Our top-10 spa treats for summer.
Arabic Coffee Awakener
There’s no stimulant that works as well as the coffee bean. The Arabic Coffee Reviver Massage, I was told, is just what my skin and body required to give it that much-needed caffeine boost, as coffee grounds are natural exfoliators and help reduce cellulite. In line with its sister spa at the JW Marriott Marquis, the Saray Spa at Marriott Al Jaddaf is opulent and luxurious, but with a subtler vibe. Once I changed into my robe, my therapist Leonor recommended I start with a 10-minute steam in the sauna to open up pores for exfoliation.
The treatment room had a relaxed ambience with candlelight and the wafting scent of lavender. The Black Arabic Coffee and Dead Sea Salts exfoliation coarse mix with its distinctive aroma enlivened me during a 20-minute scrub from top to toe, which Leonor said induces a burnished glow.
Next came a Dead Sea Mud and Black Arabic Coffee full body mask. I was wrapped up in clayey, moisturising comfort and while lying back to allow it to set for the next 25 minutes, I felt myself drift off into a blissful snooze.
I woke up to the therapist’s soothing tones asking me to gently get up and shower away the mask. Once squeaky clean and refreshed, I settled down for a 45-minute heavenly scalp and body massage that left me in a surreal state of feeling relaxed, but recharged and ready for anything.
Trust me, ditch your morning coffee and save your money to spend on this wonder treatment instead. Saray Spa Marriott Hotel, Al Jaddaf Price Dh555 Duration 90 minutes Call 04 317 7777 or email email@example.com
Milk and Honey Immersion
Milk and honey? This has to be the scrummiest spa treatment in town. It took me to the Saray Spa and Health Club at JW Marriott Marquis for the first time and oh, what a place! Tucked behind carved ornate doors, this is a haven of Arabic and Oriental opulence and channels the traditional caravanserais (roadside inns) along the silk route.
I felt like a princess about to step into a tub full of milk à la Cleopatra. Entering the elegant candle-lit therapy room, the absence of a milk-filled bathtub might curdle spirits, but the gorgeous treatment room was wonderfully calming. Beginning with a full body scrub of oatmeal and black seed oil, my skin was buffed to a polished glow.
Therapist Marciel then poured a warm concoction of milk, honey and rose oil over my body, deftly massaging the nourishing mixture into my skin.
The acupressure and the mouthwatering maple-syrupy fragrance calm and soothe so well, don’t be surprised if you fall into a deep sleep as the natural anti-ageing and firming enzymes of the milk and honey work their magic. After showering, the treatment got even better, with hot stones dipped in rose oil placed at pressure points across my back. The deep, relaxing massage this was followed by was heavenly and I could feel the stress and toxins dissolve from my body with every stroke.
Like all good things, this 105-minute, 5,000-year-old treatment eventually drew to an end, but not before it made me feel just like the royals of ancient times. Bliss. The Saray Spa JW Marriott Marquis Price Dh865 Duration 105 minutes Call 04 414 6754 or email mhrs.dxbjw. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pure Lift Facial/Diamond Multi-sensorial Facial
When the words “facial, RitzCarlton and diamonds,” are uttered in the same sentence, you can expect to feel a burst of excitement, right? And it’s all sparkles at The RitzCarlton’s spa with the Diamond Multisensorial Facial that will cure your skin’s ailments with a dose of diamond dust.
My smiley therapist Imso soon appeared and led me to the treatment room. I sat sipping a cool glass of cranberry juice, cocooned in a soft white gown while Imso scrutinised my skin to identify problem areas and asked all about my usual skincare routine. My wash-and-go approach raised an eyebrow. She then explained she’d be using Natura Bisse’s Diamond Collection (the Spanish skincare range adored by both Oprah and the Friday team), made up of a medley of active ingredients, such as Artemia salina (a plankton extract) and developed to infuse my skin with energy, to regenerate and protect against cellular ageing.
I was told I could expect a needlefree cosmetic lift to my face – adios baggy eyes, slack jawline and furrowed forehead, hello plumper skin with improved elasticity. Perfect. Imso then gave my face a thorough cleanse and followed this with a relaxing myofacial and aroma massage using shiatsu (meaning ‘finger pressure’ in Japanese) techniques. To create a lifting effect and penetrate the deepest layers of the skin to repair damaged DNA, an intensely cold cryo-lifting mask was applied. It tingled, but Imso assured me this meant the tightening properties were working hard to hone facial contours and help freeze the ageing process.
Afterwards my skin felt and gleamed like a diamond in the sky! The Ritz-Carlton Spa The RitzCarlton DIFC Price Dh1,325 Duration 90 minutes Call 04 372 2777 or email email@example.com
Ialways thought a hot stone massage was the go-to treatment to fix stress-related aches and painful deskinduced knots. But hello, said a friend of mine, stones are like the ombré of the hair world, or to you and me – old news. Now I’m told it’s all about hot lava shell massages – the new spa fad in town that’s out to replace its stony cousin. And so as an intrepid spa maven I headed to Kalm Holistic Beauty, Palm Jumeirah’s favourite beauty salon (with a spa concept) to see what the fuss was about. I’d ignored the lava part, only weighing up the wisdom of my decision once therapist Jenny had me lying down on the treatment bed. How badly scorched was I going to get?
Jenny started off by placing pebble-smooth tiger clam shells – imported all the way from the Philippines – on my back. I waited for a searing sensation to hit me but felt only a relaxing warmth that soaked into my skin as the therapist kneaded away the knots and every ounce of stress from my body.
The shells, she informed me, are filled with small heated sachets of minerals, sea kelp and algae mixed with salt water and essential oils. It reacts with the shells’ calcium carbonate to release a natural heat along with ions that tighten and firm up your skin.
An hour later, sore legs, shoulders and deep muscle twinges were a thing of the past.
I left feeling rejuvenated, looselimbed and really noticed the smoothness of my skin – firm, soft and warm – as if I’d just returned from a relaxing day at the beach. Kalm Holistic Beauty Riva Beach Club, Palm Island Jumeirah Price Dh280 full body Duration 60 minutes Call 04 451 9988 or visit www.kalmbeauty.com