Going on a different path at Rixos Royal Spa

Lymphatic drainage massage is just the ticket for January's detox needs.

Rixos Royal Spa. Courtesy Rixos Hotel
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When it comes to massages, I generally don't deviate from the tried-and-true deep tissue variety for fear I'll spend 60 minutes wishing I'd done things differently. And so it was out of character to go for an entirely different style as part of the New Year, New You package at the Rixos Royal Spa. But the detox-promising combination of a lymphatic drainage massage paired with an instant glow collagen facial proved too enticing, particularly on the heels of overindulging on various treats throughout the holiday season.

The set-up

Just eight months old, this is the first hotel the popular Turkish chain has opened in the UAE with a second planned, also for Dubai, in the coming months. Located on the east crescent of The Palm, about 10 minutes after Atlantis, it has all the luxury you would expect from a five-star hotel along with gorgeous sea views. All spa clients are free to use the steam and sauna services, with rooms that specialise in couples' treatments. Before heading to the facilities, a staff member asked me to choose the scent to be used in the massage (lavender), the music style ("chill-out") and the colour of room (blue). Much to my surprise they were not referring to the paint, drapes or accessories, but the actual colour of light used in the room. I could only be glad I didn't choose red, as blue lent a disco vibe to the proceedings that I wasn't really a fan of.

The treatments

The therapist warned me that the massage was to be conducted entirely while laying face-up and would not do anything to help ease knots and sore muscles in my back. She also offered to change it to something else, but we stuck to the original plan. She then spent 45 minutes very gently massaging small areas around my knees, hips, upper arms and upper chest, where the lymph nodes are concentrated, which proved so relaxing that I actually nodded off. I left feeling calm, rejuvenated and lighter, too. My face caught up with the rest of me after I made my way upstairs for the "instant glow" portion of the proceedings. Promising to deeply moisturise, and blessedly free of the dreaded extraction, my therapist explained that she would be using Thalgo products, which are rich in marine-based minerals. While the proceedings offered the typical cleansing, exfoliation and a facial massage using "piano" strokes, I felt it was the collagen sheets, augmented by two doses of moisturising serum and applied for 20 minutes, that really worked magic.

The service

I was impressed with the massage therapist and facialist (both from Turkey) who offered the treatments. Although the facialist spoke very little English, she had a colleague translate her advice for taking care of my skin at the end of the session. I was also offered a welcome mocktail, fresh juice, tea and the most gorgeous and varied plate of fruit of my life - so plentiful I could only eat about half of it.

The prices

The New Year, New You package is quite reasonable, at Dh850. The spa is also offering four different Valentine's Day packages for two in February, including a Turkish hammam and head and neck massage for Dh900.

How to book

You can contact the Rixos Royal Spa at 04 457 5555 or through www.rixos.com.