The mother of all treats

Fran­tic moth­ers re­joice - we’ve found the best spa treat­ments for you to re­lax, un­wind and be pam­pered, so you leave look­ing like a yummy mummy

Friday - - Friday Contents -

We try out the top spa treat­ments that will leave you look­ing like a yummy mummy.


Grosvenor House, Dubai Ma­rina

F or­get boxes of chocolates and bou­quets of flow­ers, what ev­ery mother re­ally wants is to look her best. And I’m no dif­fer­ent. So it was with high ex­pec­ta­tions that I went to B/At­ti­tude, the lux­ury spa in one of my favourite ho­tels, Grosvenor House.

I’ve been there be­fore but never fail to be im­pressed by the gor­geous East meetsWest decor, com­plete with dark brown in­te­ri­ors and rich gold and ruby red fur­nish­ings.

In­side the treat­ment room, I was soon ly­ing on a com­fort­able bed, lis­ten­ing to the gen­tle sounds of na­ture, as my ther­a­pist ex­plained she would use prod­ucts that are spe­cially for­mu­lated from a blend of Hi­malayan plant and herb ex­tracts.

I’d done my re­search and dis­cov­ered that Ayurveda – mean­ing ‘sci­ence of life’ – is an an­cient In­dian well-be­ing and heal­ing phi­los­o­phy that has been around for thou­sands of years.

It works on the prin­ci­ple that we are made up of a mix of el­e­ments (fire, earth, air, wa­ter and ether) and only look and feel our best when all the el­e­ments bal­ance.

The skin is the first thing to suf­fer when el­e­ments are out of bal­ance, which for me re­sults in an oily T-zone. While that means I don’t have many wrin­kles, it also re­sults in fre­quent break-outs and blem­ishes.

That, my ther­a­pist ex­plains, is be­cause I’m a mix­ture of doshas – vata, pitta and kapha – and so need a com­bi­na­tion of prod­ucts to feed my skin.

My ther­a­pist got to work, cleans­ing my face. The fa­cial wasn’t just about go­ing through the mo­tions, with var­i­ous prod­ucts. My ther­a­pist mas­saged my face to give my fa­cial mus­cles a work­out, and to lift and plump the skin by stim­u­lat­ing the en­ergy and blood flow as well as col­la­gen, which re­duces wrin­kles and helps pre­vent more form­ing.

The hour rushed past – I sus­pect be­cause I was so re­laxed I dozed off! – and when I in­spected my skin it was glow­ing. I felt re­vi­tal­ized.

“You look like you’ve been on hol­i­day,” my five-year-old daugh­ter said. It was well worth in­vest­ing an hour to knock off a few years and some blem­ishes. What more could you ask for? Cost: Dh450 for 60 mins. To book email bat­ti­tude. grosvenor­house@lux­u­rycol­lec­ or call 04 399 8888 (ex­ten­sion 2200 or 2201).

Hot-stone mas­sage

Body Care Spa & Beauty, Glo­ria Ho­tel, Dubai

F eel­ing stressed out, I needed a sanc­tu­ary to re­lax and recharge, so I hot-footed it down to Body Care Spa & Beauty, Glo­ria Ho­tel, Dubai.

Af­ter a brief con­sul­ta­tion with my ther­a­pist, Marni, I de­cided to try some­thing dif­fer­ent and so opted for a hot-stone mas­sage. Marni van­ished and then reap­peared af­ter a cou­ple of min­utes to an­nounce that the stone room was ready.

Im­ages of a fiery fur­nace and a hot blast of air as­sault­ing my body as soon as I en­tered this room in­vaded my mind. I de­layed go­ing in by brows­ing through the well-be­ing prod­ucts on dis­play in the re­cep­tion area un­til my ther­a­pist beck­oned me to fol­low her through a maze of cor­ri­dors. The sound of wa­ter trick­ling from sev­eral wa­ter fea­tures along the way helped to re­lax me and ease my fears.

But in­stead of fire en­gulf­ing me when I opened the door, I was wel­comed by fra­grant aro­mas waft­ing through the air, giv­ing the stone room a serene and re­laxed am­biance. The soft light­ing and sooth­ing mu­sic helped me un­wind.

Warm stones were placed on my back, legs, hands and be­tween each of my toes. The stones felt smooth and the tem­per­a­ture was com­fort­able.

“Plac­ing hot stones on acu­pres­sure points helps re­lease tox­ins and pro­motes good blood circulation,” Marni told me, be­fore ap­ply­ing nat­u­ral al­mond oil all over my body.

In ad­di­tion to fill­ing the room with a nutty, sweet fra­grance, the oil is a great emol­lient that soothes and softens the skin, while al­low­ing the

It trans­ported me back in time to my child­hood in the Zim­babwe coun­try­side

silky smooth stones to slide over my body more eas­ily.

I closed my eyes as Marni deftly ma­noeu­vred the stones while si­mul­ta­ne­ously work­ing in Swedish and deep-tis­sue mas­sage strokes – a truly unique ex­pe­ri­ence that left me feel­ing re­laxed, re-en­er­gised and re­newed.

It trans­ported me back in time to my child­hood in the Zim­babwe coun­try­side where I used to go down a slip­pery nat­u­ral wa­ter slide and then emerge from the wa­ter to bask on a warm rock in the African sun à la crocodile. The stones added the right amount of pres­sure and the heat re­laxed my stiff mus­cles.

If you want to treat yourself or your mum on Mother’s Day, I’d def­i­nitely rec­om­mend a hot-stone mas­sage – you feel the stress melt away. A treat she’ll never for­get. Cost: Dh450 for 60 mins. To book call 04 381 8173 or visit www.glo­ri­a­hotel­


The Spa, The Ad­dress Ma­rina

A s work­ing women, my mom and I rarely spend qual­ity time to­gether, so I was hop­ing the Mum and Me-Time pack­age at The Ad­dress Ma­rina’s The Spa would be the ideal – and pam­per­ing – so­lu­tion.

