Haydn Galloway checks out the new mall-based spa in Dubai
A mall is probably the least relaxing place for a spa, but I’m pleasantly surprised by the 2,000 sq m sanctuary that awaits me – I’m in awe of the sheer size of the place. The new Balance Centre focuses on holistic and ayurvedic healing and offers more than 68 treatments, alongside yoga classes and an on-site doctor who can diagnose you with an ancient pulse-reading method.
The Balance Centre’s epic 150-minute Ku Nye ritual claims to restore beauty, harmony and inner stillness by apparently ‘awakening the Meridian energy lines and chakras in my body’.
Step by step
As I walk through the huge reception, I’m greeted by Sabrina, the wellness manger, who explains in detail what I can expect from the ritual. I’m told it’s for anti-ageing – Sabrina must see my jaw drop, as she reassures me it’s less about removing wrinkles and more about rejuvenating the skin (at 22, I haven’t spotted a wrinkle just yet). I’m then led to the changing area, where my assigned staff member does everything but undress me. My therapist then escorts me to my treatment room, which features plenty of attention to detail, from the bowl of potpourri in my eyeline under the bed to the Sanskrit chants that add to the whole ritual experience. My therapist starts to rub down almost every inch of me using sweet essential oils, before covering me in hot stones and herbal poultices; after 90 minutes of bliss, it’s time for my facial. By this point I’m beginning to get restless, with still another hour of treatment time to go. However, the facial is surprisingly soothing, with numerous masks delicately applied to my skin.
• No detail is too small. The spa has thought of everything, which ensures a seamless visit. • At Dhs500 the treatment is good value for money, considering the length and detail.
• The spa’s air-conditioning can be a little chilly at times. • The dark corridors and relaxation room, combined with the sometimes ominous music, make it a tad creepy for a wimp like me.
Following the facial my skin was smoother than it has ever been and, despite the long treatment time, I arose feeling energised, not groggy. I noticed an immediate glow in my face and felt confident enough to stroll through the mall with no make-up on: a major feat.
Although I doubt this treatment can be matched value-wise, there are other spas that offer similar packages. Try the Ku Nye massage at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC: an 80-minute massage (without the facial) for Dhs800 (04 372 2222). Alternatively, Le Méridian Dubai’s Natural Elements Spa offers a similar Ku Nye ritual with massage and facial, costing for Dhs1,025 for 150 minutes (04 702 2550).
4/5 Dhs500 for 150 minutes; take this copy of Time Out with you and get 15 per cent off this treatment, or any other with a minimum price of Dhs350. Balance Wellbeing 360°, Oasis Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 384 7010)