Jenny Hewett tries the Incense Road treatment at JW Marriott Marquis’s Saray Spa
The Promise: A coffee and frankincense oil body scrub aims to smooth and invigorate the skin and a full body massage and foot treatment promises to heal using pressure points and compresses. Step by step: After a foot soak in the large, somewhat sparse treatment room I lie face down on the massage bed and my therapist begins applying the Arabian coffee and frankincense scrub, paying particular attention to my knees, elbows and underarms. After a shower to wash off the residue, I lie back down on the table and the therapist begins the full body oil massage, which involves pressure points and compresses rather than the strong plying of my muscles. The effect is almost too soothing, as I fall straight to sleep. When I awake the therapist is working on my feet and before I know it the treatment’s over.
The Result: I leave feeling relaxed to the point that I’m exhausted. I had eaten a large lunch prior to the treatment, so I’m quite lethargic rather than invigorated, though the experience was entirely enjoyable.
Pros: • The relaxation rooms have a selection of fine teas, dates and fruit on offer.
• The spa has a great selection of body products and essential oils, including hard-to-find brand Suki.
Cons: • The treatment room was slightly too cold.
• The treatment seems fairly overpriced for what it is.
• It was hard to differentiate between the treatments in the 120-minute package.
3/5 Dhs865 for 120 minutes. Saray Spa, JW Marriott Marquis, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 414 6754). *This advertorial first appeared in Time Out Dubai’s Spa&Wellbeing Signature Series 2016 pullout.
Tell us a little about the spa. Tucked away behind ornately carved doors, the world-class Saray Spa is a health and wellness haven at the heart of the world’s tallest hotel. True to its name, and drawing inspiration from the historic Caravanserais located along the silk trade routes of old, Saray Spa offers a personal experience of restoration and renewal through rituals that have withstood the test of time. Ancient healing techniques and locally-sourced, natural ingredients are combined to pay homage to the Arabian heritage of Saray Spa and offer an oasis of calm within the modern city of Dubai.
What facilities do you offer? Hammams, the UAE’s only Dead Sea floatation pool and 15 treatment rooms (see ‘The Details’ box).
What services do you offer? Saray Spa offers an array of exceptional services: customised treatments, couples’ treatments, Arabian body rituals, hammam rituals, Far East treatments (Indigo healing art), muscular pain treatment, therapeutic baths, facials and therapeutic massages (deep muscle, reflexology, Thai massage, Balinese massage).
Tell us a little about your staff. Saray Spa holds a very high standard for its associates and does not employ therapists who are new to the wellness industry. Each of the certified professionals has years of experience and unique specialities particular to their training and culture. The therapists are available for complimentary 15-minute consultations to assist in booking the right service for each guest’s needs. Therapists can assist in educating on beneficial wellness practices and the therapeutic benefits of offered treatments.
Do you offer anything unusual or novel? Dead Sea Immersion (30 minutes, Dhs335): Experience the powerful benefits of the Dead Sea within your own private Dead Sea Floatation Pool. Not only will you draw from the healing aspects of the world’s most renowned mineral salts, but the unique set up of the pool’s salt saturation and temperature are designed to bring about a feeling of warmth and weightlessness. This treatment is known for creating the deepest of relaxation and is recommended for those experiencing agitation, insomnia or for those just in need of invoking a deep inner calm. Note: The Dead Sea Floatation Pool is only found within the women’s spa corridor and therefore is reserved for ladies only. Therapeutic Dead Sea Soaks for men can be arranged with one of the soak tubs found in the private Luxury Spa Suites as well as arranged within guest rooms.
What is your most popular treatment? The Saray Golden Hammam (120 minutes, Dhs1,200): Participate in a luxury hammam treatment worthy of a sheikh or sheikha. A powerful combination of the traditional hammam and precious gold, which has been used since ancient times for its mystical powers of rejuvenation and healing. Relax and let the herbal scented black soap purify your body and clear your senses. After a vigorous exfoliation with your personal hammam kese mitt, you will continue your Arabian journey with a body wrap of gold clay and myrtle, and a facial mask of Golden Arabian Honey. To finish, precious oil infused with 24 karat gold is massaged into the skin. This valuable body oil will help to purify the spirit, stimulate cell regeneration and leave you with a radiant glow and the scent of Arabian jasmine. It is performed in one of the private hammam treatment rooms.
Signature treatment Saray Signature Dead Sea Journey (120 minutes, Dhs990): Legend has it that both the Queen of Sheba as well as Cleopatra, ‘the women who time could not wither’, set up their own personal spas along the shores of the Dead Sea. This signature journey takes place in our one-of-a-kind treatment room equipped with its own Dead Sea Floatation Pool. Begin with an energising scrub utilising aromatic Dead Sea salts, followed by a full-body mask of rich remineralising mud, also from the shores of the Dead Sea. Soak via effortless floatation in a private heated pool of therapeutic salt minerals rich in high levels of calcium, magnesium, bromide, potassium and sulfate, all reputed to assist in various ailments of the skin, muscles and joints. The journey concludes with a massage of nourishing body oil appropriate to the journey of your choosing: Soothing Rose or Stimulating Black Seed and Citrus.
The Details Male or female: Both.
Treatment rooms: Saray Spa is part of over 4,300 sq m of wellness facilities that span the entire third floor of both towers at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The Spa features 15 treatment rooms, men’s and women’s hammams, Jacuzzis, steam rooms, saunas, and additional hydrofacilities and spacious relaxation areas. The 15 treatment rooms are inclusive of two private hammam rooms, two Thai treatment rooms, one Dead Sea treatment room boasting its own Dead Sea Floatation Pool, and two Private Luxury Spa Suites – spas within a spa, each with its own hydro-soak tub, steam room, private wash and changing rooms, relaxation centre, and side-by-side treatment tables.
Cheapest treatment: Express Facial (30 minutes, Dhs270): This quick treatment provides deep cleansing, toning and a nurturing mask to draw out impurities.
Most expensive individual treatment: Exclusively Yours (200 minutes, Dhs1,680): A bespoke holistic treatment, Exclusively Yours invites you to enjoy 200 minutes of pure indulgence as you experience a completely personalised treatment tailored to your needs. This experience includes a customised and results-focused facial, customised nourishing body wrap, and your choice of massage to maximise the therapeutic effects.
Most expensive couples’ treatment: Saray Spa VIP Ultimate Journey (180 minutes, Dhs2,380): The Saray Spa Ultimate VIP Journey is a three-hour luxury experience designed to rejuvenate and revitalise like no other. Begin with a relaxing Saray soak in your choice of fragrant Tchaba Tea bath, Jordan Dead Sea Bath, Aromatherapy Bath or Milk Bath, followed by a signature Saray Spa aromatherapy massage to ease tired and tense muscles. A customised Saray Spa facial, including eyes and neck, completes the journey and leaves you looking and feeling completely renewed. The Saray Spa VIP Ultimate Journey is available in the VIP Suite with a private hydro-soak tub, steam room, private wash and changing rooms, relaxation centre and side-by-side treatment tables.
Wedded Bliss (210 minutes, Dhs2,480): Get swept away by romance in Saray Spa’s couples’ suite and enjoy wedded bliss. Indulge in handmade chocolates and a bottle of sparkling beverage, while experiencing a fully-customised journey, including a revitalising scrub, glowing facial and a relaxing massage. The perfect preparation for a special day or honeymoon treat.