Nothing beats a long, indulgent session at a spa, especially when it comes to total body rejuvenation and some much-needed “me time”. The only problem? Choosing one. That’s why the editors at Savoir Flair dropped what they were doing and tried everything from sleep-inducing massages to anti-aging facials and even New Age treatments at the best spas in Dubai. Here are their verdicts.
After a year where stress has reached nuclear levels, there was nothing I needed more than to really, truly relax. Relaxation doesn’t come easy for us self-described workaholics, and because of that, I often feel guilty for taking time for myself. However, when the new SensAsia Stories spa opened at Hotel Kempinski, it’s like the stars had aligned. I’m already a huge fan of SensAsia, but the ultimate luxury promised by its new location at Kempinski was icing on the proverbial cake. A serene, Asian-inspired environment offers a soothing oasis in the middle of a bustling city.
To maximize my zenlinke experience I selected ‘The Essential Spa Ritual’ which was a heavenly two-hour escape from the rigors of a non-stop schedule. It started with a blissful one-hour full body massage, and was followed by the spa’s best-selling ‘Natura Bissé O2 Relax Facial’. The facial was a serene mix of gentle cleansing and toning, followed by the ‘Natura Bissé Diamond Extreme Glyco Peel’ to slough off layers of dead skin and bring back my natural glow. A calming facial massage, expertly applied by the deft hands of my facialist, had me melting into the massage table. The facial is finished by a dose of ‘Natura Bissé Oxygen Complex’ which deeply hydrated my skin while pumping oxygen into my undernourished complexion. The result? Like 2020 never happened.
Price: AED 895 for 120 minutes
To book: click here or call (+971) 04 409 5600
It’s refreshing – rare even – to discover a wonderful new spa in Dubai that happens to be standalone, saving us the hassle of traipsing through a hotel. Full-service wellness destination Zaaz is nestled in Jumeirah, but a visit here feels more like a jaunt to Morocco. You’ll be greeted by plants, lanterns aplenty, the soft trickling sound of a fountain, and plenty of natural light – all elements reflecting the fact that Zaaz is inspired by a traditional riad. Oh, and not only is the owner Moroccan herself, but she also has a long history of working with Fortune 500 companies. Translation: she knows the importance of de-stressing at a spa, and no detail is therefore too small.
Amongst a menu that offers services like waxing, blow-dries, Brazilian blowouts, massages, and more, it’s the ‘Zaaz Hammam Malaki’ you want to start with. Naturally, organic argan oil is the star of this show and features in every step of the hammam, complemented by products from all-natural Moroccan beauty brand Izil. Between the cleansing beldi soap infused with eucalyptus, hair oil that drenches your tresses with a nourishing blend of oils, a softening body scrub made with green tea, a purifying ghassoul body wrap infused with green tea and rosewater, and even a face mask loaded with green tea and rosewater, this is quite literally top-to-toe pampering. And if time is of the essence? The ‘Moroccan Argan Manicure’ will treat your digits to a slice of the Moroccan spa life as it also incorporates the green-tea scrub and rosewater-rich ghassoul mask.
Price: AED 550 for 110 minutes
To book: click here or call (+971) 50 935 4577
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira
Yes, the weather is finally pleasant, but we’d still rather hole up at a spa – especially when it’s The Spa at the recently opened Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, which I can confirm is just as dreamy as you’d expect from a hotel of this caliber. Inspired by the desert and its undulating sand dunes, this one-stop shop for all things wellness spreads over an impressive 2,000 square meters and features nine treatment rooms and a sumptuous VIP suite. It’s worth a visit for the relaxation pods alone, which – inspired by Bedouin tents – offer a private escape, complete with herbal tea and iPads.
But, of course, it’s the treatments on offer that make this magical oasis unmissable. Usual suspects aside, there are a couple of unusual experiences thrown into the mix, including the ‘Nomadic Sensory Journey’. Not only does this treatment capture the spirit of Emirati Bedouin life, but the beating of a doumbek drum also makes an appearance. The ‘Digital Wellness Escape’, meanwhile, promises two hours of bliss that aims to ease the strain caused by digital devices – yes, please. But if you’re after a massage that will leave you zen enough to float on air, this is the place. Locally sourced ingredients are blended with nourishing oils and the Ayurvedic technique of marma therapy to work on clearing blockages and releasing energy in the body. In short? It’s the next best thing to pressing the reset button.
