The flotation pool
The promise: A relaxing 30-minute ‘float’ in a salt pool, which is likened to eight hours of deep sleep.
The process: The spa is situated in the basement of Emirates Towers and is the usual mix of dark, subtly lit treatment rooms with the aroma of lemongrass and ginger in the air. As we’re led to the changing rooms, we’re instructed to take a shower before entering the salt bath (good news: we’re happy to know that hygiene is taken seriously). Once we’ve showered and changed into our humbling paper costume, we’re led to the treatment room, where we’re told to keep drinking the supplied water and to relax in order to make the floating easier. Once the lights are turned down and the music turned on, it’s into the salt we go. It’s unusual at first, but the room’s heated so at least we’re not cold. As soon as we get the hang of bobbing about like a rubber duck we’re off to dreamland, our biggest stress being how to float without bumping into the sides.
Does it work? During the treatment we felt as though nothing was really happening, but our sleep that night was glorious and our skin felt healthier from the healing Epsom salts.
The flotation pool is Dhs165 for 30 minutes. Talise Spa, Jumeirah Emirates Towers (04 319 8181).
The shower massage
The promise: This treatment produces micro-jets of rain-like spray directed onto your seven pressure points or ‘chakras’, and claims to re-energise your body and mind.
The process: The new Adam & Eve spa sits on the 45th floor on Sheikh Zayed Road and boasts a labyrinth of treatment rooms. We’re welcomed into a room that features a large add-on wet room where the water treatment will take place after a full-body massage. Having stripped off completely, we’re soon zoned out under the skilled hands of the therapist who gives us one of the best massages we’ve had in a long time – she even massages our face, which is strangely pleasant. By the time we’re done the wet room is full of steam, and we lie face down on a rather medical-looking bed under a curved rail of shower heads directed at our back. We expect pleasingly hard jets of water pummelling us, continuing the work of the therapist; in reality we get gentle streams of water caressing our spine. It’s more akin to lying in warm rain than anything else.
Does it work? Having initially been a little put off by the machinery and the trickling water, the shower element proves relaxing but nowhere near as effective as the good old massage.
The 50-minute Affusion Shower Massage costs Dhs300. Adam & Eve Spa, Emirates Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 323 0000).
Facial water blasting
The promise: An all-natural skin exfoliation that will leave your skin refreshed and radiant.
The process: Treatment rooms at the Kaya Skin Clinic are, well, a bit clinical. Staff are friendly and the waiting lounge has comfortable sofas and magazines to flick through, but it’s hard to shake off the feeling you’re visiting the dentist. Still, it reassures us that they take skincare seriously. A quick cleanse is followed by a soothing face massage using really cold (almost icy) gel. Once that’s wiped off, a medical-looking machine is used to spray a combination of water and air onto our skin, performing a lymphatic drainage. This is followed by a longer exfoliation, where the very focused sprays blast off dead skin cells. It feels like they’re being blown away. After the long exfoliation, it’s time for an extraction to get rid of blackheads and pimples, before our skin is ‘infused with vitamins’ using the same device. Afterwards, our skin actually feels lighter and, yes, genuinely more refreshed. The final stage involves a soothing mask that’s peeled off after about 20 minutes.
Does it work? The air and water jet streams are a strange sensation: definitely not painful, but not very relaxing either because of the sharp, syringe-like focus and the extremely cold temperature. That said, the results are instantaneous: we feel clean and our skin is less dull. We’d definitely recommend this in the summer.
The 90-minute Aqua Radiance treatment costs Dhs600. Kaya Skin Clinic, Dubai Marina Walk, near Franck Provost, www.kayaclinic.com (050 181 0556).