WHAT I TRIED The "Glow" treatment consisting of a 30-minute body polish and a 60-minute body massage at Angsana Spa, The Montgomerie, Dubai.
WHAT I WANTED A good massage is hard to find. I want not only a pampering, relaxing experience but also for someone to dig deeply into my knotty back and tired muscles. Thanks to many hours spent hunched over a computer, I was hoping that after a treatment or two, I would emerge less stooped Quasimodo and more zen warrior.
WHAT HAPPENED The spa building is a little disappointing if you are accustomed to the grand proportions of hotel spas. Nestling on the side of The Montgomerie golf club, Angsana Spa has only a handful of treatment rooms and no swimming pool, sauna or steam room. However, the spa is not without its character. A Balinese theme, lovely scented candles, soft music and endless warm smiles from the staff make for a relaxing ambience.
After a cup of Rosella tea (similar to hibiscus but I'm told it aids vitality and helps detoxification), I choose a pure gold scrub and a deep-tissue Javanese technique and head into the treatment room.
My Thai therapist, Nat, gets straight to work on slathering my body with the gold scrub. Containing almonds, olive oil, fresh milk and honey plus a generous dash of gold foil, it claims to boost circulation and reveal radiant skin. It does, and smells so divine I'm saddened when it has to be washed off.
As I'm eager to reap the rewards of the body massage, Nat gently heats the Javanese massage oil made from skin-nourishing vitamin E and geranium oil. The room's soft silk furnishings and fluffy white towels mean I immediately relax and sink into the massage bed in minutes. As hoped, Nat effectively locates my knots with firm but not uncomfortable pressure. As well as her hands, she uses her elbows and feet as pressure points to open the flow of energy, lengthen my muscles and release deep-rooted tension.
THE VERDICT Although this spa doesn't offer all the facilities associated with the bigger hotels, the fact that there are several Angsana branches dotted around the city makes squeezing in some "me time" relatively easy. The body massage was relaxing yet thorough and my stressed and city-weary skin now feels softer and infinitely less tense. It's an ideal lunchtime getaway using holistic products and techniques.
Dh500 for 90-minute session, Angsana Spa, www.angsanaspa.com