I WOULD say my spa experience began at my Kasara suite at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara. I had a room with an unlikely view: misty waters and marshy dark greens with a hint of Abu Dhabi in the distance.
The marshes of Eastern Mangroves, no doubt, make for a wonderful view but they’re also great for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, two activities that can be found on-ground at the property. But I went with the need of the day: a pampering spa treatment.
Following the advice to arrive ten minutes before the appointment, I was served an invigorating cup of cold root ginger tea and assigned my therapist, Nerie. I was handed Turkish bath towels, which added an authentic touch to the treatment, which began with the Turkish hammam.
The Red Flower Hammam Ritual that I chose to try, is a six-step treatment based on the ancient Roman thermae and traditional hammam bathhouses. This ritual has been practiced for almost a thousand years to heal, detoxify and relax the whole body.
Each of the six steps provides a layer of detoxification to purify the body, leaving it warm and radiant. To begin, the guest is taken to the beautiful public hammam, where the shy ones can choose private hammam chambers as well. After the guest is laid comfortably on a Turkish towel, the skin is intensely scrubbed with beautifully fragrant lemon coffee blossom and olive stone scrub. The skin is then polished with jasmine rose rhassoul clay and cleansed with Moroccan mint tea silt purifier and then cooled and oxygenated with orange quince.
The guest is now led towards a relaxation room where they are served more root ginger tea, dried cranberries, fresh almonds and dried apricots. After a good rest, where nothing disturbs you except someone else’s snoring, you are taken to a treatment room.
Guests are given a choice of either a 45- or 75-minute relaxing massage, using a divine mixture of jasmine, cardamom, bergamot, amber and clove oil with cardamom amber oil. To complete the ritual the body is rehydrated using tangerine fig butter cream, which deeply detoxifies the skin.
With a 45-minute massage the whole treatment takes about two hours. I was transported into a world of Arabian hospitality, delivered by Thai experts, marvelling at the traditional Turkish hammam, fit for a queen.
Red Flower’s retail hammam products offer the opportunity to take a moment at home to layer powerful ingredients, heady scents and incredible textures to treat the body and retreat into an intense blend of essential oils, plant, nut and fruit extracts. Retailing exclusively at Anantara, these products can be purchased as a gift set to take home the spa experience.
The Red Flower Hammam Ritual costs Dh750 ($205) for 90 minutes, includes a 45 minute massage, and Dh875 ($240) for 105 minutes, includes a 75 minute massage.
Love is in the air at Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara this February, with several food and beverage options, but it is the spa offering that gets my attention. The Romantic Spa Escape package includes any one of the selected 60-minute and 30-minute treatments for a cost of Dh1,490 ($405) per couple.
March is the month for mother-daughter spa time, where a choice of any Elemis Advanced Facials and a foot reflexology treatment comes for Dh1,200 ($325), for both mum and daughter.
Taxes apply in all cases and prior booking is highly recommended.
By Rashi Sen
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