The spa treatment that resembles a chemistry experiment

June 13, 2014

The spa

For a unisex spa, SO seems to weigh its appearance and ambience in favour of the male market – take the portrait of a dapper looking Frank Sinatra at the entrance as an example. Perhaps that’s because they know women are more comfortable walking into a spa that feels slightly masculine than men are walking into one which screams “hey girls!” Either way the manly overtones are fine by us. The dark wooden panelling and beige coloured furniture, running from the entrance lobby through to the changing room put us at ease, as if we were in the locker room with Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. With separate facilities for men and women, the male side felt more like a private member’s club than what is, essentially, a public spa. Aside from the dozen or so treatment rooms, there are two indoor pools – one fairly chilly and one warmer with power jets to swim against – a long jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, gym and outdoor infinity pool with four private cabanas including one with a private hot tub. Along with the hugely friendly and professional staff, it’s easy to see how the spa recently picked up two gongs at the World Luxury Spa Awards. So Spa- Woman's relaxation area

The treatment

SO’s menu is uniquely inspired by gastronomy with the treatments spilt into starters, mains and desserts as well as some specials and signature rituals. Needing something that would help us relax at the end of a long and stressful week, we opted for the Thermal Back Bubbles treatment, described in the menu as ‘the ultimate anti-stress experience’. After an initial foot wash in milk and peppermint, a special mud formula is smeared onto a sheet of foil that you, somewhat tentatively, lie back onto. A mixture of self- heating marine minerals that quite literally bubble on your skin, the mud is designed to stimulate the release of back tensions, while generating a pleasant warm feeling. As you lie there with what feels like a chemistry experiment taking place under your back, your eyes are weighted shut with a cooled cloth while you receive a firm foot massage. All in all it was a relaxing experience, providing you don’t mind the strange odour omitted from the mud reaction. Details: SO Spa, Sofitel The Palm. Thermal Back Bubbles, AED 375 for 45 minutes. For more visit