Yoga under an Arabian moon
MARIA CROCE samples spa life in Dubai from arriving at the Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah in an Abra to the aroma of Frankincense during her treatment…
Images: Courtesy Talise Spa and Jumeirah
When you step into the Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai it’s like entering a different world.
It’s tucked away among palms and tropical plants, next to a waterway so you can come or go from other parts of the beach-side resort by taking a ride in a traditional wooden boat called an Abra. But you can also arrive aboard a hotel golf buggy which passes an eye-catching collection of golden horse statues along the driveway.
Talise means ‘beautiful water’ and while this spa is on the waters’ edge, there are also pools and fountains around the picturesque setting. Within the spa there are separate male and female sections with saunas, steam rooms and plunge pools as well as a secluded communal outdoor pool set in the gardens with loungers if you want to order a healthy snack or herbal tea.
There are 26 treatment rooms spread around the site and I got to try the Arabian Nights treatment in a large airy pretty room with its own en-suite shower.
Scents of sandalwood, Frankincense and rose take you back to ancient Arabia with this body scrub and massage. My skin was exfoliated with a scrub then I stepped into the adjoining shower room to wash it off before I was back on the treatment bed for a body massage with warm oils. My mind was relaxed and my skin left supersoft after the 90-minute treatment which costs 750 AED (around £135).
This spa offers a range of treatments such as facials and massages as well as spa packages such as the Urban Essentials (AED 1500, around £270) for around four hours of a massage, facial, healthy snack, and body scrub.
But it’s also a wellness retreat where you can see experts Dr Elisabeth Makk, an internal medicine specialist, cardiologist and homeopath who blends her medical background with holistic therapies and colon hydrotherapist Kay Vosloo who’s also a qualified nutritionist. They offer consultations, diagnostic tests, therapeutic treatments, nutritional advice and detox programmes alongside yoga classes.
The health programme can look at your heart, digestion, possible food intolerances and your diet. The yoga studio provides individual consultations as well as group classes. But the spa also organises a popular yoga session in the evenings by the beach when there’s a full moon - to the sounds of classical music.
After my treatment I headed for the communal pool area and a member of staff sent a message to my husband in the male section of the spa to let him know where I was. After relaxing in the sun it was time for us to head off so we took an Abra along the water – with the backdrop of pretty villas and the dramatic Burj Al Arab in the distance.
We got off the Abra at Mina A’Salam and took a stroll by the water to see the turtles being cared for in a conservation project before heading for Dubai’s traditional Friday brunch at Al Muna restaurant – where you get to enjoy an extensive all-you-can-eat afternoon buffet with a band playing.
The spa was secluded - yet we discovered how conveniently close it was to the other facilities around the resort. We’d sailed from the tranquility of its quiet setting but within a few minutes had arrived in the hustle and bustle of a lively eaterie.
The SPA Traveller tips
• Make sure you take an Abra either to or from the spa – it’s a picturesque journey.
• If you’re a fan of yoga – check out the dates of the full moons to join one of the spa’s special sessions on the beach (AED 99, around £18).
• If it’s a Friday, don’t miss the Friday Brunch at Mina A'Salam in the same resort – where summer prices for all your food and drink are AED 390 (around £70) or food and soft drinks AED 295 (around £53). But sit outside on the terrace because it’s a real bargain at half price (around £35 for all your food and fizz). You’re under a sunshade and look out onto the water.
• Arrive early so you can enjoy the full range of experiences
• Do try the wellness cuisine at the restaurant adjacent to the spa