ShuiQi Spa at The Atlantis
Occupying two floors of the ocean-themed resort, ShuiQi Spa & Fitness means “the energy flow of activity” and has been newly renovated in partnership with Shiseido so that the brand’s treatments and products are exclusively available at the spa. A treatment highlight, the Japanese Ritual begins with an infused rose petal footbath followed by a Japanese inspired body bath to enrich the senses. A full body Qi massage and Shiseido facial follows and therapists can expertly recommend products post-treatment. Designed to capture the style of Japanese culture, the 27 treatment rooms, relaxation areas and changing rooms are all dark blue and turquoise overtones with hints of gold. For ultimate luxury, the Royal Spa Suite offers a private jetted tub, lounge areas and a terrace perfect for couples.
Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah
Definitely one of, if not the, biggest spa in the city, the Talise Spa is based in the Madinat Jumeirah complex that plays home to not one, not two, but three hotels and a range of villas. Talise is the compound’s inner sanctum and can be reached by boat or by foot with private entrances for men and women. One of the key features of the spa is their focus on wellness, which has been pioneered by Wellness Director Jeff Butterworth. Talise aims to combine leisure and wellness and is intent on showing guests that they can indeed have it all with programmes combining medical and naturopathic treatments with massage and facials.
In addition to their own on-site medical processing facility, the spa produces a range of natural serums that use natural ingredients and give guests another added-value element. Each of the 26 rooms are designed as individual villas with some specialised for Watsu treatments, crystal therapy and yoga amongst many others. Wet facilities abound in the various changing rooms as well as elegant relaxation lounges for a pre or post treatment tea. Magnolia, the award-winning vegetarian restaurant, also serves up delicious spa cuisine before or after treatments and long after that.
Emirates Timeless Spa, Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport
In Dubai, luxury spa-ing could be the last thing to do before boarding your flight for your next destination – that is, if you’re a First or Business Class passenger on Emirates, the national carrier. There are three locations at Dubai International Airport, including the Airport Hotel, which all offer express treatments and “timeless” therapies for the weary-but-well heeled traveller. In addition to German product line Babor and Australia’s Sodashi, guests can also sample the spa’s signature Timeless Traditions range which uses natural ingredients like frankincense and dates to improve the skin’s immunity and functions. The Jet Lag Recovery Therapy is ideal for re-syncing your body clock through an invigorating body brush and natural purifying mask. Gym, steam, sauna, Jacuzzi and pool facilities are also to be enjoyed.
www.emirates.comOne&Only Royal Mirage
Divided into three hotels, the Royal Mirage is often considered one of the city’s prettiest compounds and resorts. The Palace is designed to conjure up the magical qualities of Arabia with mystical designs and a sense of fantasy while the Arabian Court is more traditional, giving guests a taste of what it’s like to live as royalty. Finally, the Residence & Spa is an intimate boutique styled private residence which also plays home to the resort’s famous Oriental Hammam and Health and Beauty Institute. Housed under a domed arch on the lower floor, the hammam offers a traditional experience of heated marble massage table, two steam rooms, two Jacuzzis, two private massage rooms, jet shower and whirlpool as well as a resting area. At the spa, separate men and women’s sections offer 12 therapy rooms and a range of treatments designed by spa giant ESPA.
The Armani Hotel occupies the first 39 floors of the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building and which looks down on Dubai Mall, currently the world’s largest mall. It’s also a great place to watch the nightly fountain show from. Distinctively modern, the hotel is Armani all the way with custom-created fabrics and leather finishing from Florence. Many of the rooms have been designed by Giorgio himself and feature branded stationary and monogrammed sugar cubes (fun!). Equally, the ARMANI/SPA has been designed to reflect an Armani lifestyle with a fully tailored sensory experience to suit each guest. A consultation with a therapist will determine if you should go for a MU (relaxation and stillness), LIBERTÀ (release of physical pain) or FLUIDITÀ (detoxing and energising) treatment, which encompass both body and face. All treatments in the ranges use the spa’s bespoke oils of Bois, Jasmine or Jade.
