AN ARABIAN INDULGENCE

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Doha offers made-to-measure treatments, and SD experiences a therapy with a regional twist.

Stepping into The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Doha is akin to entering a hidden oasis or a serene sanctuary where you completely surrender to relaxation in an opulent setting. Embracing a holistic approach to wellness, the therapies at The Spa reflect the ancient philosophies of the Orient.

Today, I’m here to explore the wonders of Qatar with a locally inspired treatment that pays homage to the traditions, rituals and rich heritage of this beautiful nation. The Arabian Journey is a twohour signature treatment that uses organic products that highlight the essence of the region. It includes a welcoming foot pearl ritual, a full body exfoliation using date seed scrub, an Arabian oud oil massage and a hydrating facial massage with date seed oil.

I am treated to a refreshing towel and a cold herbal drink before I’m taken into the spa area. With marble walls and floors, the space feels truly plush. A long corridor leads up to a pool area where you can take a dip, the ideal way to wind up an afternoon of relaxation. Aside from extensive heat and water facilities for guests (with separate male and female areas) to unwind before and after treatments, I’m intrigued by a very thoughtful list of additional amenities such as contact lens solution, make-up remover, sunscreen and feminine products, all available on request.

After changing into a comfortable robe and securing my belongings in a locker, I’m escorted to one of nine spacious treatment rooms. There are two VIP suites and one exclusive couple’s suite, too.

Yasmini, my therapist for the day, is from Indonesia and an expert in her field. She’s softly spoken and her voice is immensely calming. So much so that I’m looking forward to hearing the all-important massage question in my private room: “Is the pressure comfortable?”. There was also Arabic music playing for a regional vibe.

She explains everything the treatment entails, from the products she will use and their benefits to how they will make me feel. The journey starts with a five-minute Pearl Foot Ritual. I soak my feet in a luxurious bowl of water with pearls placed at the bottom; this feels like a warm and comforting ode to the pearling traditions of Qatar. Yasmini knows exactly where the fatigue of the day (or week) is, and she gently rubs my feet with Himalayan salt to ward off negative energy. A pearlescent powder appears next, and she tenderly applies it for its skin-brightening properties. The foot ritual brilliantly sets the stage for an entire afternoon of relaxation.

Yasmini then leads me to a larger-than-usual spa bed. It’s easily the most comfortable one I’ve tried in Qatar, and I lie face down as she prepares to begin a restorative body scrub. In keeping with the Arabian theme, she unveils a familiar yet unique concoction. The Ajwa Coffee Date Seed scrub consists of dates, coffee, sesame seed oil, sandalwood, apricot and frankincense. It exfoliates dead skin cells and rejuvenates, but beyond that, this almost magical scrub instantly relaxes the body and melts stress away. Yasmini smoothly exfoliates my exhausted skin and brings it back to life with what feels like rhythmic movements. The scrub isn’t painful or unpleasant despite its texture and feels rather luxurious and calming.

As the therapist nears the end of the second part of the journey, the sensation is intense and exceptional. I feel deeply rested as I experience a simultaneous surge of energy and vigour.

And while I am mentally checking in to a haven of pure relaxation, Yasmini tells me I need to take a shower. Thankfully, the spa bed has automatic controls to raise the upper half, and I put no effort into getting up – it’s just perfect. I head into the shower to wash away the stress of the week that has been successfully exfoliated off me, and I exit feeling like an entirely new person with very soft and shiny skin. But in true Arabian hospitality style, this journey is far from over.

The best part is about to start – a full body massage using the most exquisite Arabian oud oil. I inhale three times from a bowl of warm water with drops of essential herbal oils and then Yasmini commences with strokes across my shoulders as she checks on the pressure. Medium and just right, she continues masterfully applying her techniques to relax every fatigued muscle in my body. As deep as I sense the warm oil penetrating my skin, hydrating, nourishing and moisturising it, this feels like an out-of-body experience. It’s almost indescribable; your senses are tingling in the best possible way, and you feel every negative sensation escape your body. This massage is a splendid marriage of tradition and technique.

Yasmini also specialises in facial treatments and I’m ecstatic this is the final part of the experience. She uses a date face serum rich in vitamin E and antioxidants and great for dry skin. Her touches are lighter – perfectly rejuvenating tired skin and stimulating facial muscles. A nap is inescapable at this point as I reach the peak of relaxation.

The massage concludes and it feels like I’m floating out of the room into the resting area, where I gather my thoughts and remember how special this day is. I’m served a warm blend of teas and coconut date energy bites.

The journey feels bespoke like it was curated exclusively for me, catering to exactly what my body and mind need. And you can experience this too. Whether you’re visiting Doha or living here, there’s no better way to pamper yourself and treat all your senses. If there’s one splurge to consider this month, let it be the two-hour Arabian Journey at Mandarin Oriental, Doha.

For more information or to make a booking,
please call The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Doha on 4008 8888 or email modoh-spa@mohg.com
@mospa.doha
@mo_doha

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