Thai Privilege Spa is one of our go-to pampering spots thanks to its friendly staff, Far Eastern influences and great-value treatments. It has bundles more personality than some of the rather bland hotel spas, and the staff are Thai, so you know you’re getting the real deal. It even offers a free limo pick-up and drop-off service, so there’s no danger of losing your post-treatment calm getting stuck in traffic on the way home.
The spa’s new packages aim to leave you buffed, smooth and relaxed for the festive season: guests receive a Thai massage combined with a scrub or a wrap of their choice. We plump for the hibiscus and calendula wrap, which promises to remove toxins, eliminate dead skin cells, calm acne and boost collagen.
Step by step
After a friendly welcome, an explanation of the treatment and some form-filling, I’m led through the softly lit corridors to the foot ritual area, where my feet are washed. Then it’s upstairs to the treatment room and onto the massage table, where I lie face-down: my therapist thoughtfully places a rolled towel against my forehead to avoid that uncomfortable chafing. First up is the massage. I’m surprised at the order of service: in most combo treatments the massage comes last, but it seems to work best this way round, with the wrap rounding off the experience (it means I can shower post-treatment rather than in the middle, which can disrupt the relaxing mood).
The Thai massage that follows feels beneficial but not too painful – I particularly like the arm stretches and the thorough back work. Next I’m slathered in fresh-smelling hibiscus and calendula gloop, then wrapped in cling film (I feel a bit like a festive turkey). I panic momentarily when I feel an itch on my forehead that I’m unable to scratch, but my therapist saves the day with a blissful head massage. I don’t want it to end, so I’m marginally disappointed when I’m unwrapped and led to the washroom for a post-treatment shower.
After the treatment my skin feels softer and my muscles looser, although in hindsight the real benefit was the time I spent at the spa. For 90 minutes I was able to give my mind and body a rest, with no worrying about Christmas shopping, festive cooking or what to wear to the office party.
• The spa is fantastic, with great service and bags of personality. • At just Dhs250 for a massage and a wrap, we’ll definitely be heading back for more. • The free limo service ensures you return home blissfully relaxed.
• The spa’s petite size means there’s no extensive relaxation areas or wet facilities that you’d find in big hotel spas – instead, post-treatment refreshments are served in the reception area.
Natural Healing Wellness Spa The Body Beautifier package features a detoxifying scrub followed by an aromatic massage. Dhs480 for two hours. Al Wasl Road (04 348 3896)
SensAsia Urban Spa Try a Thai Yoga Stretch massage for Dhs350, then add a milk and honey wrap for an extra Dhs225. Dhs575 for two hours. Village Mall, Jumeirah (04 349 8850)
Akaru Spa Choose four treatments from a list of eight, including a body scrub, back massage, head and shoulder massage and reflexology. Dhs395 for two hours. The Aviation Club, Garhoud (04 282 8578)