As the weather cools, lounging by a posh pool after your massage is a pleasure once again
With its blue-and-white colour palette, this is Dubai’s classiest hotel, and its spa is our favourite in town (a view shared by Venus Williams and Elle Macpherson, apparently).
Two words – the pool.
This lovely shady area isn’t the biggest pool in town, nor is it the flashiest, but it’s certainly the most tasteful. With understated Moorish design (no gold prancing horses here) and a beautiful lounge area, this
is one of the most relaxing spots in the city.
Best treatment: The Spirit of Amara is a two-hour treatment that is full of Arabic touches. You’ll start with a scrub using Syrian Aleppo soap (which is enriched with olive and laurel oils), before being de-knotted with a full-body massage using Amara’s signature oil of frankincense, amber, myrrh and sandalwood (Dhs750 for 120 minutes).
Price: From Dhs160 for spa baths to Dhs2,055 for a five-hour journey.
Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 602 1660)
This low-key option is bursting with understated style. However, the pool is right by the restaurant, so rethink your visit if you’re super-modest.
Why go? First, guests get mini REN products to take home. Second, the treatment and relaxation rooms have views over the polo field – surreal and worth writing home about.
Best treatment: We love the Lime Intuitive Massage, which combines Swedish, Thai, Shiatsu and Balinese techniques (Dhs395 for 60 minutes).
Price: From Dhs190 for a manicure to Dhs1,200 for a 150-minute ritual.
Desert Palm, Al Awir Rd (04 323 8888)
This is more than just a spa: with gorgeous outdoor huts as treatment areas and its own pool, you’ll feel like you’re on holiday in Bali or Thailand.
Why go? The impressive breadth of treatments. As well as standard spa stuff, there’s also a pathology lab, homeopathic and alternative medicine and full-moon yoga once a month.
Best treatment: The Talise Optimal Wellness Assessment includes iridology and blood analysis, plus a signature massage (Dhs1,495 until end of October).
Price: From Dhs195 for a spa bath to Dhs2,195 for the Exceptional Ritual.
Madinat Jumeirah (04 366 6818)
The Spa at The Palace
This spot is Arabian in style but very tasteful – curved walls, arched windows and great attention to detail make relaxing easy.
The pool area is open to all guests who book signature treatments. It has great Burj Khalifa views and, if you stick around until late afternoon, you can watch the nearby Dubai Fountain from the poolside.
Best treatment: The One Desert Journey ritual was named the Middle East’s best signature treatment earlier this year. Starting with a sand scrub, your muscles are then massaged and relaxed with herbal poultices (Dhs685 for 105 minutes).
Price: From Dhs200 for a hand ritual to Dhs1,225 for the three-hour King or Queen ritual, which both include body wraps, massages and facials.
The Palace, Old Town (04 428 7805)
Located on the 18th floor of arguably the world’s most exclusive hotel and spanning more than 5,000sq m, a visit to this spa is a surreal experience.
There’s no outdoor pool at this spa, but you do get to lounge by the two indoor infinity pools, one of which is ladies only. With beautiful views over Dubai and lush (if somewhat overpowering) interiors, this is an ‘only in Dubai’ experience.
Best treatment: The Around the World treatment combines the best of the key worldwide massage techniques. You’ll walk away knot-free (Dhs950 for 85 minutes).
Price: From Dhs375 for a salt scrub to Dhs2,100 for a caviar ritual.
Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 301 7777)