What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than lying side by side with your loved one while a stranger gives them a thorough rub down?
We’re joking of course, because, let’s face it, massages are best dished out by professionals. There are no heavy hands, cracking bones that aren’t supposed to crack and friction burns when a trained masseuse gets going.
If you are thinking of treating your other half to a couple’s massage then there are plenty of options in Dubai, but the Talise Ottoman Spa, in Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, is one of the most romantic settings in the whole city.
The atmospheric spa, split over two floors, has the largest hammam in the Middle East, and is a sprawling, palatial space, with all kinds if interesting treatment rooms throughout its corridors.
We got there a little early (possibly the only time we’ve managed that) so we could chill out for a few minutes before the treatment began. Some juice, a warm towel and some dates were provided while we filled in the consultation sheet, then we split up and went to the separate male and female changing areas.
The candle-lined corridors and luxurious changing rooms lead to the separate spa areas (with a tropical shower, a sauna and a snow room – yes, with real snow – as well as a hammam area). The couple’s area is upstairs, where we’re led by our therapists (male and female).
Everything about the spa screams (or, more accurately, whispers) zen and the couple’s room is an oasis of calm, with great views over The Palm Jumeirah’s West Crescent. The massage is a triumph and we’re both in a sleepy trance when it’s over.
With the opportunity to use the mixed hammam area after, we spend more time relaxing, feeling a million miles away from the usual hectic lives we lead. A success? Definitely. Romantic? You bet. Dhs1,149. *This advertorial first appeared in Time Out Dubai’s Spa&Wellbeing Signature Series 2016 pullout.
Tell us a little about the spa. As one of the largest and most luxurious spas in the Middle East, the palatial, award-winning Talise Ottoman Spa covers 8,200 sq m, boasting three grand traditional Turkish hammams and 42 individual treatment rooms covering two levels: male and female on the ground level and couples’ area on the mezzanine level.
What facilities do you offer? Three traditional Turkish hammams; snow rooms; sauna and steam rooms; adventure showers; Jacuzzis; heated marble stone beds; Thai gardens; fully-equipped gym; fitness studio; two indoor thalassotherapy swimming pools; relaxation areas; Carita beauty salon and Ixir spa café. The couples’ area, which is located on the mezzanine floor, includes three treatment rooms, couples’ hammam, relaxation area and steam room, sauna and showers.
What services do you offer? Talise Hamman, Talise Massage, Talise Facial, Talise Body, Talise Couples treatments and beauty salon.
Tell us a little about your staff. Courteous, considerate, special, surprising… Our team is made up of over 30 different nationalities, all with one goal: to make your experience wonderfully different.
Do you offer anything unusual or novel? At the heart of our spa, built from marble and exquisitely decorated with dark woods, mosaics and murals, is a spectacular Turkish hammam. The centuries-old tradition of hammam is based around a philosophy of community. It’s the perfect place to come together, relax and experience true indulgence.
What is your most popular treatment? Royal Ottoman Hammam.
Signature treatment Royal Ottoman Hammam: Relax in the splendour of the hammam, as the heat and delicate aromas prepare you for the traditional kese mitt body polish and foam massage. Savour the warm glow from the marble as your hair is shampooed and your scalp is massaged, followed by moisturising conditioner. While your body is enveloped in an ultra-nourishing cream masque, enjoy a facial cleanse, exfoliation and masque to revitalise your complexion. You will be radiantly refreshed with delicate perfumes of the Orient.
The Details Male or female: Both, and couples’ area.
Treatment rooms: With 42 treatment rooms, eight hydrotherapy rooms, steam rooms, saunas, snow rooms, floating baths and two thalassotherapy pools, you’ll discover almost limitless ways to treat yourself.
Cheapest treatment: Traditional Turkish hammam (Dhs475).
Most expensive treatment: The World’s Most Luxurious Spa Experience, featuring the one-of-a-kind 24-carat gold mask (Dhs25,000). Talise Ottoman Spa