A gem? We’re familiar with the term ‘diamond diva’ – just think of Jennifer Lopez and you’re there – and we’re particularly aware that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, which means Time Out is somewhat lonesome. But it’s not often that you hear someone quip, ‘Oh, she was just dripping in diamond dust’ – unless the person in question happens to reside under a diamond cutter.
But pop on down to the brand spanking new realms of the Spa Inter-Continental – complete with Tchibo tea and soothing light displays – and watch the magic happen. Our therapist has a pot of the stuff. A whopping great pot of diamond dust that gets slathered over every inch of your being as if it’s going out of fashion (‘Only in Dubai’ we hear you sigh). Best of all, it feels really good; akin to having Bahamian sands – the finest grains in the world, apparently – rubbed all over you, while panpipes titter overhead. Utter bliss.
Now, we’re fairly sure that you’re scoffing into your crystal champagne flute at this point, because why on earth would someone splurge on a mound of diamond dust only to roll around in it like a potbellied pig? Well, Natura Bisse’s Diamond Magnetic treatment is also packed with micronised iron, and that’s where the fun really begins.
Head-to-toe in diamond dust, a magnetic mitt is worked over our gem-encrusted body, collecting fine granules as it goes. Eyes closed, it feels not unlike a small rodent ferreting about, which may sound unsettling but is actually relaxing, if a little ticklish. (It promotes positive wellbeing, apparently.)
The final string to this treatment’s bow is the slathering of Diamond Body Cream, which leaves bum, tum and thighs smoother than a polished orb. That’s not even to mention the diamond facial, which includes a cleanse, peel and eye mask – the perfect rejuvenator for those burning the candle at both ends. And did we mention you leave in a fine layer of diamond dust? If ever there was a treatment that epitomises Dubai, we reckon this is it. Best for: Anyone hitting the red carpet for a black tie shindig. You will literally shine.
A gem?The Monarch Dubai is one of those hidden gems (excuse the pun) that we are almost reluctant to share with you. Even though the Trade Centre roundabout hotel opened in November last year, it has kept a fairly low profile while a few finishing touches are added to its grandiose profile. But we’re proud/ reluctant to announce that Mandara Spa, in all its Zen-like glory is up and running, and is already luring in Dubai’s spa mavens.
Its Crystal Harmony Massage kicks off with the chime of a singing bowl, which is supposed to lull you into a state of calm and tranquility. We had already switched onto chilled mode the minute we stepped into the relaxation area – complete with steam room, sauna and candle-lit Jacuzzi – so the singing bowl didn’t exactly have its work cut out.
All therapists hail from Bali and are as jovial and cheery as you’d hope. (There’s nothing worse than feeling like your knotted back is putting the weight of the world on a therapists shoulders.) But any chirpiness is far outweighed by talent – a case in point is when our therapist worked the Chakra crystal massage stone to our vexed body.
The beauty of the aforementioned stone is that it’s all about healing the Chakra (the ‘grey’ aura surrounding any injury or emotional issues.) We’re hoping we didn’t show too much of the latter, although we could definitely feel the stones working away at the former. The feeling is akin to someone driving over your knots with a steam roller – essentially things get straightened out. The use of essential oils (we opted for the ever tranquil lavender) aids and abets this whole rebalancing treatment, leaving you oozing positive energy as the singing bowl signals the end of what we have rebranded ‘happy hour’. (Well, happy hour with an additional 15 minutes of singing bowl action …) Best for: Anyone up to their eyeballs in work. You’ll leave floating on cloud nine.
Shiffa Jewels of Arabia Ritual Where:Park Hyatt Dubai Cost: Dhs1,350 for 180 minutes
A gem? We’ve always been firm fans of the Park Hyatt Dubai’s Amara Spa – everything from the Moorish domes to the Arabian Nights-inspired swimming pool is spot on, ensuring relaxation is on the cards whatever the treatment. But now, in true decadent form, this tranquil haven has conjured up a cache of treatments that will have you wafting through its candle-lit corridors like Cleopatra after one of her milk and honey baths.
The aptly named Jewels of Arabia Ritual offers a choice of four gem-inspired oils: Diamond (for energy, clarity and revival), emerald (for detox, cleansing and healing), ruby (for restoring and anti-aging) and sapphire (for relaxation, calm and balance). We opted for the diamond, naturally.
Everything kicks off with the signature rose petal hand and foot ritual, which is usually followed by a short dip in the outdoor shower, leaving you to snuggle down into the aromatherapy-scented towelled bed. We’re sold and the diamond oil hasn’t even entered the forum.
To add to all the finery, mists of pure gold (for cell regeneration) or silver (to support immunity) initiate the ritual, leaving us cocooned in a clay-fuelled herbal poultice. For anyone fearing mummification, the lilting oriental tunes overhead are particularly calming.
After another wash down in the glorious al fresco shower, its time for round two: the massage. While there’s no actual diamond lurking in the Shiffa oil (we were mildly disappointed), the mix of rose, myrtle, neroli, camellia and evening primrose apparently creates the colour/ sense of a diamond. Either way, it smells glorious and feels divine. So much so that the Park Hyatt Dubai has firmly cemented the old adage that diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend. Best for: Anyone looking to clear mind, body and soul. You will feel all light and airy.