Monday, March 10, 2014

REVIEW: ESPA, Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal

Posted at  8:35 AM  |  in  Spa

ESPA occupies a large 2,000 square metre stand-alone building within Ritz-Carlton’s Venetian VillageAs one of the most luxurious and high-end spa brands in the world, ESPA is a perfect fit for the UAE, where customers are often looking for a touch of grandeur with their facials and massages. Abu Dhabi already boasts a popular ESPA spa at the five-star Yas Viceroy hotel, and another one has now opened at the stunning Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal… much to the delight of spa enthusiasts such as us!

The beachfront spa occupies a large 2,000 square metre stand-alone building within the hotel’s Venetian Village, a nicely-designed waterfront residential area that is reminiscent of the much-loved piazzas found in Italy.

ESPA’s interiors offer a tranquil and harmonious environment, using natural materials such as limestone, iridescent glass and brown onyx to invoke a sense of timelessness. The results are eye-catching, to say the least, with little touches that have obviously been inspired by the Bedouin culture of Arabia (not only the colours and textures of the interiors, but also the cardamom-infused Arabic coffee that welcomed us on arrival).

There are 16 treatment rooms on offer, together with a striking Moroccan hammam, marbled steam rooms and saunas flooded with natural daylightSituated on two levels, there are 16 treatment rooms on offer, together with a striking Moroccan hammam, marbled steam rooms and saunas flooded with natural daylight.

What’s more, there are separate outdoor relaxation areas for males and females, complete with their own private plunge pools and steps away from a pristine beach reserved for exclusive use of ESPA guests, who can also take advantage of the luxury resort’s striking scene-stealer, a massive 1,600-square-metre outdoor swimming pool.

As you can probably tell, space is not an issue here (all of the facilities are open and roomy), and neither is choice. There are plenty of treatments available, many of which have been created especially for the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, such as the signature Oasis Ritual (described as “a revitalising and cleansing combination to awaken the senses, uplift the spirit and soothe tired muscles”).

ALSO READ: Spa Review of Point Zero Floatation Center, Abu Dhabi

Sounds heavenly, but we actually opted for the 90-minute Back, Face & Scalp Treatment, which is known as ESPA’s ‘hero’ treatment. The experience delivers triple results by targeting three key areas – the back, the face and the scalp – with a back exfoliation and massage, personalised facial and scalp massage. Our therapist knew exactly what she was doing, and we were left in a relaxed and peaceful state, wishing that the 90-minutes lasted a little longer!  There is actually an option to complement your back, face and scalp treatment with hot stones; extending the treatment to a total of 120-minutes… we will definitely consider that for next time!

ESPA’s interiors offer a tranquil and harmonious environment, using natural materials such as limestone, iridescent glass and brown onyx Customers can use ESPA’s relaxation lounges after their treatment (or even before, if there is time). Again, there are separate male and female relaxation lounges. According to Ritz Carlton, there is a slight difference between the two. For ladies, the relaxation lounge combines a variety of elements creating an elegant and relaxing atmosphere in which guests can both lounge and socialise, while male relaxation area displays a relaxed atmosphere where guests can choose to lay down after a long day.

All-in-all, we loved our visit to the EPSA at Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal... not only for the treatment itself, but the experience as a whole, with a fantastic environment and world-class facilities. As one of the newest spas in town, it has instantly become one of the best and we’ll be sure to visit again soon.

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For more information about ESPA or to make a reservation, you can email abudhabi.spa@ritzcarlton.com, call +971 2 818 8051 or visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/AbuDhabi/Spa/Default.htm.


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