We try out the traditional hammam at Al Wasl Road spot
New spa Turkuaz House offers treatments in a traditional hammam. Jenny Hewett tries it out
The promise A traditional Turkish hammam before we’re zapped dry in the adjoining hair salon.
Step by step This contemporary new Turkish spa occupies a two-story villa on Al Wasl Road and gets right what so many other spas in the city manage to get wrong; value for money. We’re led upstairs into a treatment room and undress into a robe before the friendly Turkish therapist leads us into the small heated hammam room. Having experienced the real deal in Istanbul, we have extremely high standards when it comes to hammams. This feels exceptionally authentic and the therapist seems to take no prisoners. She has that traditional robust approach, scrubbing with vigour from head to toe before we’re rinsed and soap suds are fluffed and upended on our body. Once our hair is washed, she wraps it up with a towel and we’re led to sit down in the treatment room before she spritzes our face with rose water and then serves Turkish apple tea. To prevent us from leaving looking like a drowned rat, we’re led downstairs to the hair salon, where a very competent stylist blow-dries and curls our hair, and we’re ready to hit the town.
The result There’s something about being scrubbed clean that is incredibly soothing, despite the vigorous methods used. Overall, it’s among the most authentic hammam experiences in the city.
Pros • There are lots of lovely finishing touches, such as the traditional hammam towels and rose water face spritz. • The therapist is firm without being rough, the true test of a good hammam. • It’s great value for money.
Cons • There is no off-street parking and it can be tricky finding a spot on the busy Al Wasl Road.
5/5 Dhs275 for one hour, Dhs95 for a blow-dry with long hair. Turkuaz House, Al Wasl Road (04 380 8703).