I’m sitting in a bath of seaweed. It’s a strange sensation. I eyed it suspiciously as tI entered the room, the rose petal strewn around the edge unable to sugar coat the a large black mass, all floating tendrils, floating within, emanating, undeniably, a slightly fishy smell. “Some clients don’t like the smell,” warns the therapist, “After, you smell a bit like…” she pauses, “sushi.” But she is quick to add that the powerful moisturising and detoxifying effects of the seaweeds oils far outweigh smelling a bit like a fishmonger for a few hours. So I’m willing to try.
I’m at Desert Palm PER AQUUM’s Lime Spa, set within this idyllic estate less than half an hour from Dubai, a luxury hotel surrounded by a large equestrian centre and polo club, where you can lounge by the pool or in the spa and watch ponies thunder by during afternoon chukkas. Unlike many hotels in Dubai, Desert Palm PER AQUUM is rather understated, the greenery and constant flow of horses on exercise giving it a rather British feel; Jilly Cooper would feel quite at home.
The spa offers a range of away day packages and I’m here for the two hour Polo Remedy, suitable for players and non players alike, both male and female. The 90 minutes treatment combines a one hour massage, half an hour facial and then, to deeply moisturise, that seaweed bath, something not offered in many spas in Dubai but fast becoming the new detoxifying trend. The massage style is tailored to you, and can either be a tension releasing deep tissue sports massage or something a little gentler and more relaxing (the fact I fell asleep during that blissful hour is testament to the fact I was wimpish went for the latter). Then a skin nourishing express facial, a cleanse, light scrub and mask followed by a rich moisturiser, much needed on dry desert skin.
Finally for the seaweed bath, and I make myself stay in this pool of goodness for as long as I can to gain full benefit from its minerals and moisturising oils, and detoxifying and anti-cellulite properties. Seaweed baths are also soothing for the muscles, and help heal bruises, swellings and wounds. So while the experience takes some getting used to, my dry neglected skin feels wonderfully re-invigorated and soft. As I lie by the hotel’s blissfully quiet pool afterwards, I feel floppily relaxed.
Just in time to jump on a polo pony and put some knots back into that back. All the more reason to come back for another.
The Polo Remedy, including massage, detoxifying seaweed leaf bath, and skin nourishing express facial, is priced at Dhs800 for 120 minutes at Lime Spa, Desert Palm PER AQUUM. For more information see minorhotels.com/en/peraquum/desert-palm/lime-spa