As we walked in to the tran­quil foyer of the spa, all dark wood and can­dle­light, I could sense my mother al­ready de-stress­ing.

In­side the spa­cious VIP treat­ment suite, feel­ing ridicu­lous in our fluffy robes and shower caps, we gig­gled away as our In­done­sian ther­a­pists de­scribed the treat­ment to us.

First would come the cit­rus re­viver, which was a full 25 min­utes of ex­fo­li­a­tion, then a 50-minute aro­mather­apy mas­sage, and a 25-minute booster fa­cial. “Fab­u­lous,” my mother mouthed.

As we lay face-down on ad­ja­cent treat­ment beds, our ther­a­pists com­menced the ex­fo­li­a­tion us­ing a con­coc­tion of zesty pink fruit, green rose­mary and ju­niper berry to detox­ify and strengthen our skin, while the ground olive stone grains sloughed off dead skin cells.

Once we were vig­or­ously scrubbed down from head to toe, the ther­a­pists es­corted us to the en-suite show­ers to wash the olive bits away. Out of the shower, Mum and I were ec­static at our new-found sup­ple skin. The last time my mother saw me with such soft skin, I was a baby!

Our ec­stasy was only height­ened when the aro­mather­apy mas­sage fol­lowed. Tai­lored to in­di­vid­ual needs, one of 12 nat­u­ral plant and flower oils are picked. Both our ther­a­pists ze­roed in on the de-stress­ing frank­in­cense mus­cle oil to re­lieve us of mus­cu­lar ten­sion, which they pro­nounced was our pri­mary ail­ment – like mother, like

Mum and I were ec­static… The last time she saw me with such soft skin, I was a baby!

daugh­ter. Us­ing acu­pres­sure, the ther­a­pists care­fully ap­plied pres­sure on re­flex points to help stim­u­late the ner­vous sys­tem and elim­i­nate tox­ins. The foot re­flex pres­sure mas­sage that fol­lowed ful­filled my mom’s longheld wish of a grat­i­fy­ing foot rub.

The booster fa­cial started with a cleans­ing mas­sage us­ing the Cure all-in-one cleanser, and then a gen­tle mi­cro-gran­u­lated C+C vi­ta­min scrub to re­move grime and oili­ness. This helped ab­sorb the hy­drat­ing oxy­gen mask, which had a de­li­cious aroma and was painted over our faces.

Once the masks were wiped off and our treat­ment was done, we headed out­side to where my dad was wait­ing for us. “You look great!” he ex­claimed. Mom had a beam­ing smile. Mis­sion ac­com­plished. Cost: Dh1,200 for mother and daugh­ter cou­ple, 100 min­utes. To book call 04 436 7777 or visit www.thead­


Palace Down­town Ho­tel

O ne ques­tion on the spa con­sul­ta­tion form jumped out: Does stress af­fect you in the fol­low­ing ways..? Here goes: Sleep pat­terns… Tick, skin ir­ri­ta­tions… Tick, weight man­age­ment… Tick, pa­tience… How long is this list?!

Al­though I’m not a mum, I have a plethora of friends who are and I am pretty sure I speak on their be­half when I say this check­list is a mother’s daily com­plaint man­ual.

I may not have a brood of kids de­mand­ing at­ten­tion on a con­stant ba­sis, but my de­struc­tive tor­nado-like en­trance to Palace Down­town Ho­tel lux­ury spa was tes­ta­ment to the fact that I, ma­tri­arch or not, was clearly in need of some se­ri­ous re­lax­ation. work­ers alike. The treat­ment has one key in­gre­di­ent: sea­weed.

This detox­i­fy­ing an­tiox­i­dant is com­bined with a host of other re­lax­ing and rein­vig­o­rat­ing aro­mas and mas­sage tech­niques to leave you feel­ing ex­traor­di­nar­ily re­gal. It starts with a detox­i­fy­ing Dead Sea salt body pol­ish in­fused with cit­rus and patchouli scents, fol­lowed by a hot-stone mas­sage, which dis­solved stress nod­ules in mo­ments.

Freshly cul­tured sea­weed strips from Ire­land are then draped over the body to aid lym­phatic drainage and toxin re­lease, while sooth­ing sea­weed oil is smoothed on to your hands and feet ready to be wrapped in heatab­sorb­ing plas­tic and hot tow­els. Once you’re all swad­dled up, it’s time for the pro-youth fa­cial, packed with vi­tal vi­ta­mins and oceanic min­er­als.

A fraught mother’s magic rem­edy, this treat­ment will leave you feel­ing

This treat­ment will leave you feel­ing younger, lighter, brighter and a whole lot softer

“You’re rather… en­er­getic,” my ther­a­pist Sheril said, choos­ing her words care­fully.

I’d only just ar­rived and she’d sussed me out al­ready. Per­haps a good thing. The treat­ment was twoand-a-half hours long, and quite how I was sup­posed to lie still for that long was be­yond me.

This place won the­World Lux­ury Spa Award for best ho­tel spa in the Mid­dle East last year, and I was to try the Queen’s Rit­ual treat­ment, per­fect pam­per­ing for full-time moth­ers and younger, lighter, brighter and a whole lot softer within two hours of pure stress re­lief.

You’d think a fishy aroma would ac­com­pany this ocean-packed treat­ment, but not so.

The fresh prod­ucts have been so well pre­pared that as you float home you’ll feel much more like a beau­ti­ful Mother’s Day mermaid than the mother of all mana­tees. Cost: Dh1,350, 180 mins. To book call 04 428 7941 or visit www.thead­

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