Downtime in Dubai

Among the sensational skyscrapers in Dubai are some truly luxurious spas offering heavenly treatments from gold facials to hammams.

By Sheree Mutton
With such a huge offering of day spas and beauty salons, Dubai is a world-class destination for relaxing. At its core, Dubai is about luxury – the tallest skyscrapers, largest shopping malls and indulgent five-star resorts - so it’s no surprise to see that the city is now awash with opulent beauty and wellness spas. We’ve rounded up some of the best in Dubai’s idyllic location - The Palm Jumeirah - where you will discover a realm of relaxation and rejuvenation like no other.
Guerlain Spa at One&Only The Palm
The prestigious house of Guerlain opened its first spa in the United Arab Emirates at One&Only The Palm in December last year. Although relatively new, this spa is truly a world class haven for beauty. With a range of treatments on offer, including three exclusive treatments, the Guerlain spa is everything you would expect from the legendary French brand with a beautiful Arabic touch. Lush manicured gardens and an impressive reflection pool at the front of the spa gives the impression that I’m entering a lavish Roman bathhouse. The interior is stylish and modern with nine light-filled treatment suites that overlook open courtyards and fountains.
Guerlain Spa
After a 14-hour flight, there’s nothing quite like slipping on a warm, fluffy robe and having a rejuvenating spa treatment. The 120-minute ‘Dubai Harmony’ is a perfect option for those wanting to feel refreshed, yet pampered. My therapist, Cake, explains that this treatment helps the skin regenerate, while improving circulation and relieving the body of muscle tension. Any lasting effects of jetlag I noticed from earlier in the day disappeared during my treatment and my skin instantly felt more hydrated, soft and supple. A selection of Guerlain cosmetics, fragrances and skincare products are also available at the Guerlain Spa boutique at One&Only The Palm.
Under the Leading Hotels of the World portfolio, this hotel is an oasis of excellence and elegance. An intimate resort, One&Only The Palm features a stunning secluded beach, an impressive pool with oversized daybeds and cabanas and a selection of restaurants including STAY by (Michelin-starred chef) Yannick Alléno.
So Spa at Sofitel The Palm
With 29 treatment rooms and private outdoor cabanas for couples, So SPA offers personalised spa experiences tailored to all your needs. The world-renowned spa, which is the perfect destination for wellness and relaxation, boasts wide a selection of treatments, from Thai and Aryuvedic massages to Vichy showers. I selected the 50-minute Oriental Massage, which sees my masseuse use medium to strong pressure and integrate Arabic elements to create a special oriental experience. The treatment is an instant holiday lifter, leaving me feeling energised and relaxed. Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your treatment to take full advantage of the therapeutic pool and steam room.
Located on a private beach on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah island, Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa is a luxury 5-star resort. With 14 restaurants, six swimming pools and a kids club, the resort is well-quipped to accommodate families and couples. A visit to the popular Moana Seafood restaurant, which is famous for its delicious grilled fish, baked oysters, sushi and sashimi, is a must.
Anantara Spa at Anantara The Palm
Anantara Spa at Anantara The Palm
Walking into Anantara Spa, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were at a beachside resort in the heart of Thailand. Yet, despite Anantara’s strong Asian heritage, the spa successfully fuses Thai and Middle Eastern cultures together through its beautiful décor and treatments. The two-tier spa has 24-treatment rooms and new male, female and couples’ hammam facilities. Then there’s the newly-opened traditional Turkish Hammam at Anantara Spa, which is highly-recommended by both therapists and guests of the resort. The Hammam, or Turkish bath, is an ancient tradition that has evolved over thousands of years. Typically, it lasts a little longer than a normal treatment but that is the beauty of it. Following a 10-minute session in the sauna, I’m escorted into the exquisite hammam, featuring decorated walls and heated marble. The stone bed is surprisingly comfortable and super calming as my therapist starts with a full body exfoliation and scrub. The treatment involves several steps including, a massage and cleanse in a soothing foam bath. The result is a complete state of relaxation and an enviable post-holiday glow. Prepare to feel like an Arabian princess.
Set around lagoon-style swimming pools, this enchanting hotel has been inspired by traditional Thai architecture in an Arabian setting. The beautiful rooms and remarkable overwater villas are complemented by delicious Asian and Mediterranean cuisine served at four speciality venues.
What to visit while in Dubai:
There’s plenty to see and do in the city of Dubai. Ensure you pay a visit to the Dubai Mall, which has more than 1200 stores. The Mall is also the location for The Dubai Fountain and the world’s tallest skyscraper, Burj Khalifa, which soars at 828 metres high. The observation deck At the Top, Burj Khalifa provides a magnificent and unobstructed 360-degree view over the city.
How to get there:
Emirates’ operates 77 services a week from Australia to Dubai from Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, including six daily A380 flights. One service daily from Sydney operates via Bangkok. One Melbourne service daily operates via Singapore, with another daily service operating via Kuala Lumpur. For flight information and bookings contact Emirates on 1300 303 777 or go to www.emirates.com/au. If you’re in need of some more pampering, indulge in some me-time at the Timeless Spa while you’re waiting to board your flight in Dubai. There’s a range of massages and rejuvenating facial and body treatments available.

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