x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Tried and tested: 'natural blissful body ritual' treatment

The long holiday season has left me looking tired and feeling worse for wear, so I sought out a recuperative spa therapy session.

Courtesy the Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Courtesy the Ritz-Carlton Hotel

WHAT I TRIED The "naturally blissful body ritual" treatment at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai

WHAT I WANTED Phew! All that partying over Christmas and the new year left me thoroughly drained. I needed some recuperative therapy in the form of a warm scrub and a soothing massage.

WHAT IT IS An hour never seems like quite enough time to relax, does it? This treatment offers nearly two hours to unwind for not much more than the price of a traditional massage. It begins with a scented body scrub followed by a heated wrap and a one-hour massage.

WHAT HAPPENED The name Ritz-Carlton conjures all sorts of images of grandeur and while the hotel is impressive enough, the spa's poky changing rooms and greying bathrobe had seen better days. The Jacuzzi and the steam room were undergoing maintenance so there was no chance to relax first, but the spa rooms were an improvement, with soothing tones and soft music. My therapist more than compensated with her expertise as she scrubbed away fiercely. The exfoliator felt rough and grainy, which convinced me it must be doing some good, particularly when it left a glorious sheen on my skin. Then she basted me like a turkey in a warm body mask. I had chosen pumpkin and cinnamon body glow out of six scents, because my first choice - gingerbread cocoon - was not available. It smelt like a pie and I felt like pie filling as she coated me from the neck down, wrapped me in cling film and left me to gently simmer for 20 minutes. Once I was washed off, I was as sleepy and pliable as a baby, which explains why I fell asleep for much of the massage and don't remember my therapist working on my arms and legs. The pressure on my knotted back was just right, however, and she used firm hands and elbows to work on my neck and shoulders.

THE VERDICT A thorough treatment that contains all the necessary elements for a reasonable price. While the spa is not entirely salubrious, its therapists are skilled enough to make up for it. I look forward to seeing how the venue compares to the Ritz-Carlton's snazzy new second base in Dubai International Financial Centre.

Naturally blissful body ritual, Dh750, one hour and 50 minutes, 04 399 4000, or visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Dubai/Spa/Menu.htm