Sofitel spa was the opening gift from my friend when I arrived in Dubai. When I arrived I wasn’t fully sold on the city’s glamour. I refused to be suckered in by the clean cream blocks of stone that furnished nearly every road, or the palm trees that swayed, some with their leaves still bound in nets from the distributor, alongside the waters edge.
But Sofitel spa shoehorned me into Dubai’s rich culture like a manicured hand into a cashmere glove.
Valet is the single most life affirming thing to happen to a person next to being proposed to. It doesn’t matter what car you drive (sorry Beccles); the unnecessary service if having your door opened and car parked is an experience glorious for the uselessness entirely. When you’re rich you get to do absolutely nothing.
The hotel Sofita had its spa tucked away to the left as you walk into the grand lobby. At reception when you arrive you are seated by a gently dribbling water feature and given two small glasses filled with lemon infused water. Mother may I? We were handed some forms to fill out regarding what areas we liked massaging best, and I couldn’t help but make my own box in the section, “What do you see when you look in the mirror?” Fuck dark under eye circles, I see a “Strong, Independent Woman.”
We were given a tour of the spa first. The spa consists of a locker room for showering and changing. The shower comes complete with its own LOVELY smelling own brand shampoo and conditioner, a complementary gown and some slippers.
There are four pools: A hot, steamy jacuzzi pool; a icy cold plunge pool; an outdoors infinity pool and one long pool that lines the inside of the spa, snaking round the massage waiting area and to the left of the plunge.
There is a sauna and steam room.
One item I had never seen at a spa before- not even at the nudist one I went to in Norway- was the Ice fountain. A little silver jet spouted shaved ice chips out of a generator and collected them in a blue back lit pile. You rubbed them directly onto your face and made you really want a drink. Bizarre.
The waiting area for the massage treatments has six large, cushioned, bamboo backed chairs that relax you the moment you sink back. There is a selection of magazines to choose from once sat down: Yacht and Debonair. Next to that table is a spread of almonds, apricots, cashews and apples of both kind- Granny Smith and Red Galas. Two different types of teas are heated up in quaint china teapots by tea lights.
We spent most of our time outdoors on sun loungers facing the infinity pool. I was fresh off the plane and I wanted sun and heat fast.
We had to move the umbrella between our chairs so Beccles wasn’t in the shade- after being used to valet I could tell her affectation or manual labour was no joke.
The open plan and splendent greenery made the spa a perfect place to have a photo shoot. We giggled as others posed for pics in the pool… and then spent the rest of our time posing with teacups on the other side of the pool.
Because the water dispenser was inside in the part where you wait for your treatment, you end up having to make several trips inside. Your eyes having to adjust aside, the intended ‘Hollister’ effect is replaced by the “someone forgot to turn the lights on” construction sites vibes. Candles lit the way but somehow the corridor felt too big to rely on just candles for illumination.
The steam room featured a stone vulva which I nearly tipped over by mistake. It also offered a hose which we determined was to pour over the vulva which somehow created steam. We didn’t mind the vulva and since it was a female only section no offense was caused. (Yes, all the facilities I have just described are for females only. Only the outdoor pool is mixed.)These four huge atriums were just for us of the soft and dainty flesh.
The sauna was much more unbearable and featured a huge furnace of hot coals which we got to pour water on using an oversized wooden spoon.
The Massage itself
I helped myself to a big teacup of Moroccan mint tea and sat down in one of the luxury chairs. Just as I went to take a sip my mate beckoned me to the changing room. Ah yes, the special black knickers for our treatment were to be adorned after a shower.
I returned to the lull of the waiting room, clean and much more naked only to find my tea gone! I poured another one quite happily but as I brought the white China up to my quivering and slightly sweaty lips a Polynesian woman with thick black glasses clattered over the wooden floorboards: “Hannah?”
I wanted the tea but I wanted the treatment more. I strutted over with the calm sashay of a massgee and willingly derobed down to my bizarre knickers. I lay on the table and my head fit snugly into the hole. After a few mishaps where my jugular pounded into the neck brace in response to her kneading, I finally readjusted to massagee perfection.
The massage was easily the best one I’ve ever had. I’ve come to realise, like with sex, it’s best to tell your masseuse when it’s good. Because if you just stay silent they’re going to be disheartened! Yes it’s a paid for experience but people perform better when you show some appreciation and support. I told her at least twice it was “amazing” or “that’s so good.” She laughed embarrassed both times but the massage definitely improved after each time. She even told me where I had the most tension- bonus.
All in all…
Yes I would recommend this. You feel like an absolute princess and the service is impeccable. The snacks are genius an the magazines proved invaluable to someone who needs material to read whilst sunbathing.
What to bring…
Nothing! Everything is provided, even towels. Just a change of undies for when you dry off.