All-day mall trawls and indulgent weekend brunches – both are synonymous with Dubai, both do absolutely nothing for me. And in the absence of cooler weather, my preferred pastimes like day trips to the abandoned village in Ras Al Khaimah, attempts at public-art sightings on 2nd December Street, and lazing away an afternoon with a book on the terrace of Stomping Grounds are out of the question. The vanishing acts by outdoor concerts, street fairs, food festivals, film screenings, and other al fresco events are just as palpable. So what’s a girl to do when Dubai’s weather reports bear nothing but bad news?
Enter: The Spa at Address, a 760-square-meter space that has officially changed my mindset about the average (read: scorching hot) Saturday afternoon in the city. An entire floor has been dedicated to what the recently opened Address Boulevard is touting as the “ultimate relaxation destination” – and it’s not hard to see why. Ten treatment rooms, a private couple’s suite, manicure-pedicure stations, steam rooms, Finnish saunas, experience showers, an ice fountain, and a spacious relaxation lounge are just some of the amenities on offer. There’s also an indoor vitality pool and an outdoor spa pool complete with private cabanas, so be sure to arrive with your swimsuit in hand if you’re hoping to start your afternoon with a dip.
The first thing I notice about the spa is its intrinsic sense of tranquility – a neutral color palette, minimalist décor, fresh flowers, and a scatter of rustic accents all make for an elegantly designed space. I’m greeted with what you would typically expect at an upscale spa: a refreshing welcome drink, a cold towel, a consultation form regarding allergies and the like, and friendly staff at every turn. I can’t praise the level of hospitality enough, but admittedly I’m partial to Napha, the therapist assigned to my ‘Ayurvedic Spices Journey’ package. Sweet and perpetually smiling, this Thai woman managed the feat of being even shorter than me (I’m 5’1) – but don’t let her appearance fool you if she’s also your therapist.
Napha’s scrubbing prowess could rival those of the super sturdy women working the hammams in Istanbul, which I quickly realize when we get started on the first part of the treatment: a revitalizing black-soap scrub. Granted, it’s not every day that I’m soaped, scrubbed, and bathed by another person – and perhaps the idea makes you cringe a little, too? But surrender to the gently scented surroundings, warm marble platform, twinkly overhead lights, and soothing music of the spa’s traditional Turkish hammam and you’ll find yourself easing into the environment in no time.
Wrap It Up
The 120-minute package continues as Napha takes me into a plush treatment room, where a gently heated bed covered with shiny, futuristic-looking foil awaits me. In no time, I’m coated with a rhassoul-clay wrap, which I’m told is loaded with antioxidants and mined from the depths of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. “Sheer bliss,” I think as she wraps me up tightly and I begin to look increasingly like a test subject in a mad scientist’s lab.
The high-mineral content works its purifying and regenerating magic for about 30 minutes, during which Napha tends to the only body part of mine that isn’t cocooned: my head. I’m treated to a soothing scalp massage, the pressure of which is adjusted to my liking. Once I wash the rhassoul clay off me along with my troubles (both real and imaginary), the combined benefits of the hammam and the wrap are more than evident – my skin feels softer and smoother than ever. Why I don’t indulge in this more often is, quite frankly, beyond me.
I know it’s time for the final phase of the ‘Ayurvedic Spices Journey’ when the full-body massage begins. As a true bohemian at heart (and with hyper-sensitive skin to boot), I’m delighted to learn that the oil used features a combination of vanilla and patchouli. Somewhere between the stretching, rolling, and pressure techniques, I find myself drifting effortlessly into an even more elevated state of total relaxation.
While the spa generally pairs this particular treatment with a cup of ‘Very Berry’ tea, Napha recommends a glass of laban to cool off my body and offset the warmth of the hammam. I take the time to decompress in the relaxation area, the cold and salty beverage in hand, letting the past two hours really sink in as I start planning my next visit to The Spa at Address.
For reasons obvious to every Dubai resident, I’ve already got my heart set on trying the ‘Summer Renew’ package, a traditional Lulur scrub followed by a shea-butter body wrap and energizing massage. Oh, and you know that “as good as new” cliché that women use when they’re done with a day at the spa?
Guilty as charged.
To find out more information or book a treatment at The Spa at Address, click here or call (+971) 4 561 8126.