If there’s one thing I love as much as travelling, it’s got to be a good spa treatment and seeing as it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to go to a spa, I wanted to make the most of it, and where better to go than the gold-standard of spas in the city – the Emirates Palace Spa.
As you’d expect, from the word go the spa is just stunning. Set at the West Beach Club end of the hotel, the spa is well away from any hustle and bustle of the main hotel and even the entrance is surrounded by lush greenery, flowers and fountains.
And that attention to detail is something that is consistent throughout a visit to the spa and really what makes it stand out – it’s everything you’d expect from the Emirates Palace, but it’s also the smallest things that really make a big difference to your experience.
The spa has always had a large hammam, but after a refurbishment they’ve now added a new, individual sized one for a more cosy experience.
I’d imagine it also makes for a more comfortable experience if you’re not having a group hammam as of course a smaller room is easier to keep warm. The hammam is still a good size, and covered in beautiful tiling details across the walls, ceiling and floor in a lovely rich, warm colour.
This was only the second time I’ve ever had a hammam, and I’d really forgotten what to expect – remembering that although my skin would feel lovely afterwards, I was thinking this was really the portion of my treatment that would need to be endured, rather than enjoyed. But with the gorgeous surroundings, the warmth of the room, the gentle approach of the therapist and the heat of the steam room it didn’t take long for that thought to disappear!
I was pleasantly surprised at just how calming and relaxing having a hammam is, and there’s really no better way I can think to describe it than to say it is just the ultimate decandent experience. The practice has changed very little since ancient times – the Romans were famed for their lavish bathing – even the traditional black olive soap is still used to cleanse the skin.
After the initial application of soap by the therapist, a spell in the steam room to help further soften the skin and a vigorous exfoliating rub, I find myself covered in a surprising amount of dead skin which though a little gross, it leads my thoughts to wander and ponder just how badly home exfoliating products and efforts do the job, evidently part of the reason why the hammam ritual has endured since ancient times.
After a warm and soothing rinse off, my skin feels as though it belongs to another person, and I can’t remember the last time it felt so soft and smooth. The final touch is the application of delicately scented oil water to penetrate into the open pores, sealing the moisture and softness into the skin.
After drying off from the hammam, I’m guided into the neighbouring room for the second part of my treatment, the massage. And from what I noticed in my already serene state, the room is beautiful, dimly lit, and fit for a king… well, what else would you expect from a palace?!
As massage beds go, the Emirates Palace spa has the softest most comfortable massage beds I’ve ever had the good fortune to experience. It must be about as close as you can get to having a massage in your own bed, without actually being in your own bed!
A soft, downy layer allows you to sink deep into the bed, hugging you in the most comfortable way. And as if that’s not enough, to make things even more comfortable a duvet with crisp, clean smelling sheets is then placed over the top. Honestly, even without the massage I’d have been quite happy to roll over and just go to sleep!
You know that feeling when you wake up in bed and you’re so snug and comfortable in a state of such divine satisfaction and peace in that moment, how you just can’t bear to move an inch, wishing you could stay there all day? Well, that’s the best way I can describe how a massage at the Emirates Palace Spa feels, it’s so utterly comforting and blissful that you just don’t want it to end…
And that’s exactly what I mean about the smallest details really making the difference in this spa. Obviously they’ve got the big things right, they’re the Emirates Palace afterall, but it’s all these touches that add that uber-luxury and indulgent feel. It’s palatial indeed, but it also has the welcome and comfort of a home from home.
The Emirates Palace Spa is about as luxurious and indulgent as it gets, and they really have thought of everything to make your time at the spa as sumptuous and as satisfying and relaxing as it can possibly be.
As for the hammam, I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxing the treatment was in itself. If you’re short on time and can’t fit in a massage afterwards you’d definitely leave the spa relaxed and refreshed from the hammam ritual alone, and even a few days later my skin still feels incredibly soft and smooth. Being bathed by someone else for the purpose of revitalising the skin and relaxing the mind and body, there’s just no better way to put it in my mind, than to describe it as the ultimate decadent experience. And coupled with a massage in a palace fit for a king – it really is.
Find out more about the Emirates Palace Spa online. It’s something you really need to try so add it to that bucket list. Try it once and you’ll be hooked – it’s hard to find anything else that compares.