I’ll admit, when I first heard about The Retreat Palm Dubai's wellbeing resort, I had my reservations. “Isn’t that something you do in the Indian mountains?” I thought to myself. However, I checked in for two days and was pleasantly surprised.
Situated on Dubai’s The Palm with calming views of the ocean, I wanted to make the experience count. So I decided that emails were off the agenda for the duration of my stay (it was a struggle, to say the least) and Instagram use was to a minimum… namaste.
At check-in, the Welcome Ritual began. I was given an aromatherapy bracelet used from Lava stone, offered a cold-pressed juice and an introduction to “Mr Chakra”, an installation which explains the centres of energy in our body. I was asked to choose one of seven colours I was attached to first, I got Expression, the gateway to authentic self-expression through the throat.
My suite, which overlooked the Arabian Gulf was light, modern and airy and uncomparable vegan protein balls made by the hotel’s pastry chef awaited.
Day 1 of my ‘Ignite Your Inner Spark’ programme started with a nutritional consultation with the hotels Wellness Culinary Manager and Health Coach, where we discussed health and happiness with a 360-degree approach to body, mind and soul. Having been vegetarian for twenty years and vegan for one, the education I was given in just a short space of time was more than any nutritional blogs I’ve found myself googling. After chatting up an appetite, I moved to the all-day dining restaurant to sample to the cuisine.
The buffet was one of the best I have ever experienced for those making health-conscious choices. With a selection of dishes suitable for paleo fitness enthusiasts to an array of wholesome vegan options, they offered salads with plenty of grains and veggies, creative salad dressings done with good fats such as tahini or cashews and superfoods like spirulina and activated charcoal, as well as vegan curries and lasagnas. The dessert station was just as broad with 70% of cakes, cheesecakes, cookies and mousses sugar-free, dairy free or gluten free. There was no guilt here.
After a snooze on the beach for the rest of the afternoon, I joined the Twin Heart Meditation at the Rayya Wellness Centre with Nissa Rahim, the resident Holistic Energy Healer. A first time for me, the ancient Tibetan practice by Master Chao Kok Sui, founder of pranic healing to heal our planet, loved ones and ourselves, left me feeling a sense of calm that many women with busy stressful jobs usually find almost impossible to achieve. (I still hadn’t checked emails by this point!)
I opted for room service that night, equally impressed with their extensive menu and excited there was more than one vegan dish I could order from the menu. I went for the Green Heart pizza and it didn’t disappoint. At 8 pm, I embarked on the Sleeping Ritual, in the comfort of my own room. I was brought a tray of salt of the earth essences with essential minerals to distress and calm the body and with special aromas to restore the mind. I added them to my bath whilst sipping on a blend of verbena mint tea for a good nights sleep. Needless to say, it was one of the best I’d had in a while.
The next day, after an avocado and toast breakfast, (I slept through the 8:30 am group fitness class on offer), I went for my free DNA test - a quick mouth swab and no blood tests or pain much to my relief. Offering state-of-the-art genetics technology, you can choose from four test areas including Weight Loss Management, Micronutrient Management, Food Intolerance, and Skin Care and Anti-Ageing Management. You’ll receive your results in just a few days and the hotel’s wellness experts will provide personalised recommendations for healthy living. I made many changes to my life that have worked in my favour already.
My Therapeutical Massage was next, using holistic essential oils that are aimed to heal deeply and rejuvenate the external and internal tissue. My therapist certainly knew was she was doing and it was 90-minutes of pure bliss. All the tension from the previous months was released. Could I stay here forever? Sadly no, it was time to check-out and go back to reality, but as a new person, I liked to think. It’s all in the balance.
Summer staycation package, from Dhs599 a night.
For bookings and more information, please visit theretreatpalmdubai.com or call +9714 524 7777