It’s hard to know where to look when entering Grosvenor House Tower Two’s new B/Attitude Spa. Decked out with more antique-style paraphernalia than a Chinese temple, the Grosvenor’s popular Buddha Bar ambience has rubbed off on its new neighbour. Staff are welcoming and softly spoken, and I’m shown around the impressive facilities before being given a shot of avocado smoothie and a refreshing buttercup-scented towel.
The concept at B/Attitude is to heal and relax the mind before the body, so it’s fitting that the hour-long signature massage incorporates Tibetan methods of stretching and warm essential oils, which claim to restore harmony and build inner strength.
Step by step
After being guided through a maze of hardwood-floor corridors and changing rooms, I’m lead into a dimly lit treatment room where my sweet-natured therapist, Kani, prepares my foot ritual. She softly exfoliates and bathes my feet, but the process is over so quickly that it feels more like routine feet-washing (some spas do better than others at disguising it). I opt for medium pressure for my massage and lie face down on the bed, which is heated; the next sound I hear is the soft ringing from a Tibetan singing bowl, before the masseuse gets to work on my legs. To my delight, the stretching involved is super-gentle (previous experiences have shown that it’s possible to pull a muscle while horizontal). The massage is relaxing, and Kani uses a controlled strength from her entire body, rather than just her hands. I’m relaxed and calm once it’s over, although, for a massage that calls itself ‘signature’, nothing stands out.
• The bed is remote-controlled and lifts your body into a sitting position once the massage is over. • The facilities include five mixed hammam pools of varying temperatures for men and women. • The oils used feel non-greasy, so you don’t struggle to pull on your clothes afterwards.
• It’s hard to achieve a meditative state when you can hear heels clip-clopping on the floor overhead. • The changing rooms are freezing and have very little privacy. • There is no head massage to finish off your treatment, which can leave it feeling a little incomplete.
Relaxing and calming, the whole experience was nice without being outstanding. The next day, my skin felt supple from the oils and I was less tense in my shoulders.
Maven Spa This small, competent spa offers a massage using aromatherapy oils and gentle stretching. From Dhs240 for 60 minutes. Uptown Mirdif (04 288 8480)
Mandara Spa This Balinese treatment boasts a combination of stretching and long strokes with essential oils. From Dhs365 for 50 minutes. The Monarch Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 501 8888)