Price: AED 650 for 60 minutes, AED 900 for 90 minutes
To book: click here or call (+971) 4 777 2222
Away Spa at W Dubai - The Palm
Step inside Away Spa at W Dubai – The Palm, and you’ll literally feel worlds away. With ultra-futuristic lighting displays and modular decorations, the spa is a retreat unlike any other. Inside its glowing nooks are calm treatment rooms where one can experience all manner of relaxing and rejuvenating services. For my trip, the facialist recommended the ‘Triple Lift Facial’ using Biologique Recherche products, which eschew harmful additives in favor of natural ingredients with potent, results-driven concentrates.
While I’ve been fortunate enough to experiment with various facials, this one was vastly different. Using a machine that relies on four different kinds of electric currents, the serums – each specifically tailored to my skin’s needs and recommended by the facialist – were applied and then ‘pushed’ into the skin. I definitely felt the electrical currents, issued in small zaps that have a light stinging sensation – nothing I couldn’t handle, though. In fact, my skin started to feel really warm and awake afterwards, even though it was a “cold” facial. A few hours after the facial, I passed by a mirror and saw what I thought were dark makeup smudges under my chin, but when I looked closer, I realized it was an actual shadow cast by an astonishingly taut jawline. The lift is real, people.
Price: AED 1,700 for 90 minutes
To book: call (+971) 4 245 5533
The Bvlgari Spa at Bvlgari Resort Dubai
The Bvlgari Spa is a minimalist’s dream. Maze-like corridors lined with wood and stone feed into one another, creating a real feeling of separation from the outside world and all its stresses. The lighting is dim, the scents are divine – as is the cold honey tea that is served before your treatment. And as expected from a luxury maison like Bvlgari, you’ll slip into plush bathrobes and encounter decadent amenities at every turn.
For my massage, I was asked to choose between a range of oils, which included a water-based, unscented option. I chose lavender before slipping into pure bliss for 60 minutes. The treatment was the perfect balance of soft and hard pressure, relaxing and relieving my body of knots and tension. After my treatment and a stint in the picturesque relaxation room – read: floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the property’s private beach – I wandered around the spa to find the indoor swimming pool, which I had read about prior to my visit. With its glistening tiles reflecting the ocean outside and cabanas lined with breezy muslin curtains, it’s the perfect place to enjoy just a few more moments in heaven before returning to the real world.
Price: AED 650 for 60 minutes
To book: Click here or call (+971) 4 777 5555
Cinq Mondes Spa at Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai
The Cinq Mondes Spa is a far cry from the opulent surroundings of Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai. Here, latticework light fixtures, bronze tilework, flickering candles, and soothing hues reign supreme. The spa was founded by Nathalie and Jean-Louis Poiroux who, fascinated by traditional medicines and cosmetics, traveled the globe in search of the best “Beauty Rituals of the World”. What this translates to at the Dubai outpost is a 3,000-square-meter space with four deep-soaking wooden bathtubs from Japan, two hammams recreating the spa traditions of Morocco and Turkey, and a menu rife with the likes of Balinese facials, Siamese body scrubs, and Ayurvedic massages.
In search of something with a novelty factor, I journeyed east with the ‘Revitalizing Taoist Massage’, a 90-minute treatment inspired by the time-honored “Art of Touch” rituals of China. Featuring a warm, fragrant blend of neem oil infused with vanilla, cumin, and cinnamon, this massage addresses acupressure points and the 12 meridians in order to balance the body’s Qi, or energy flows. In between light stretching and long, soothing strokes are little flick-like movements carried out by the therapist to warding off negative energy before a spot of meditation wraps things up. The idea of this treatment, as its name suggests, is renewal – not relaxation – so you’re if you’re looking to feel more energized, this one’s for you.
Price: AED 550 for 50 minutes, AED 750 for 80 minutes
To book: click here or call (+971) 4 248 880