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All That Glitters in Dubai

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: September 25, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 7 of 11

Inspired by the great pyramids of Egypt, RafflesAmrita Spa, housed within Raffles Dubai, combines Middle Eastern and Asian decor. The name Amrita is derived from an ancient Sanskrit legend in which, from the dawn of time, deities searched for Amrita, an elixir that would grant the gift of living well. RafflesAmrita Spa at Raffles Dubai includes six treatment suites, including one for couples. The spa also offers a state-of-the-art gym, sauna, steam rooms, whirlpools, relaxation area, juice bar and access to the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool. “In addition, we have just opened the Raffles Botanical Garden Retreat, which is situated in the Raffles Botanical Garden,” says Lindsay Madden-Nadeau, spa manager. “This private venue can be used as a single or couples sanctuary.”

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, RafflesAmrita Spa is a unique oasis of relaxation. This secluded facility is an ideal place for those seeking some nurturing time and features an exotic range of rejuvenating and pampering services inspired from the great traditions of Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

“We currently are experimenting with treatments to see what is popular and what is not,” says Madden-Nadeau. “Traditional hot stone is becoming more and more popular, as are high-end facials and anti-aging facials. The ladies like the French Jewel. Really, everything relates to the product, and all of our treatments are cultured, refined luxury. Our new motto is, ‘The Gift of Living Well.’ We help to transform clients on their journey. We focus on private luxury and provide home care for our guests to ensure they carry on the therapeutic benefits at home.”

As with any spa in any country, staffing is a challenge, and Madden-Nadeau says, “Dubai is a difficult place to recruit staff of a high standard. You join together many different ethnic groups that have different training, and it is difficult to obtain the same high standards.” In Dubai, new spas appear on average of one per month, she says. “I’m looking forward to Dubai’s growth. It’s been hard to get our hands on quality products here.”

And as it is in the States, consistency of quality is also an issue. “Cleopatra Beauty Institute offers a great program not only for beauty therapy but spa management training as well,” says Madden-Nadeau. “Fairmont Raffles Hotels and Resorts hope to eventually begin a training school for all therapists working in its spas to help create consistency across the brand, as well as a highly trained and educated staff.”

The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai