No patch of skin is left unscoured in this royally good hammam treatment…

There’s something about a good hammam treatment that’s akin to rebirth. Perhaps it’s the soporific effects of super-hot steam, or the nostalgic sensation of having your hair washed for you. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that a vigorous scrub leaves your skin as baby-smooth as when you first entered the world.

At Sofitel Spa at Sofitel Dubai Downtown, these sensations combine in the Signature Royal Hammam, a 60-minute session that leaves no patch of skin unscoured.


The Sofitel Spa’s private hammam area is a sleek, three-zone space filled with warm black stone and eucalyptus-scented steam. The Royal Hammam treatment begins with a five-minute steam, to allow the pores to open. Next, black-olive soap is slathered all over my body, before I’m left to marinate for a further five minutes.

I’m then led into an adjoining space, where a huge oval slab of heated stone sits centre-stage. My therapist, Kathy, gives me a choice between a regular kessa mitt or a gentle version for sensitive skin. I don’t want her to think I’m a softy, so I opt for the regular loofah, which feels like a cross between sandpaper and a stainless-steel pot scourer.

What follows is a robust 40-minute scrub that removes the top layer of epidermis, from my shoulders right down to between my toes. It’s a testament to that Bangkok tattoo artist that my 20-year-old tramp stamp remains…

After the scrub, Kathy rinses me off and applies a protective masque of white clay and olive oil. While that soaks in, Kathy gently shampoos and conditions my hair, then rinses me off before dumping a bucket of cold water over my head – it’s ostensibly to close the pores, but also to bring me back to reality.

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It’s an invigorating, no-holds-barred treatment that quite literally reveals a new me… or a new epidermis at least.


Staycations and daycations

From now until 30 September, book stays until the end of the year, and take advantage on sweet staycation deals at Accor hotels, including Sofitel Dubai Downtown.

Sign up to Accor’s loyalty programme, ALL, to get 50 per cent off room rates and selected food and drink when you stay at 59 Accor hotels throughout the UAE.

Sofitel Dubai Downtown is also offering exclusive deals, including staycations from Dhs369 a night. You can also book two rooms for the price of one, or two nights for the price of one, with prices starting at Dhs699. If you don’t want to spend the night, you can book a daycation and pool pass from Dhs299, including a 30 per cent discount on food and drink.

Sofitel Spa, Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Sun to Thu 10am to 8pm, Fri to Sat 10am to 10pm. Signature Royal Hammam Dhs578. Tel: (0)4 503 6333.