Thai massage in an Egypt inspired Singoporean hotel in Dubai

A surefire example that globalisation really does work. Find out why we were left awe-struck and utterly chilled at the Raffles spa

Thai Retreat, Dhs699 for 90 minutes at RafflesAmrita Spa (04 324 8888)

The brochure for RafflesAmrita Spa says, ‘relax in a quiet meditative haven in The Raffles Botanical Garden Retreat’ in reference to its Thai Retreat treatment. While we’re usually disappointed by the empty promises so many spas give us (‘Discover a new you’ is a particular favourite… We’re fine as we are thanks), this one surprisingly comes up trumps.

As we’re led – in requisite robe and slippers – through the heady smells of fuchsias and all manner of other perennials, a small hut looms on the horizon. Surely this isn’t just for yours truly? It is indeed. Wow, an entire hut for one person to lie back and release the stress and strains of the working week. With candles, ginger tea and everything? It’s like something you’d expect on the white sands in the Maldives, not next to Sheikh Rashid road in Dubai.

Awe-struck and thoroughly chilled, things kick off with a rose-oil massage. Strokes are firm, but not too hard, leaving us wishing the treatment was never going to end. And it actually didn’t. Instead of messing about with all manner of lotions and scrubs, the therapist continued kneading all our problem areas with a simple rose oil that smelt like it had just been gathered from the adjacent gardens.

By the time the treatment was over, we weren’t entirely sure where we were, but the final walk through the floral-scented garden was enough to assure us that the hut was, in fact, a worthy addition to the spa menu.

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