The Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Dubai has been pampering women for years. But with the launch of its Just For Men spa line, I booked in for the Total Tune Up, which costs Dh950 for 150 minutes. Call 04 332 5555 to book.
The wow factor Not knowing what to expect having never had a spa treatment before, I was a little self conscious beforehand. But from the valet parking service at the door to the lush treatment suites on the seventh floor, I was sure memories of my daily routine had been left behind somewhere on the Sheikh Zayed Road. The separate male suites at the Willow Stream Spa offer a Jacuzzi, two small relaxation pools, a steam room and an ice shower. The Turkish Hammam style steam room is an elegant affair with mosaic tiles from floor to ceiling, that include the bench. Clients can also use the health club and are offered refreshments from fresh juices to hot drinks at regular intervals, but the two-rooftop swimming pool, is a long way from the suites, so is a bit of a hike to watch the sunset over the coastal horizon.
The treatment Two-and-a-half hours and with a cost of Dh950, the Total Tune Up is the longest and most expensive of the five new masculine therapies on offer. It includes an aromatic body polish, a deep muscle massage and a quick-fix facial, and is a well-balanced treatment that leaves the whole body tingling. The experience aims to relieve the stress and strain of a long day with the tip-to-toe massage making sure the body's knots are untangled. The extensive deep-tissue massage is combined with ginger and black pepper essential oils to relieve the tension before a warm mud mask covers the back. A foot and scalp massage encourages relaxation before a facial began. The cleanse, exfoliation and massage were invigorating, before face masks and serums, containing lavender and rose, left me relaxed.
How it felt A 150-minute mainly oil body massage is a fantastic opportunity to drift away and for the most part, I fell in and out of a pleasant dream. In the knowledge that this was my first time, the masseur did ask once or twice whether the pressure he was applying was comfortable, and it was. My massage was broken up after the initial body polish – about 45 minutes in – and I was requested to take a hot shower followed by an ice one: the latter of which sprays freezing cold water from three jets at the body. Brrrrhh. But it was a great feeling and not as bad as it sounds. It was the only real exertion I had to do – the rest was simply bliss.
Worth a return? At this price, I think I would have to have had a very trying week, but I would never say never. As first impressions of the wonderful world of spas go, this was definitely a good one and I would highly recommend it to any stressed out worker. I came away pleasantly surprised at the professionalism and welcoming nature of it all.