The spectacular, sprawling spa creates an air of exclusivity.
A visit to a spa can often feel like prescribed relaxation time. Whether you’re in the mood or not, you must – starting now, for the next hour – unwind. It can be tough to get into that headspace, especially when you know the routine: breath in, back massage, turn over, front massage, gong, job done. At Raffles The Palm Dubai’s Cinq Mondes Spa, however, that is not the case. Spoiler alert: I had one of the best massages in Dubai.
At Raffles The Palm Dubai’s Cinq Mondes Spa, the attentive experience starts from the moment I pull up to the grand entrance. A member of staff leads me through the five-star hotel, with its crystal chandelier, gold touches, high ceilings, towering pillars and twinkling pianist, all the way to the spa.
Given the palatial proportions of the hotel, make sure you get there early. As you walk down the long, luxurious corridors, away from the bustling streets, it sets the scene for you to – the magic word – relax.
Raffles The Palm’s Cinq Mondes Spa recently underwent a refurbishment, and is all the better for it. The state-of-the-art treatments include Gharieni Welnamis (vibrational therapy), Celliss (cellulite treatment) and The Quartz Bed (hot sand therapy). Spread over 3,000 square metres, the spa has 23 treatment rooms, two private spa suites and an indoor pool. Plus, there are two traditional hammams, a fully-equipped gym and yoga studio.
While the hotel lobby boasts an Arab opulence, the spa oozes French elegance. Sure, there are touches of gold – a gold tree, anyone? – but it’s offset by the white, beige and cream hues. The changing area is vast, boasting the latest mod cons, a steam room and relaxation area. Plus, thanks to the maze-like design and curved corridors lined with candles, which lead to the treatment rooms, you have no choice but to get lost in the experience.
Raffles The Palm Dubai’s Cinq Mondes Spa’s menu includes body treatments, facials, massages and wellness experiences. I have booked a Traditional Oriental Massage (AED 650 for one hour), which is a full body massage. Cinq Mondes pride themselves on their natural, petrochemical-free products, and this treatment uses Argan oil in slow, deep movements.
The therapist, Pim, is a calm, comforting figure who is well-versed in body language. The treatment starts with a refreshing foot wash, followed by a massage across the back of my body and front of my body. Every request, from a change of pressure to temperature, is swiftly met.
Most full body massages end with the face and head, which she does, as asked, without oil. Even though she has kneaded out the knots in my shoulders, she goes one step further at the end. She sits me up, continues at a different angle and is determined to release the tension – and it works. I can feel the benefits, especially the next day, like I’ve, well, relaxed.
When the massage finishes, Pim tells me that if I’ve enjoyed the experience, I should write a review on TripAdvisor. (‘Don’t worry, you’ll get more than that’, I respond, but she smiles, nods and is oblivious to what I’ve said.)
The experience ends in the relaxation area. There’s an air of exclusivity, as there are nine beds nestled into the walls, all with net curtains and all empty. Sipping on some ginger tea, I settle into a soft bed. Phone-free and alone, it’s perfect for some me-time. And, of course, that chance to fully relax.
GO: Visit www.rafflesthepalmdubai.com for more information.