Spas We Love: Guerlain Spa One&Only The Palm, Dubai


There are precious few places in the world where treatments involving Guerlain skincare can be enjoyed – but happily for Jo (who likes to get a little winter sun in the UAE each year), Dubai is one of them. Guerlain have taken over what was formerly an ESPA spa – and created a very luxe environment indeed. (And we do like a spa with its own perfumery attached. As you would expect from Guerlain.)

Done up in soft taupes and greys, with gold fretwork and accents (and an entire console of Guerlain bee bottles as you pad down the sunlit corridor to your womb-like treatment room), you’re pretty much wallowing in the luxury of the place from the moment you step inside. The Guerlain Spa is to be found at One&Only The Palm, one of this fast-paced city’s most luxurious hotels – sited at the tip of the top frond of The Palm, the city’s artificial island. (Or one of them.) Its view of the Dubai high-rise skyline is really quite something.

The spa itself is set amid fountains, ponds and Arabian-style courtyards and is as much of an oasis from the (glorious) craziness of Dubai as anyone could wish for. (For some of Jo's pictures, see below.)

Treatments include the Desert d’Orient (using natural ingredients from the region for a unique spa journey), and Dubai Harmony, which boosts vitality with hot and cold touches.

Writes Jo: ‘I enjoyed – and I mean enjoyed – a treatment referred to as the Intensive Facial, which lasted two hours yet somehow flew by. It began with a deep cleansing treatment (and extractions, which are always welcome!), followed by an astonishing, ‘lifting’ hands-on facial massage that went on for 25 minutes, and I never wanted to stop. I have “hair issues” – yes, even on holiday – but my therapist was very good about not getting a drop of oil on my head. She washed her hands thoroughly for the scalp massage – always such an important part of a treatment for me, because like a lot of people I tend to carry stress in my scalp.

It was followed by a long, blissful skin drink as Guerlain Super-Aqua Masque was slathered on, and while that got to work, the therapist massaged my hands and feet. I really enjoyed the music, by the way: very soothing and cool sort of "hip hotel" sounds, a world away from pan pipes.

Afterwards, sinking into a velvet sofa to recover, I sipped on peppermint tea before taking advantage of the make-up counter – and a generous spritz of Guerlain Chypre Fatale, which is one of my favourites. I loved the fact that I didn't have to return to the city bare-faced on the boat which took me back to the One&Only Royal Mirage, drinking in the twinkling lights of the skyscrapers. Dark had fallen during those two hours...'

This could in no way be described as an inexpensive treatment (it comes in at AED 1,210 or well over £200, thanks to a rubbish exchange rate). But nothing in the Emirates is cheap. The bottom line? Jo would return in a New York – or more accurately, a Dubai – minute.

Guerlain Spa One & Only The Palm, Crescent Road (West), Dubai, UAE +971 4 440 1040 – or click here for the spa menu