Day 27 • Monday • 1 September 14 • Today’s High 40ºC
I’m another year older today and even though I still think I’m a young’un, my body is SCREAMING a bit different! So to satisfy the geriatric inside me, I booked a luxurious 2 hour indulgence at the One & Only Spa, Royal Mirage. To be honest, if this place was not listed in the Luxe Guide, I might never have gone – the name itself had me half expecting a happy ending! Perhaps you can blame my cynical advertising background but nevertheless, after a bit of research, I decided to bite the bullet. And it is true, you can never judge a book by their branding company!
Dubai of course has heaps of spas but I wanted somewhere close to the flat. Not surprising, they don’t list any prices on their website so you HAVE to call them. Even their downloadable brochure didn’t have prices! What is that about? I contemplated not calling because I figured if I had to, it was already out of my price range but it turns out, it wasn’t that bad, for Dubai anyway. I wanted the full on Oriental Hammam for 110 mins which ended up costing AED675 and I’m happy to report that the whole experience from the time I walked in till I left was top notch! The grounds of the Hotel are quite sprawling & green so it does feel like you’ve entered an oasis. The staff at the Spa were friendly & professional, clearly explaining each step of the treatment and the different magic potions your body was going to luxuriate in.
You’re led into the changing room by your therapist who literally dresses you in a traditional Hammam cloth (complete with a head turban) before being guided into the common area where all the treatment rooms run off. If you get there early enough, you can enjoy the sauna & plunge pool prior to your session. The actual Hammam treatment area is fab with a large warm marble slab at its center and various bathing areas off to the sides. It is also communal, so check your modesty at the door. The treatment starts with a cleansing which is rather calming – who would have thought that being doused with warm water from head to toe could be so relaxing. The cleansing is followed by a 5-7 min steam and then a body scrub on the marble slab. I’m not going to lie, even though the therapist was gentle, that body scrub did sting a little but no pain, no gain! Thankfully, the next step involved a body wrap with ‘ghassoul’ mud together with a honey mask that you really have to try to refrain from eating. About 10 minutes and a quick wash later, I felt brand new.
The Hammam bit over, you’re then given some tea and a bit of a lie down in the relaxation room prior to the massage. Surprisingly, the 50 min massage was really good. I normally don’t think much of massages in these kinds of spas because they’re often too lah-di-dah and I don’t feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth. A massage with no pain is not a real massage in my books. But this massage was the perfect-way to end the session. I think this might have to become a monthly ritual!