Thai Privilege Spa on Al Wasl Road is a haven of Asian hospitality from the moment you step inside the cosy, peppermint-scented lounge. Here you’re offered a cool drink and a ritual foot bath before being politely ushered upstairs, where dark wood-panelled treatment rooms offer a plethora of massages and facials.
The Mystical Desert Journey is a scrub and massage using date, honey and camel milk (apparently full of vitamins B and C, as well as iron and alpha-hydroxy acids, believed to plump the skin and smooth lines). A beauty ritual favoured by desert brides, it promises to wash away toxins and completely relax and nourish the body, aided by ancient Arabian music, traditional scents and a plate of local dates once the treatment is over.
Step by step
Courteous staff explain the treatment and introduce the products to be used. The date, honey and camel milk scrub smells good enough to eat, while the rose-based Moroccan massage oil is divine, but I opt to change the Bakhoor and Attar room scent which, while authentic, is too heavy for my liking.
My therapist is pleasant but not particularly chatty, which is fine, as it’s apparent she ‘speaks’ with her hands. After showing me to the VIP suite and bathing my feet, she begins the all-over (and I mean ‘all over’ – prim types be warned) body scrub. Quite vigorous, the 45-minute procedure blasts away dead skin cells and my skin, after a shower, feels impressively smooth.
Back on the massage table, the aromatic Thai massage is heavenly. The therapist gets pleasantly tough on problem areas but the overall experience (apart from her insistence in leaving no area un-massaged) is pure relaxation. Clients can choose between an extra half-hour massage or a wash and blow-dry in the salon downstairs, before the treatment ends on a suitably decadent note with a warm drink, soothing shoulder press and a selection of delicious stuffed and coated dates.
• The massage is first class thanks to the quietly competent masseuse.
• You can tweak the treatment and products according to your tastes.
• The blow-dry means you avoid that bedraggled post-spa look.
• The scrub is itchy when you’re left lying in it (but this disappears as soon as you rinse it off in the shower).
• The Arabian ambient music is not very obvious (or maybe they forgot to put the CD on).
• This spa is ladies’ only, so gents will have to scrub themselves with camel milk.
Utterly relaxing, this is a real pampering treat. The massage left me loose and limber, while my skin felt smooth – a sensation that lasted for a couple of days.
Dhs695 for two and a half hours. Thai Privilege Spa, Al Wasl Road (04 348 9679)