Spa re­views

Our top-10 spa treats for summer.

Friday - - Friday Contents -

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 mhrs.dxbmh.spa@mar­riott.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. spa@mar­riott.com

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 difc­spa@ritz­carl­ton.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

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