Tue, 02 January 2018
The scent of lemongrass has a calming effect as you enter the Al Areen Wellness and Retreat Spa, giving you a whiff of what awaits you in its cosy interiors.
The spa’s Wellness Retreat Experience is designed to suit different needs – weight optimisation, detoxification and re-energising. Therapist Ni started me off with an initial consultation checking my body weight, BMI, fat and water percentages, muscle and bone mass, my basal metabolic rate and metabolic age, as well as other information such as blood pressure, sugar level and pulse rate. A magnified view of my face also helped Ni decide what type of facial I needed.
The Wellness Retreat Experience is meant to relax your body, revatalise your soul and deliver expert advice on maintaining optimum fitness. It is a day-long commitment, but considering all the lavish pampering you’ll be signing up for, it isn’t a difficult one to make. Beginning with a healthy breakfast (the components of which are dictated by the aforementioned assessment), a personalised body wrap or scrub, and a 60-minute massage follows. Next comes a relaxed lunch curated for your body type, and a luxurious facial using high-end Elemis products. It’s then time to pump up the action, where a fitness coach shows you the best exercise for your wellbeing.
Heading to the Wellness Room after the preliminary discussions was like stepping into an alternate dimension, far away from city cares. I was in for a body scrub first. The grainy Dead Sea salt infused with fragrant rose oil exfoliated my dry winter skin; I could feel its smoothness as the subsequent rain shower mist drizzled warmly over me. Once dry, I hopped on to the comfortable massage table, and Ni commenced the De-stress Massage. The warm lavender-orange-eucalyptus oil made me breathe deeply, all the way to the pit of my stomach. She asked me if I had any bothersome areas of pain, and deftly worked her fingers to soothe away the stubborn tension knots from my shoulders. The gentle, but tactful, pressure and pull made my body just wind down and melt into a pool of complete relaxation. My mind easily wandered into the ‘nothing zone’ — somewhere my otherwise frazzled nerves never allow it to venture.
The last treatment, after a sensational head massage, was the Elemis SOS Facial. This 30-minute session is short and sweet. It doesn’t involve any extractions or massage, so suited for my hyper-sensitive skin. After a gentle cleansing, an under-eye serum was used to perk up tired eyes and a scrub was used on the T-zone, away from my inflamed cheekbones. Then my face was covered in an invigorating vitamin C mask to brighten the skin and reduce any redness. I could tell it was working by the brief sting. But the mask was off in five minutes and was topped with a cool, herbal paste applied all over my visage. It soothed my skin, banishing any remnant burning, and smelt pleasant enough to eat.
A good 10 minutes with the herbs doing their bit to calm my angry epidermis, and I could feel my skin breathing. All the goop cleaned up, eye cream and super-light moisturiser slathered on, it was time for me to return to reality. I did so wistfully, but with a definite spring in my step and no pain in my shoulders.
This day-long (or week-long, if you like) slice of hedonism is hands down the best gift you can give yourself or a loved one to begin the year on a happy note.
Call 17 845-000