Ok, so it’s the end of a long day at the end of a long week. In heels. And it’s late. Your skin is starting to feel as dry as that brown paper bag that your lunch came in, and your back feels like someone’s been playing squash against it. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Then hail the cab you can find the fastest and say these magic words: Shangri-La Hotel.
The venue: Once at the hotel head to the fourth floor — that’s the magician’s lair. You’ll be welcomed by smiles and a wrist band. (Don’t be afraid when they ask you for your Emirates Id; they’ll hand it back once you’ve returned the aforementioned band.) This is a special wristband — it’s the key to your locker, which has all the essentials. Don your bathrobe and fluffy slippers (beautiful when you say goodbye to your heels) and follow your therapist down a long corridor into a dimly-lit room.
The treatment: It begins with a lavender-infused rose petal littered foot bath, then you disrobe and get onto the massage table. The lights are dimmed further and a spray of lavender envelops the room. Your masseuse sprays some of that calming scent into her palms and holds it under your nose. ‘Breathe deeply,’ she says. And again. And again. And as you relax, the rhythmic kneading begins. In slow — light to medium strokes — the knots are teased out of your tired feet and back, and the rest of you. After you’ve been drenched in an aromatic blend of oils and swaddled in towels, it’s time for the express facial. A gentle exfoliation followed by an eye and face pack, and you’ll feel ready for a night out on the town. (Well, as long as you leave those heels behind.)
What we liked: The details. The warm towel after the hot oil rub down soothed my aching back. The towel on my eyes as I turned ensured the light wasn’t blinding and the delicious massage remained lovely. The post massage ginger drink was a stunning ending.
What we didn’t like: Bright lights that came on at the time of the mini facial, and the towel that had protected my eyes was suddenly ripped away.
Go for: Rejuvenation, and because when you finally do go to bed, you’ll get a restful eight-hour nap.
60-minute Drift Away Relaxing Body Massage Dh480
90-minute Drift Away Relaxing Body Massage and Facial: Dh680