The Address Dubai Mall
Directly across from the Armani Hotel, The Address Dubai Mall is a great place to actually see the Burj Khalifa from and is also linked directly to Dubai Mall. The Spa features nine luxurious treatment rooms including an Oriental Massage room, hydrotherapy and rasul chambers, as well as a floor dedicated to relaxation and wellbeing. Treatments feature the ever-reliable Aromatherapy Associates and focus on the benefiting qualities of essential oils. For a true luxury experience, try 90 minutes of the Restore and Detox treatment that includes a hydrobath for tired muscles followed by an intense Hilot massage inspired by the far east, designed to improve circulation. After the treatment, guests can enjoy complimentary access to the outdoor pool, steam room and sauna.
Housed in an iconic pyramid structure, Raffles Dubai is located in Wafi City, one of Dubai’s ultra exclusive lifestyle complexes. Within, the Amrita Spa is all subdued elegance with treatments inspired by a blend of Asian and Middle Eastern traditions. Derived from the ancient Sanskrit meaning for “dawn of time,” Amrita has six treatment rooms including a couples’ spa suite which boasts its own private whirlpool and secluded terrace. Steam, sauna and whirlpool facilities complete the offerings. For those on the go, the lavish Traveller’s Palm is a soothing double exfoliation that leaves the skin both exhilarated and detoxed, with the nourishing silk body milk applied post-exfoliation ensuring that the skin stays refreshed and well-hydrated all day long.
Assawan Spa, Burj Al Arab
After 14 years, the Burj Al Arab still remains one of Dubai’s most iconic and famous hotels. The world’s first self-termed seven-star hotel, the duplex rooms were designed for guests to feel like royalty – and to be sure, many of them are. Those who cannot afford the hefty prices for the rooms above, or the opportunity to dine in the submarine-like restaurant below, crowd the guardhouse snapping away, honestly the view doesn’t disappoint. Assawan Spa has recently been renovated to cater to a new brand of traveller, which also includes a greater focus on wellness in the spa menu.
Spread over two floors, the spa’s range of facilities includes two wellness gyms, two infinity pools, and sauna, steam and plunge pool facilities in the changing rooms. In addition to luxury brand La Prairie, the spa has introduced a range of treatments with organic brand Voya, which includes the Tangle Me Up Organic Body Wrap. Designed to relieve the body of stress and fatigue through an exhilarating body brush exfoliation, this is followed by an organic seaweed wrap to improve the skin’s suppleness and tone while protecting the skin with its antioxidant compounds (and leaving you smelling decidedly sea-like until a shower and a soothing application of moisturiser changes that). The treatment is relaxing and invigorating at the same time while the rooms offer up a lovely view of the sea beyond.
Park Hyatt Amara
Located on the peaceful banks of the Dubai Creek, Amara Spa at Park Hyatt Dubai is one of the city’s older resorts slightly away from the main city. Inspired by the ancient Moorish palaces, the spa was designed with utmost privacy and tranquility in mind. With its own entrance, the spa can be accessed from outside the hotel and offers eight luxury suites each with its own outdoor terrace, lounge area and indoor and outdoor rain showers. The hotel itself also has eight Spa Rooms for guests to enjoy their treatments in their own rooms (did we mention the privacy bit?). Termed “personal wellness sanctuaries,” each suite comes with its own private steam room and treatment area. Amara’s treatments combine Arabian touches with the finest products and use Anne Semonin, Carita and Pro Lift technology. The Aromatherapy – Ruby Massage focuses on pressure point techniques that work hand-in-hand with the properties of sandalwood, rose and neroli essential oils resulting in a calmer mind and brighter skin.
Saray Spa, Marriott Harbour Hotel Dubai Marina
At the Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites, the newly launched Saray Spa concept has just come into operation and is offering traditional Middle Eastern treatments and products in an ambience that invokes ancient customs and elegant traditions. Of course, the Arabic traditions go deeper than the spa’s design with products staying true to their Middle Eastern roots, including minerals from the Dead Sea and treatments that strongly feature a delicious combination of honey, pomegranate and yoghurt.
The spa has six individual treatment rooms as well as steam, sauna and Jacuzzi facilities. In addition to the traditional Hammam, one of the spa’s key treatments is the Arabic Coffee Awakener that uses the bean’s well-known antioxidant properties in a full exfoliation combined with Dead Sea salts to stimulate and cleanse the body. Next, a Dead Sea Mud and Black Arabic Coffee “cocoon” is prepared for a total detox. The treatment ends with a refreshing full body massage that will leave you feeling (and smelling) divine.
