The Spa - Bliss at The Address Downtown Dubai
With a distinct urban atmosphere, Bliss Spa takes its sensory pleasures seriously – there’s even a music menu to peruse while you sip a lemon mint drink prior to your treatment. Adding to the urban vibe, all relaxation areas and 11 treatment rooms (including a private couple’s suite), have floor-to-ceiling windows with Downtown and Dubai Mall fountain views. The insider’s tip? Time your spa treatment so it concludes at sunset, allowing you to sip herbal tea or a freshly-squeezed juice while watching the changing hues reflect on the Burj Khalifa.
Must Try: Red Flower Hammam; 90 minutes; AED 655 (US $181)
Inspired by a traditional Turkish or Moroccan hammam, all that’s missing is a marble slab in this thorough (and thoroughly relaxing) treatment, which uses products from the natural, botanical Red Flower range. Starting with a zingy lemon and coffee scrub, the skin is sloughed off to prepare for a deeply nourishing jasmine and rose ghassoul clay body mask. In order to maximise the mask’s results, it’s necessary to lie wrapped in plastic sheeting and towels for several minutes, though you will be unbothered by the squishy sensation thanks to a dreamy head massage. After a shower, a lavish application of tangerine and fig butter body cream is massaged into the skin, leaving all rough patches but a distant memory.
13th floor, The Address Downtown Dubai, UAE; +971 4 436 8755; www.theaddress.com
Armani/Spa, Armani Hotel Dubai
Surely one of the chicest spas in Dubai, the dark, moody halls and treatment rooms of the 1,115-sqm spa are a slick ode to the fashion designer’s aesthetic and design philosophies, hued in calming earthy tones with modern lighting, flawless mosaic-tiled walls and Giorgio Armani amenities.
Must try: Armani/Spa Signature Collection massage; 60/90 minutes; AED 580/820 (US $141/223)
The treatment, which begins after slipping into a pair of slinky, black silk Armani pajamas and downing a refreshing elderflower-infused watermelon juice, is a fusion of Thai and Japanese shiatsu. But there is no drizzling of oil and soothing palm strokes in this massage. Rather, this is an active treatment with plenty of stretching manoeuvres and muscular pressure – the therapist using elbows and even knees to manipulate muscles into submission.
Fantastic for anyone suffering from jet lag or post-gym workout strains, it ends with a satisfying back crack. Afterwards, you can Zen out in the relaxation room snacking on dried fruits and sipping herbal tea, sample the Terme area with sequential bathing experiences, steam it up in the steam vapore or have a session in the Laconium, a dry-heat treatment room that allows the body to heal through gentle low humidity. Those with more time should consider paddling in the adjacent (and Instagram-worthy) Armani Hotel pool, with the Burj Khalifa towering above.
Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE; +971 4 888 3282; www.armanihotels.com
The Spa at The Palace Downtown Dubai
It may be a stone’s throw from the enormous Dubai Mall, but stepping into this exotic Arabic-styled sanctuary will make you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown. The bijoux spa, designed as an oriental bathhouse, comprises a steam room, hammam slab, hydrospa bathtub, Jacuzzi, monsoon showers and an outdoor pool with tranquil views of the Burj Lake.
Must try: Five Steps to Heaven; 100 minutes; AED 650 (US $175)
With a seemingly endless choice of therapies spanning the globe that merge age-old rituals with western science, selecting just one can be a challenge. The answer? A luxurious therapy that lets you indulge in five back-to-back 20-minute treatments. Choose five of nine mini-treatments that include an Oriental Body Scrub, Hydrating 1,001 Nights Facial, Sensational Eyes Treatment and Stress Relief Thai Stretches, listening to a customised spa soundtrack while each therapy blends effortlessly into the next. Afterwards, you can graze on fresh fruit and sip on the spa’s specially blended tea (a secret recipe), specially concocted to work wonders on the skin.
The Palace Downtown Dubai, UAE; +971 4 428 7888; www.theaddress.com
Amara Spa, Park Hyatt Dubai
On atmospheric Dubai Creek, the Moorish-influenced Park Hyatt Dubai is decked out in gleaming whites and blues, which carry on into Amara Spa. Tucked away in a quiet spot near the hotel’s elegant pool, the spa features a lush open-air relaxation area with candles and tinkling water features, as well as eight private treatment rooms.
Must try: Healing at Amara; 90 minutes; AED 695 (US $190)
Entering a tranquil and spacious private treatment room with rich wooden floors, plush sofas and a shower, a sense of serenity is quick to take hold. The healing begins with a hand and foot cleansing that takes place outside under the shade of leafy greens, in your room’s sizeable private garden where more cosy seating and an indulgent outdoor shower further help melt away stress. The signature 60-minute Amara Massage is conducted back inside under dim lights, and any knots in tense areas are carefully worked out as the full-body massage calms the mind.
Using a warm orange blossom massage oil that thoroughly hydrates, the end result is glowing, soft skin. An express 30-minute facial follows, using Natura Bisse Tolerance products and an olive mask, which works its anti-aging magic as your scalp receives a soothing massage. Should you find yourself with an appetite post-therapy, a light meal is served as you chill out, with delectable dishes like Thai beef salad and mango sorbet on the menu.
Dubai Creek, Deira, Dubai, UAE; +971 4 602 1660; www.dubai.park.hyatt.com
Talise, Burj Al Arab
Within its seven-star surrounds, Talise Spa sets the benchmark for luxury spa-going. The lofty retreat, nested on two levels 150 metres above the Gulf’s warm waters, is replete with discreet indoor infinity pools, and Jacuzzi and treatment rooms for men and women.
Must try: Ayurvedic Hydrating Infusion; 80 minutes; AED 965 (US $263)
Delve deep into one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems, designed to renew your skin from head to toe. Following a thorough kneading and scrubbing routine with Sundari skincare products, enjoy a Zen moment cocooned in fresh sheets as the fragrant body scrub absorbs into the skin and the warmth of the heated bed loosens every muscle. Rinse off in an oversized shower before an all-over moisturiser treatment leaves you polished and glowing. Pro tip? Gents should arrive early to enjoy panoramic views of the World Islands and Downtown Dubai through the fog-proof glass of the sauna and steam lounges.
Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE; Tel: +971 4 366 6818; www.burjalarab.com