Scrub Away The Desert's Sand

April 23, 2014

The spa

Despite Fairmont The Palm having thrown open its doors amid much fanfare earlier this year, its signature Willow Stream Spa remained an exclusive no-go zone for the general public. That is until this month when the Canadian hotel chain’s top tier spa brand finally opens proper. Unlike ‘authentic’ themed spas, there are no kitsch Thai statues or Turkish tapestries adorning the walls here, instead it is more akin to a luxury business lounge. The interior in the dedicated men’s area is flooded with natural light and with little flourishes of comfort – from the dedicated barber area and thermal suite with a private hammam to the light wood décor and widescreen television in the breakout room – a perfect place to hideaway and catch the second half of the game without upsetting your other half. Although it is not the biggest spa in the region – or even The Palm for that matter – the men’s treatment menu is up there to rival the most comprehensive. From classic sports massages and skin revival scrubs to the gloriously over indulgent 90-minute shave, haircut and manicure known simply as The Cadillac.

The treatment

Summer’s here and along with the searing temperature, dry heat and frequent sandstorms your skin stands about as much a chance as a pop-up ice cube manufacturer on Jumeirah Beach. Evidently with a wry sense of humour, Willow Stream are attempting to turn the elements on themselves by offering a Desert-Sand Scrub to help (literally) rub some life back into your skin. The hour-long, full-body treatment comes in two parts. The first part the masseur scrubs your body using oil that is equal parts vitamin E, argan oil and, you guessed it, sand from the desert. The mixture is designed to both exfoliate your skin and rehydrate it at the same time. Scouring your body, back and front, the process leaves a not-uncomfortable burning sensation all over your skin – we’re pretty sure whatever dry skin was there will have received such a beating it will never come back. After a quick shower to wash away the sand, you are then treated to a full body massage again done to nourish your skin, and relax you at the same time. Stepping outside, post-treatment, the desert summer feels less threatening – but maybe that’s because we now know where to go to combat it. Details: Willow Stream at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai. Priced Dhs455 for 60 minutes. To make a reservation call: +971 4 457 3545 or visit