There are heaps of pampering deals springing up to mark Valentine’s Day on February 14, providing the perfect pre-dinner boost – or a great alternative to a pricy meal. We’ve tried out some of the most appealing options – and singletons, don’t worry: we haven’t forgotten you.
Imperial Ottoman Couples’ Massage at Talise Ottoman Spa
The experience: Wow: even to us jaded old-marrieds, this experience is pretty special. Couples visiting Talise Ottoman Spa have a whole floor dedicated to them, with a couples-only hammam, relaxation areas, and vast couples’ suites that feature their own spa, Jacuzzi, showers, changing rooms and lounging areas. The treatment is bliss from start to finish (to be honest, I forget my husband is beside me until I hear a faint snoring sound), offering an hour’s massage tailored to your needs using Aromatherapy Associates oils, followed by an hour to enjoy the rest of the suite’s facilities, accompanied by fresh fruit and fizz. Can we move in permanently, please?
The pants: Snug but reassuringly modest (thank goodness).
Best for: Those who want a decadent treat, or harassed parents looking for silent escapism. Claire Glasby
Romance meter: 5/5
Dhs1,500 per couple for Dhs120 minutes. Until February 29. Talise Ottoman Spa, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah (04 453 0455).
Share the Love Treatment at The Address Dubai Mall
The experience: After changing in separate areas, my partner and I are reunited in the couples’ room, where our muscles are unknotted with a firm deep-tissue massage (eye-watering, but it certainly works the knots out of my shoulders). It’s interspersed with the application of steaming hot herbal bags, followed by a facial and a blissful head massage. Afterwards we dress and meet on the hotel’s poolside terrace for a glass of bubbly and chocolate-dipped strawberries, where we recount tales of our aching muscles and overall relaxed mood.
The pants: Rather on the small side: I sport a revealing black thong, while my partner says his tiny hot pants make him look like ‘a jellyfish in a body stocking’.
Best for: Opposites attract. The deep-tissue massage will keep him happy (men seem to prefer treatments that feel as though they’re actually doing something) and, while he might find the facial a bit pointless, she’ll love it, and it will leave her feeling and looking beautiful. Rebecca Milford
Romance meter: 3.5/5
Dhs1,200 per couple for 75 minutes; Dhs1,600 for 110 minutes. Until February 29. The Spa, The Address Dubai Mall (04 438 8888)
Romance for Two at Amara Spa
The experience: After being escorted to our private suite by two Indonesian therapists, we’re asked to change into our ‘modesty pants’ before having our feet bathed and taking up position on our beds. What follows is 90 minutes of bliss, as soft background music and expert strokes lull us into a near trance. Next we’re led outside to our own private terrace, bearing strawberries and bubbly to be enjoyed on a comfy sofa before a relaxing shower. At the end, my only concern is how I’m going to top this next year.
The pants: Small but snug, the black mesh creations are surprisingly comfy.
Best for: A man who needs to make up for all those late nights spent in the office: buy her this and she’ll be smitten. Adam Wilson
Romance meter: 4/5
Dhs1,290 for 90 minutes. Until February 29. Amara Spa, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 602 1660).
Blissful Rose Ritual at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
The experience: Arriving suitably early, I spend a good half hour in the Jacuzzi and sauna before the rose treatment, which takes place in a rather cramped treatment room. The rose body scrub is cold at first (the warm shower afterwards is a relief!), but thankfully the massage features heated rose oil and the long, languid strokes work away all my knots. The scalp massage at the end is a standout.
The pants: The Ritz-Carlton Spa understands comfort: the soft thongs are made of good-quality fabric and boast just the right amount of stretch.
Best for: Surrounding yourself with roses, even when single. Vineetha Menon
Dhs600 for 90 minutes. Until February 29. The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Residence (04 318 6184).
Chocoholics massage and facial at Jebel Ali Golf Resort
The experience: After a stroll through the Jebel Ali Golf Resort gardens, I’m already feeling more tranquil, but the best is yet to come. An hour’s massage with chocolate body lotion and jasmine oil hydrates and smoothes my skin, and a mini-facial (including a chocolate mask) leaves me glowing. To finish, the therapist leads me – in an extreme state of relaxation and smelling of a box of Quality Streets – to a lounger overlooking the beach, where I sip hot chocolate and prolong the indulgence.
The pants: Generously sized and softer than average, but the string sides leave little to the imagination.
Best for: Singletons wanting a chocolate indulgence without the calories – or the risk of a bad Valentine ’s Day date. Brooke Sever
Dhs350 for 75 minutes. Until February 29. Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa (04 814 5555).