Having lived in Dubai for almost three years, I've had my fair share of spa experiences - both in 5* hotels and smaller outlets.
Up until a year ago, I was an avid fan of the spa at The Ritz Carlton, DIFC, visiting almost monthly.
The Oberoi hotel opened up across from where I live in Business Bay and I became a quick fan of the various restaurants and decided to try out the spa.
It took only 90 minutes for me to forget The Ritz Carlton and I've never looked back.
Today's massage was no different to the last 14, and I love everything about the spa experience at The Oberoi.
Most crucially, and obvious for this premium [Indian] brand, is the range of authentic Indian massages. I had never heard of Ayurveda massages, such as abhyanga. The spa also offers the more traditional spa treatments, such as Balinese massages, facials, and so on.
First is the welcome experience, where after wandering past the gym, you're greeted by incredibly friendly staff who go out of their way to assess your needs and offer you the best massage suggestion. They're never pushy toward the expensive treatments either, there's a genuine desire to understand what the customer may need.
Second, and what I like a lot, is that every spa room has it's own changing area and steam/shower. Indeed, the entire process is behind one closed door and I think that is something The Oberoi have gotten right. You get a lot of alone time, should you desire. I've often sat in the steam/shower for almost 30mins after the treatment.
There is an evident spa experience that has been created by The Oberoi. Your masseur will collect you personally from the reception area, take you to the designated room, explain where everything is in the changing room, and close the door behind you, waiting in the main massage area for you to get ready. Once you've changed and popped on the oversized dressing gown (I believe they're purposefully oversized - and they feel great) and the cool yellow slippers, it's time to get started. The immediate step is to sit in a chair and have your feet washed with a scrub you can choose from. Although clearly hygienic (almost all Indian massages include the feet), The Oberoi have managed to make this an integral part of the experience and it starts the unwinding process much quicker. As this is being carried out, the masseur will ask specific questions around what areas you want him/her to focus on, what kind of oil would you like, and so on. Initially, I asked 'what oil do you have' not knowing much in the way of what was best and the chap presented a little tray with three pots on, each containing a sample. He then explained what they are and what they do.
Once this is over, the massage begins and the masseur will do a quick roundup of 'is the lighting OK?', 'room temperature?' 'music volume?' ...
The first massage I had was abhyanga and I had never felt so relaxed in a spa. I enjoy massages but had long struggled to really relax. This massage is relaxing from the word go. There's an excellent mix of pressure and movement. I love the massage that I have it almost every time I go.
Once it's all over there is no pressure to leave. Indeed, the offer of the steam/shower is made along with herbal tea of your choice. I tend to avoid the steam/shower if I've had an Indian massage as it's recommended the oil stays on for a few hours.
All in all, I would highly recommend The Oberoi Spa. The staff are highly trained, immensely friendly, and I think it's the only place I've felt there is a genuine experience attached to it. Added to this, it's not expensive either, unlike a lot of Dubai hotels.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A contemporary luxury hotel that embodies height, light and space and overlooks the iconic Burj Khalifa. The Oberoi, Dubai is located within minutes from the Dubai Mall and the Dubai International Financial Centre. The 252 spacious guest rooms and suites have floor to ceiling windows and offer spectacular views of the city’s skyline. ... more less
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