There's been talk within the local beauty community here in Dubai that the Talise Ottoman Spa has the best traditional Turkish Hammam in town, so I had to see for myself what all the fuss was about.
The concept of the spa draws inspiration from the traditional Turkish spas from the Ottoman Empire. You can expect an alluring atmosphere with majestic interiors, crafted imported marble, beautiful murals and intricate mosaics throughout. As one of the largest luxury spas in the Middle East (spanning over 86,000sqft), this enormous spa boasts separate sections for male and female guests along with an entire floor dedicated to couples' treatments. How very romantic.
My experience began with a 10-minute session in the steam room, which helps to open pores. After, I was shown to the Royal Majlis, an enormous relaxation room with an exquisite plunge pool at the centre. I had already fallen in love with this spa based on its detailed features.My therapist introduced herself and sat with me for a brief consultation. She walked me through the signature Royal Ottoman treatment, and made sure I wasn't allergic to any of the ingredients in their products.
Once inside the hammam, I felt like I had stepped into ancient Turkey. The space is absolutely stunning. At the centre of the room there are four, long, heated black marble blocks that connect to form a square. Each block is designated for a female guest with a maximum of four guests at a time. I lay down on my back and could feel the heat of the marble through the towel. My muscles started to relax as my therapist begun pouring warm water on my body to prepare for the body polish. The traditional 'kese' mitt is used to exfoliate the skin with gentle circular movements that remove a significant amount of dead skin leaving your skin soft and smooth.
The next step (and my favourite part of the treatment) was the soap massage. The therapist used an incredible handmade, white olive soap formed into foam that is then applied using a special towel. The sensation was not unlike clouds rolling across my body, a relaxing and pleasantly uplifiting experience. Next up was a nourishing herb-infused honey mask that smelt good enough to eat. It's applied from head to toe and left on your skin for 5 -10 minutes, long enough for it to be absorbed into the skin. The final stage of the treatment was the hair shampoo and conditioner, complete with scalp massage.
In my opinion the beauty whispers were right. This was a unique and lavish experience in stunning surroundings where you can feel like the Imperial Princess of the Ottoman Empire.
(Notes: The spa provides a set of disposable underwear or you can wear your own bikini.)
Talise Ottoman Spa at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Tel: +971 4 453 0456, www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai