Cleopatra's spa treatment

Georgina Wilson Powell gets the royal treatment at Cleopatra’s Spa

The spa

Nestled in the heart of the Wafi complex, Cleopatra’s boasts a whirlpool bath, steam room and sauna, which I make the most of before my treatment.

The promise

The spa’s signature treatment is a two-hour Royal Javanese package, which originates in Indonesia. It entails an hour-long Balinese massage, followed by a traditional Indonesian exfoliation and a milk bath with scented oil and frangipani perfume. Originally designed for brides-to-be, the treatment aims to turn your skin to velvet.

Step by step

After arriving early to enjoy the Jacuzzi and steam room, I’m all ready to be relaxed. My therapist talks me through the treatment and highlights a rather sore burn on my hand from the night before, then we begin in a calm, quiet treatment room. It’s the little details that make the difference: a heated massage table and towels placed under my shoulders provide extra comfort as I lie on my front, and it’s hard not to drift off almost immediately. The Balinese massage proves to be just right, effectively working out the previous week’s kinks without making me squirm under too-firm fingers. The therapist spends time really unknotting my shoulders and neck with some deep tissue massage.

After an hour of deft work, I’ve already decided that this is the ultimate way to end my weekend, and I’m starting to feel like a new woman compared with the very old one I was turning into a few hours earlier. Then I remember that I’m only halfway through my allotted treatment time and I start to feel quite smug.

The exfoliation requires moving to a different room; as I lie on another table, the therapist sands me down with a mitt, getting rid of the dead skin. It’s not too harsh and doesn’t require me doing anything other than lying there, so it’s still pretty relaxing. After a quick shower, I hop into the warm milk bath, also in the second room, to do my best Queen of Egypt impression while my therapist leaves me to soak.


• My skin is super-soft, and remains silky even a few days after the treatment.
• The two-hour package feels like absolute luxury. If you need to be brought back to life after a weekend, this is the way to do it.
• I’m normally a light sleeper, but I slept like a log the night after the treatment.


• The bath could have been a little warmer and, as a smallish woman, it was so large I couldn’t get a grip on anything to enable me to lie down and relax.
• I could have done without the product sell at the end (including slimming tablets!).

The Royal Javanese treatment costs Dhs710 for two hours. Cleopatra’s Spa, Wafi (04 324 7700)

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