Spa review: Six Senses in the Renaissance Downtown Hotel

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It’s a sensory overload, in the best possible way.

The name Six Senses is well known among spa aficionados. The brand can be found in exotic destinations all over the world – Fiji, the Maldives, the Seychelles. But if you can’t justify a jaunt to a tropical island for some pampering, the good news is a Six Senses Spa is now open in the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai.

The spa is located on level five of the hotel, and is home to six spacious treatment suites that are each linked to a different sense – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and intuition.

Our experience took place in the taste suite, which is dedicated to a variety of hammam therapies. The connection confused us a little – surely we wouldn’t be washing our mouths out with soap?

It turns out, the taste suite boasts an “alchemy bar” which is stocked with herbs, spices and dried flowers from the Dubai Spice Souk. You work with your therapist to create a personalised body scrub that you can either use during your treatment, or take home with you. The idea is that if it’s good enough to eat, it’s good enough for your skin.

Using a mortar and pestle to crush and blend the ingredients into a fragrant concoction was an extremely soothing activity, and started things off on a rather lovely note. Then, it was time to get up onto the slab for our Moroccan hammam. Our therapist lathered us up with black soap, before sending us into a special steam shower room to work up a sweat.

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We rinsed ourselves off using the handheld shower (we’ve been to other hammams where they do this for you, but being of prudish nature we actually preferred it this way), before braving the scrubdown, which our therapist executed with gusto using her exfoliating mitt.

Our raw bod was then massaged with soothing rhassoul clay, followed by a head massage and hair wash that was so relaxing we almost flopped right off the slab. All too soon we were rinsed off and wrapped in a dressing gown, overlooking Business Bay while sipping herbal tea and nibbling dried apricots.

Six Senses is an impressive addition to a city that isn’t exactly short of world-class spas. The careful attention to detail – and each individual sense – makes the whole experience feel special.

Six Senses Spa, Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, daily 10am to 9pm. Moroccan hammam Dhs520 (throughout May book a 60-minute hammam and get upgraded to 90 minutes for the same price). Tel: (04) 512 5566. sixsenses.com

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