Guests walk through a waterfall of LED lights to enter the InterContinental’s spa – a great first impression. Wooden floors and warm interiors make for a homely and welcoming space. The staff are fantastic, and there are a broad range of beauty brands on offer: Shiffa, Sundari, Neom and more. There’s a sauna that guests can use, although pool and Jacuzzi access only applies to some spa packages (the half-price treatments don’t qualify).
There are four international journeys that currently have 50 per cent off – I decide to try the South American ‘Rainforest Restoration’ treatment as I’m told it’s the most popular. Using Bella Lucce products, the treatment uses ingredients from the Amazonian jungle and claims to pamper the body and mind.
Step by step
After settling into my enormous treatment room, I head to the bed to be scrubbed with an organic brown sugar and passion fruit concoction – a dry, tingly scrub that takes about 20 minutes. I then head to the shower to de-sugar. After that, it’s time for a guava and yoghurt mask. I always find body wraps a little odd – sliding around on plastic isn’t my favourite form of relaxation – but once the natural yoghurt and guava mix is smothered all over me, I find the warming cocoon very relaxing, and fall asleep for about 15 minutes. Next up is the coconut mango bath, a giant Jacuzzi-style tub infused with petals and smelly powder. The jets are strong, and I find myself bobbing about the bath and unable to stay submerged – I actually find it quite stressful and choose to cut the 20 minutes short, instead taking my Tchaba tea and fresh fruit salad while sitting in the covered comfort of a robe. Finally, the ritual is finished with a Swedish-style massage using an antioxidant cream. My Balinese therapist is a fantastic masseuse, but it’s a soft massage and there isn’t a single muscle-challenging moment. After we finish she tells me to lie for a while before I get up – a nice touch – before which I’m guided to a relaxation room to sip green tea and down another fruit salad.
I walk out unwound but not truly on cloud nine after the Jacuzzi bath jiggle trauma (although that’s more my personal taste than any fault of the treatment). However, my skin is the softest it’s been for a while – only a hammam tops it on that front.
• 50 per cent off makes two hours of straight pampering affordable. • The spa is very professional and welcoming. • The Bella Lucce products smell of the natural fruit ingredients without being sickly. • The fact that the treatment room features its own shower and bath makes the in-between scrub and mask phases a lot easier.
• I didn’t enjoy the bath time, although that’s entirely subjective.
The Arabian Ritual involves a body buff, a body brush, a pomegranate and yoghurt body wrap and an incense oil massage. The 90-minute treatment costs Dhs462.50 until August 30.
4/5 The Rainforest Restoration ritual is half price until August 30, at Dhs487.50 after discount. Spa Intercontinental, Dubai Festival Centre (04 701 1111)