Relaxation, this way…

FIVE Palm Jumeirah has cemented itself on the Dubai hospitality scene as the ultimate home of hedonism. But on a hazy Saturday morning, there’s a calmness to the Instagram-fodder glass lobby that might surprise those used to seeing it filled with the usual throng of party people. But we’re not here for one of those now legendary beach soirees or party brunches, instead we’re making our way to the spa. REFIVE, the hotel’s wellness space, is arguably its best kept secret: it’s bright and breezy and adorned in warm lighting and neutral shades that feel instantly calming.

Always keen to add to their roster of city firsts, the hotel has linked up with London-born OTO to offer Dubai’s first array of CBD-based massages and facials. The oils were developed by OTO’s founder Gemma to aid with everything from sleep and muscle relaxation to restoring a sense of calm or focus. When it comes to the offering at REFIVE, it’s all about easing muscle tension and inviting guests to envelope in 90 minutes of pure, deep relaxation. But does it work?

It helps that the setting – our double heighted ceiling couples’ spa suite – is stunning. With a jacuzzi for guests to use after their treatment, a private terrace, and a relaxation area just for you afterwards, it makes you instantly want to zen out. We can choose from either ‘Amplify’ or ‘Balance’ oils, opting for the former, and whether we’d like to enhance the pressure with the bamboo roller (in the name of journalistic research, we nod nervously, knowing our pain tolerance resembles that of a young child). Then we robe up, lie down on the massage bed, and get ready for an hour and a half of relaxation.

It doesn’t take long for us to reach a state of near sleep, with the melodic classical music, dim lighting, and the ideal level of rhythmic pressure from our masseuse. There’s a subtle herbal fragrance to the Amplify oil with lingering botanical notes, but it’s not overpowering and to begin with, we don’t notice it at all. Later, notes of bergamot and bitter orange give a citrusy essence that adds to the relaxation. Through the massage, the combination of firm pressure from the bamboo roller and the OTO oil, we find any built-up tension melding away, particularly in those areas at the top of the back that usually collect knots and kinks. But with the use of the bamboo roller, they glide out in just a few movements.

As we emerge from our state of relaxation to enjoy a fruit tea, we’re feeling blissfully (and rather smugly) like a weight has been lifted. With pampered skin and muscles successfully limbered, its mission accomplished.

REFIVE, FIVE Palm Jumeirah, 10am to 10pm Mon to Fri, 10am to 12am Sat and Sun, Dhs855 for 90 minutes. Tel: (0)4 455 9964.