When an invite from the Heavenly Spa at the Westin Al Habtoor City dropped into our inbox we weren’t entirely sure whether or not to accept. Sure, Out & About UAE may be a hospitality blog and we’ve covered our fair share of spas as part of our hotel reviews (see here or here), our focus has always been on fine dining and luxury hotels. Considering we don’t consider ourselves well versed in the world of beauty therapy and wellness, we were more than a little perturbed by the offer.
With last weeks inaugural Fact Dining Awards Dubai looming on the horizon, we decided we might benefit from some pre-awards pampering and that perhaps the readers of Out & About UAE would appreciate our take on the spa experience, especially coming from a male perspective. Don’t worry guys we’ve not become beauty/fashion bloggers!
The Heavenly Spa is situated on the 6th floor of the monstrous Westin Hotel Al Habtoor City. Marketed as a tranquil escape in the heart of the city, our initial reaction to the space was more psychedelic than heavenly! Ascending the stairway into the reception the walls are decorated with images of date palms straight out of Al Ain oasis, but upon arrival, ghastly LED lighting formations cast the water with fluorescent pinks, blues and greens, completely working against the feeling of calm and serenity, instead feeling more like a 1980s school disco. Aside from the initial lighting projections and the minuscule font on the treatment forms (I sound like such an old man), the rest of the experience was pretty solid.
With the festive season fast approaching it’s pleasing to see the Heavenly Spa looking to attract a male clientele into the confines of this comforting space. Admittidly we’re not particularly well groomed or fashion concious, but with the rise of metrosexuality in the modern male culture, who doesn’t like to be pampered once in a while? At the Heavenly Spa three new treatments have been designed specifically for men — the Heavenly Spa signature massage, urban men’s fascial and gentleman’s hot scour — of which we chose the latter.
After a short welcome drink we’re led by our therapist along a corridor lit by small lanterns, as if trying to locate the source of the spa’s pan-pipe music and whale sounds. A tour of the spa and it’s numerous facilities is given, as we admire a spacious yoga studio capped in wood, two couples treatment rooms (why are there not more of these in the UAE?) that offer impressive views over the water canal towards the Burj Khalifa, and a hypnotically beautiful hammam that is tiled to perfection (#SpaGoals).
Like the rest of the spa, the changing and treatment rooms (of which there are twenty) are extremely spacious and come with equally inspiring names. Our thirty minute gentleman’s scrub takes place in a room named ‘strength’ and is priced at a very reasonable AED 275. With big mirrors, potted plants and comfortable bath robes (complete with hoods) we soon settled onto our heated massage bed for our treatment which involves a dry brushing exfoliation followed by a warm molten scrub with brown sugar. We must admit the smell of the scrub mix was enticing, falling somewhere between a toffee candle and a dulche de leche sauce in its fragrance.
Up until visiting the Heavenly Spa, our treatments have solely been massages (Ayurvedic, Balinese, Swedish or Thai) and a disastrous candle wax treatment at another Dubai five-star property that has become one of those funny stories that only our closest friends know! The scrub was a first for us and we really appreciated the way in which you can actually feel the individual grains of sugar exfoliating the skin to leave it feeling radiant and renewed. Do we wish it was perhaps a little longer and followed by a massage? 100% yes!
Our initial welcome to the spa by the female receptionist may not have been as warm as it should’ve been, but our therapist showed the utmost courtesy and professionalism at all times. In the post-treatment relaxation room we’re treated to tea and some of the plumpest dates we’ve encountered in the Middle East and booking a spa treatment currently allows guests access to the extensive facilities of saunas, steam rooms, mixed jacuzzis, the ‘Westin Workout’ fitness studio and two rooftop swimming pools. Special note should be given to the rainfall showers of which there are two – Niagara and Caribbean – recreating the feeling of being caught in a tropical storm, complete with thunder and lightning effects and jungle animal sounds!
For a spa with a focus on relaxation and wellbeing the Heavenly Spa certainly delivers via attention to detail (illuminated shower heads and excellent signage) and ultra-cleanliness. It’s easy to see why this spa was awarded ‘best luxury business hotel spa’ at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2017 but we did note some minor points during our three hours on site. Firstly, for a spa looking to attract men, the slippers are far too small and secondly, the rooftop pools are more than a little disappointing in terms of scope and aesthetics (an apparent problem that also plagues the St. Regis Al Habtoor City next door).
A month ago we’d never ventured into the difficult to navigate construction zone that is Al Habtoor City perched on the banks of the Dubai Water Canal. We’ve since had the pleasure of dining at Namu, watching the mesmerising Le Perle and enjoyed a relaxing spa treatment at the Heavenly Spa – three altogether different but equally rewarding experiences. It would appear Al Habtoor City is the most happening part of town to be seen at the moment.
We were guests of the Heavenly Spa Al Habtoor City. All views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE with the exception of five images used courtesy of Heavenly Spa,