The Pullman Mall of the Emirates
A business hotel located above one of the city’s most popular malls, The Pullman Mall of the Emirates offers guests comfortable luxury and services. The Sanctuary Spa uses French brand Payot in the majority of its treatments and makes up in service what it may lack in size. Simple but effective, the spa has three treatment rooms equipped for both facial and body treatments. It’s a good place to relax after business meetings with its sauna, steam and Jacuzzi facilities. Facials are tailored to the needs of each guest with the hydrating facial being both efficient and effective, leaving the skin feeling refreshed and ready to face a long flight (as I had to) or another day in the office.
InterContinental Dubai Festival City
Spread across 700 square metres, the Spa InterContinental at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City is designed with local touches and exudes a calming tranquility for visitors. 10 treatment rooms and two VIP suites are equipped to handle a range of treatments that blend eastern and western therapies. In particular, the Shiffa Rose Heaven begins with a rose steam bath and follows with a rose incense experience. Next, a body polish and rose clay mask are applied to nourish the skin before soaking in a creamy rose milk bath. Once you are relaxed, calmed and Zen-ed out, a full body massage and facial completes the experience.
While Dubai is definitely the place to go for over-the-top luxury, neighbouring emirates are quickly coming out for a piece of the pie.
Dubai’s richer sibling is definitely on its way to making its mark. Abu Dhabi has the money and resources to attract visitors away from Dubai, though some might argue it makes more sense for the two to collaborate as opposed to compete.
Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi
A $36 billion development, Yas Island hosts the world’s first Ferrari theme park, the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix and the uber luxurious Yas Hotel (with others up and coming). It is here that the ESPA occupies two floors, separating the male and female areas and offers eight private treatment rooms. Facilities abound and include a marble steam room and a private lounge with two Metronap Sleep Pods that overlook the race track. The Yas Detox begins with a refreshing spearmint and aloe body brushing, followed by a body wrap of algae and essential oils, and is finished with a cool compress of peppermint and a scalp massage that is extremely invigorating, which leaves you feeling more alert than ever.
Shangri-La Abu Dhabi
The Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri has been around since 2007 and is one of the city’s most reliable names. CHI, The Spa offers a showcase of Arabic traditions including hammam, coffee scrubs and body wraps. The spa operates as part of the standalone Health Club, which is easily reached by abra (Arabic gondola) or club car. The Sandalwood Scrub is a signature treatment that utilises the popular herb’s skin enriching properties. The herb is crushed and blended to help exfoliate dry, dead skin followed by the application of the deliciously fragrant Rose Body Lotion.
Ras Al Khaimah
Small with big potential, this little emirate of white beaches and nature reserves is just an hour and half away from Dubai. While only small local day spas occupy the city, the desert beyond plays home to the Banyan Tree’s first foray into the Middle East, which could be a good taste of things to come.
Banyan Tree Al Wadi
Travelling to the Banyan Tree Al Wadi is like visiting another world. Driving out into the desert, the city literally melts away to be replaced with orange-red sand dunes. Located in the eco-rich, nature reserve of Wadi Khadeja, the resort has been designed and inspired by traditional Arabic buildings with colours blending seamlessly into the surrounds. The resort offers standalone, tented villas or deluxe villas, each with their own private pool and breathtaking views of miles and miles of sand. The Banyan Tree Spa is famous for The Rainforest experience and this is available now for the first time in the Middle East.
Comprising of a series of hydrothermal experiences, The Rainforest includes scented saunas and steamrooms, sole therapy and some invigorating innovations like the bucket drench shower and brine cavern. At the end of The Rainforest, a traditional hammam awaits where guests can enjoy a body scrub of avocado, yoghurt, olive oil and brown sugar followed by a honey and milk body conditioning wrap – the perfect precursor to one of the brand’s famous signature massages which is included as part of the Rainforest Indulgence Package. The spa comprises of 10 spa treatment pavilions including four Royal Pavilions with a rainmist room, outdoor shower and meditation and relaxation areas.