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
We try out the top spa treatments that will leave you looking like a yummy mummy.
B/ATTITUDE AYURVEDIC DORSHA FACIAL
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. email@example.com or call 04 399 8888 (extension 2200 or 2201).
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.gloriahoteldubai.com/spa.html
MUM AND ME TIME
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.theaddress.com
THE QUEEN’S RITUAL
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.theaddress.com