a bit, my eyes fell on the interactive kitchen. Led by chef Abhinav Chauhan, head chef at Plaza Premium Lounge, the live food counter is one of the services introduced recently.

We mostly serve Indian at the domestic lounge, but have different menu on six days. For instance, we bring about variation in the kind of soup served or rice. It can be biryani or pulao. Even the curries, said Chauhan.

As much he wants to offer different flavours to his guests, he also faces challenges.

We can't use knife here or open flame. So, the vegetables are cut outside and brought here. We use oven, but can't prepare rotis without flame, said the chef, who has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry.

But it was one of the days when they chose to serve Chinese instead of Indian.

I reached out for the chicken noodle soup, which has become their guests' favourite now. With beans, sprouts, spices and noodles, the soup certainly was a healthy way to start my lunch.

The buffet consisted of fried rice, garlic noodles, vegetarian manchurian and chicken in hot garlic sauce. To bite into hot and well-cooked food instead of the usual light snacks at the airport, was definitely a winner for me.

Try customised dosa or pasta from the live counter. There are also evening snacks that range from chicken lollipop to idli.

You can even pick beverages of your choice.

Post lunch, after a gap of an hour or so, I hit the spa room. Prior to it, I told the masseuse that I don't like too much pressure. She used rose cream along with lavender oil from natural handmade skincare brand Nyah and was gentle as requested. I felt so relaxed that I almost dosed off. It was only when the announcement was made at the airport that I released that I wasn't at a resort.

All rejuvenated and with satiated taste buds, I boarded walked out happy and relaxed.

So next time you are at IGI, check Plaza Premium Lounge and stretch and unwind without worrying about the cost.


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