Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Access to the steam facilities, a foot exfoliation, a body brushing, a scrub, a facial cleansing and massage come before the body massage in the Tension Soother treatment. iStockphoto.com
Access to the steam facilities, a foot exfoliation, a body brushing, a scrub, a facial cleansing and massage come before the body massage in the Tension Soother treatment. iStockphoto.com

Solutions to soothe the spent

We try out a signature treatment at Yas Viceroy's in-house ESPA that's meant to alleviate muscle pain and stress.

After a long working week and a busy weekend in Dubai hosting friends from out of town, I went in for the Tension Soother treatment - one of the signature offerings at Yas Viceroy's in-house spa, Espa. The treatment is supposed to alleviate deep-seated muscle pain and stress through sensory stimulation.

The set-up

Smell: as soon as I stepped out of the lift, I was hit by that wonderful spa smell - a combination of lemon grass, eucalyptus and amber.

Sight: the treatment room was overlooking the Yas Marina with the window blinds tilted partially upwards so as not to let in too much light.

Taste: before and after the treatment I was offered a cleansing ginger tea, which was welcoming after two hours of scrubbing, brushing and massaging.

Sound: serene instrumental music plays throughout the spa but, while in the treatment room, the therapist asked if I had any other music preference as individual iPod docks are used in the rooms.

Touch: special attention was taken when it came to pressure. Each section of the Tension Soother was given a different strength - the body brushing was light due to my sensitive skin, the massage was strong due to deep muscle knots and there was a firm focus on energy points.

The details

For once I was actually early to my appointment and was advised to use the steam facilities before the treatment. The vapours helped relieve tension, but as I was stepping off the slick, marble benches, my clumsiness got the best of me and I slipped and fell flat. Good thing I was getting a massage right after.

My therapist, Jene, fetched me from the waiting area and escorted me to the room. She began with a foot ritual that included a bath salt and oil followed by gentle exfoliation.

Before beginning, Jene asked me to choose which oils I wanted to use based on my own olfactory preferences - the fragrance that smells the most appealing to me will give the best results, she said.

Then we began the body brushing, aimed at stimulating the lymphatic system and overall circulation. Next up was the scrub. Jene used the Espa Exfoliating Body Polish to slough off dry skin with a cooling after-effect thanks to the spearmint-infused polish.

Jene then moved on to my face where a simple cleanse and massage was administered. A quick body shower came next and then I was back on the bed face down for the massage.

A combination of the Espa Restorative Body Oil and hot volcanic stones worked on my stiff muscles. I have scoliosis (curvature of the spine) between my shoulder blades and in my middle back, which causes muscle spasms because of overcompensation by the muscle to make up for the lack of alignment.

Lastly was the scalp massage. She used the Espa Pink Hair and Scalp Mud which conditions the area and boosts hair health.

I was in a state of trance, between sleep and wakefulness, when Jene whispered in my ear that we were done. She noted that I had one calf slightly larger than the other, which felt stiffer and was most likely due to water retention. She advised me to concentrate on that leg with a body brush and taught me how to use it properly. She also offered suggestions on how to alleviate my back pain with simple remedies at work and home.

I was told to drink plenty of fluids that evening because the treatment detoxifies your system, leaving you dehydrated.

The service

The receptionist, spa manager and therapist who I interacted with were some of the most knowledgeable I've had at any spa in town.

Although the spa is quite a long way out of town for those of us who live in the city, the experience made it worthwhile. In fact, it was refreshing to leave the hotel feeling like I wasn't in Abu Dhabi - almost as if I was on a spa holiday somewhere abroad.

The prices

Any of Espa's Signature Spa Treatments cost Dh725. They are two hours long. Women clients have access to the spa's light therapy room, relaxation lounge and steam facilities, while men can enjoy MetroNap energy pods (ergonomic chairs designed for napping in an energy-boosting environment), as well as a separate steam room and relaxation area.

How to book

You can contact Espa at Yas Viceroy on 02 656 0862, or via email at espa.spa@viceroyhotelsandresorts.com.



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 S*uce store at The Dubai Mall. Courtesy: S*uce

S*uce celebrates 10 years of style

As they celebrate their 10th anniversary, the founders and staff of the made-in-the-UAE boutique S*uce look back at their fashion success story.

 Who did we give five stars to? Mathew Kurian / Ravindranath K / The National

Your guide to the UAE’s best burgers

In search of the perfect burger, The National staff taste-tested the country's many burger joints. Which ones stood out from the pack?

 Sense, A Rosewood Spa offers The Gulf Cure, a 90-minute organic treatment that makes use of the detoxifying and relaxing powers of seaweed. Courtesy Sense Spa

Testing the subtle powers of seaweed at Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s Sense Spa

Add seaweed to your beauty regimen, says Kalpana Ramgopal, after a treatment at Sense, the spa at Rosewood Abu Dhabi leaves her with silken skin.

 The Emperor 1688's Golkar brothers. Courtesy Fashion Forward

The Emperor 1688, Kage and House of Fatam nominated for Woolmark Prize

Three UAE-based brands have been nominated for the International Woolmark Prize: the menswear label The Emperor 1688 and the womenswear brands Kage and House of Fatam.

 Steamed Shrimp Dumplings at Lao restaurant the Waldorf Astoria, Palm Jumeirah. (Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria)

Dim sum to die for at Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah

Waldorf Astoria has made its debut along the Eastern crescent of Palm Jumeirah. Worth a visit for the Dim Sum is Southeastern Asian restaurant Lao. Check out chef’s recipe below and see our slideshow of other top dishes to sample.

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

(serves 10 people)


Prawns 250g

Potato starch 25g

Tapioca starch 25g

Spring onions 20g

Lukewarm water 20ml

Banana leaves 20g

Sesame oil 50ml

Sesame seeds 50g

 Entrance of the Zuma restaurant at DIFC in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

Zuma bans cigar smoking

Zuma, the high-end modern Japanese restaurant concept, has banned cigar smoking in its Dubai location. The move follows the ban on cigar smoking in its bar and lounge areas during lunchtime service that was introduced in April last year and the Dubai Government’s anti-tobacco law that came into force in January.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National