Gentleman's relish - the best spa treatments for men in Dubai
The boys at What’s On have been scrubbed, shaved and pummelled – all in the name of research. Here are six of the best…
THE DECADENT SPA DAY
Dubai’s most indulgent men’s spa treatment
OK chaps, if you’re feeling stressed or you just want to feel like a Roman emperor for three hours, Armani Spa’s new Gentlemen Only package will fix you right up. It includes a body scrub, full body massage and then a choice of either a body wrap, manicure or pedicure. Some of these words may be new to you. Perhaps you’ve heard them on the lips of the fairer sex and made wild conjectures at their meaning. Well, trust us, guys, all these things are good and natural and right. Embrace them.
As you’d expect from a fashion behemoth, Armani Spa is one of the most stylish places you’ll ever set foot in. This is a cool, minimal affair with acres of silver-flecked slate grey, rather like one of Giorgio’s suits.
First up was the coffee, almond and salt body scrub. After washing that off, we settled back down for a deep tissue pummelling in the Swedish tradition. With a deft touch, Erna, our Balinese masseuse, tenderised knots of muscle we didn’t even know we had. One clay mask later and we felt reborn.
For the pedicure portion of the treatment, out came a pumice stone and an arsenal of files, buffers and lotions, which turned our punished paws into something beautiful. Therapist Monique worked her podiatric magic on us and we barely recognised our feet at the end. To top it all off, we were given a choice of set menus to munch as we admired our toes. Feeling less of a man? Well, you could always go and chop wood or howl at the Burj Khalifa.
Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai.
Tel: (04) 8883444. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.
Daily 9am to 10pm, Dhs1,500.
Feel slick and smooth with a once-over from a cutthroat razor
Not that we think this is a good idea, but we’re pretty sure Fadi, the Syrian barber at swanky men’s spa 1847, could do a wet shave with his eyes closed.
Fadi set to work on the What’s On stubble with a speed that was dizzying as he floated around the barber shop chair like a hummingbird, whipping out towels, creams, blades and lotions from his box of tricks.
First our face was wrapped in a hot lemon towel, followed by a gentle face massage with oil to soften our bristles. A small dollop of Truefitt & Hill shaving cream was plopped onto our chin, which didn’t look nearly enough to cover our face. But once Fadi got to work with his shaving brush, which he employed with an astonishing vigour and speed, the lather soon grew into a comprehensive creamy coating. Out came the blade and Fadi’s concentration hit new levels.
After just a few minutes of precise blade work we were clean as a whistle and looking ten years younger. Fadi ran an alum block over our face to soothe any nicks (yowser, that thing stings) and then applied a cooling lavender balm. Fadi tipped us out of the chair with a smile and a handshake and we were ready to face the world.
1847, Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3998989.
Daily 9am to 10pm, Dhs70.
THE EXTREME CUT
You’ll get more than you bargained for at this JLT barber shop
A recent visit to the barber began innocently enough – the usual small talk, a word or two by way of instruction and then the peaceful ritual of snipping scissors. As things drew to a close, our nimble-fingered friend Saneesh offered a head massage. We gladly accepted and settled in.
He slapped the crown of our head repeatedly and pounded the skull. He kneaded, tussled, twisted and gouged our bonce, and then moved on to the neck and shoulders. Clutching our hands, our assailant pulled both arms behind our back in a move that wouldn’t look out of place in a wrestling ring. What next, a full nelson? Our spine clicked, and we were free to go. “See you soon,” chirped the barber. Yeah. Maybe.
Hair & Body Care, Ground Floor, Lake City Tower, Dubai
Tel: (04) 4474476. Metro: Jumeirah Lakes Towers
8.30am to 11.30pm, haircut Dhs30, head massage Dhs20.
THE SIGNATURE MANICURE
They say a firm handshake makes a good first impression but gnarly nails aren’t going to score you brownie points with anyone. Treat your man mitts to a sea salt soak and mineral clay mask before having your nails buffed and trimmed.
Man/Age, Arjaan Tower, Media City, Dubai
Sun to Sat 9am to 10pm, Dhs130.
Tel: (04) 4370868. Metro: Nakheel.
THE BACK SCULPTURE
Reaching your back in the shower can be tricky for even the bendiest of guys. Don’t slip a disc – put yourself in the capable hands of the therapists at Amara spa and let them exfoliate, cleanse and tone your back before treating sore muscles to a massage.
Park Hyatt Hotel, Deira, Dubai
Tel: (04) 6021234. Taxi: Opposite Deira City Centre.
Sun to Sat 9am to 10pm, Dhs500.
THE GENTLEMEN’S FACIAL
Men’s skin is different to women’s and requires special attention. This treatment is perfect for the city slicker on the go. It tackles clogged pores and soothes skin that has seen too many hours in the boardroom rather than the great outdoors.
SensAsia Urban Spa, The Village, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3498550. Taxi: Opposite Jumeirah Plaza.
Sun to Sat 10am to 10pm, Dhs280.