ESPA’s dark décor of sharp marble slabs, ceramic mosaics and metallic woods make it an unconscious architectural rendition of Judith Butler's theses on gender constitution—a three-story man-cave basement for those who need a break from high-stake dealings in the skyscrapers next door. The spa manager concedes that the few female regulars feel somewhat uncomfortable with the discriminating design. At the elevators, a Frenchman is fidgeting and walking about impatiently, regretting having arrived too early to his appointment with a PT. In the pool area, a masseuse from Bali picks up a customer lying in a metal lounger in the massive jacuzzi with jets blasting at full power. She explains the benefits of each different massage in detail. The man looks overwhelmed. “Don’t worry, your body will tell us what you need most, once you choose the essential oil,” she consoles him. Nearby a group of luxury retail businessmen are discussing the differences between the European and Indian markets. One of them is trying to contribute to the conversation, but his teeth keep on chattering after he spent too much time in the cryosauna, in an attempt to impress the others. AP

This review is included in TTA10. Click here for more information about the issue.

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