A little slice of Bali in the heart of Dubai

October 31, 2014

The spa The UAE is not lacking in quality spas. However, despite some of the huge, catchall spas on offer, it is often in the smaller urban spas where you find the more personal experiences. Cue, the H Hotel’s Mandara Spa. Although the Balinese-themed spa is part of a global chain, its relatively small size and commitment to tradition – they only employ Balinese therapists, who have been trained at the Mandara academy in Indonesia – makes sure that it has a strong and distinct identity. The clean, uncluttered, windowless interior instantly takes you away from the blistering outdoor heat and feels very masculine – which would explain the above average 60 per cent male clientele. The spa has eight treatment rooms, each with low lighting and soothing Balinese music playing. The separate men’s area has both thermal and hydrotherapy facilities, including a steam chamber, sauna, jet-activated whirlpool and an experiential rainfall shower. Mandara Spa, H Hotel, Dubai. The treatment As men, we tend to only concentrate on our back and shoulders. It is an important area, sure, but by no means is it the only one that matters. Deciding to focus on other areas of the body that are often overlooked, we signed up for a 15-minute aroma foot ritual followed by a rather thorough 75-minute facial. The foot treatment starts with our feet bathed in warmed, aroma-therapeutic oils, while our therapist, Ari, massages them first using a salt scrub, then with extra-rich hydrating creams. The use of a volcanic rock pummel stone adds a Balinese nice touch. Some men believe that facials are a ladies-only treatment – this could not be further from the truth. The face is one of the most important parts of a man’s appearance, and looking weathered, or tired, can have an big impact on day-to-day encounters. The Mandara facial is a labour-intensive affair – we lost count of the number of creams that were applied – and centres around an amino active face mask used to reduce lines, affects of frequent shaving and hydrates the face. Our only concern was whether having a beard would affect the efficiency of the anti-ageing booster treatment – turns out it doesn’t. Details: Elemis Skin IQ+ Facial for Men, AED 600 for 90 minutes. For more visit h-hotel.com