Emirates Palace Spa provides a soothing solution for men on the go

When heading to Emirates Palace Spa for a treatment, one expects nothing short of a smooth and painless service.

Emirates Palace Gentlemen’s Tonic shaving package. Courtesy Emirates Palace
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When heading to Emirates Palace Spa for a treatment, one expects nothing short of a smooth and painless service.

Therefore you could understand my surprise when the barber at the in-house men’s salon, Gentlemen’s Tonic, stuck two earbuds loaded with hot wax up my nose.

“Relax,” Tony said soothingly. “I know what I am doing.”

Indeed, he did. What initially seemed like a medieval torture practice was actually an effective method to get rid of unsightly nose hair.

The quality of the blue wax, which eerily looks like dish detergent, also made the extraction process – about 30 seconds for each nostril – not as painful as I expected it to be.

This was part of the spa’s recently launched Just for Men treatment, a ritual that packs in a haircut, shave, massage and facial, all within two hours – perfect for businessmen on the move.

What binds everything together is that all of the products – from shaving cream and blade to facial scrubs – are designed by London-based men’s fashion salon Gentlemen’s Tonic. Despite its ritzy reputation, the brand prides itself on delivering chrome-sleek efficiency instead of razzle-dazzle – it’s an establishment more suited to James Bond than Austin Powers.

For someone who gets his haircuts at the noisy neighbourhood barbershop, the salon felt intimate, plush and serene. The lighting was subtle and a flat LCD television was embedded in the mirror facing the chair (considering the clientele, it was not surprising that it was tuned to CNN).

I decided to get my head shaved, a task that was carried out with grave grandeur. The treatment started with the application of a pre-shave oil, recommended for those with sensitive skin. The shave itself was leisurely and exacting. Tony’s face was tense with concentration as his blade glided easily around the contours of my scalp.

It was the same experience when it came to my beard, but this time he used a smooth and deceptively lathery cream made from babassu and bergamot, which left my cheeks feeling fresh and tingly.

Next came the aforementioned nose-hair removal, after which a masseuse escorted me to a different room – more of the same opulence, but this time with Ottoman arches and marble decor.

The massage was satisfyingly deep-pressured and delivered on its promise. The masseuse, always attentive and never obtrusive with questions, took his time to methodically alleviate each knot in my upper back.

The 20-minute facial was equally relaxing and efficient and employed a babassu and bergamot scrub, in line with the aftershave applied earlier. The treatment ended on a sweet note, with a reviving cup of hot tea and delicious piece of Turkish baklava.

Smooth, effective and enjoyably luxurious, the package is exactly was it claims to be: Just for Men (on the go).

• The Just for Men treatment at Emirates Palace Spa, Emirates palace, Abu Dhabi, costs Dh1,032 (including service charges) for 120 minutes. For details, call 02 690 7978 or email spa@emiratespalace.ae

sasaeed@thenational.ae