High above the hustle and bustle of city life, Amica Sicilia finds an urban sanctuary dedicated to personalised wellness in Lamara Spa at InterContinental Doha – The City.
The centre of Doha’s West Bay is a skyscraping forest of sleek glass and steel. Life there is fast and focussed. But every now and then, even the busiest of us needs to be able to press pause, to rise above the rush for a moment. And one way of doing just that sits high above the heart of the urban jungle itself.
The InterContinental Doha – The City looks over the centre of West Bay in one of the tallest towers in Qatar. Right at the top, on the 46th floor, is Lamara Spa. Its entrance promises peace and rest with décor of soft blue velvet and pale golden wood panelling. The stylish changing rooms are micro-tiled in black, cream and gold, leading to the ladies-only steam room, sauna and Hammam suites. Among these sheltered spaces, you can easily forget you are actually among the clouds. But when we arrive at the swimming pool, I gasp. An open-air pool beneath a cleverly designed roof reveal one of the most spectacular views anywhere in Doha, with plentiful natural light and fresh breezes during the day, followed by an unmissable sunset. I let out an audible sigh as I settle into an armchair to fill in my personalised therapy plan. Lamara Spa uses only Anne Semonin products, a bespoke Parisian luxury range with more than 30 years’ pedigree. My skin is quite sensitive, so my wonderful therapist Manu advises blending my treatments with soothing compounds and extracts.
My Lamara Spa experience happens in the personalised setting of one of their private treatment rooms. I slip off my workwear, recline on the dark red towels and close my eyes, as Manu bathes my feet with hot towels: relaxation time has officially begun. First things first, a deeply cleansing mineral body polish. I choose an energising and toning combination of ginger and vitamin E oils blended with the natural sea salt scrub. Manu expertly uses the crystals to buff in circles, gently exfoliating to a pearly smoothness, which is revealed as hot water then washes away the salts leaving my skin glowing.
Once dry and warm, Manu’s practised hands get to work with the second phase of the massage. We’ve chosen the Detoxifying Body Oil, which both purifies and hydrates with its rich system of antioxidants and replenishment of vital lipids. I’ve asked Manu to focus particularly on my shoulders, neck and upper back, where I hold the most tension from my desk-bound days. She warms and works the sweet almond and avocado oil into my joints as the air fills with uplifting scents of lemongrass and peppermint.
Having banished stress and tension, Manu starts the deeper work: a three-stage anti-cellulite combination treatment expertly developed to banish uneven and dimpled skin. First she applies an advanced Lipoliss Intense Firming Body Serum all over the body, followed by the Lipoliss Intense Anti-Cellulite Gel. Their active ingredients include sweet almond and soya proteins, remineralising brown and green algae and superstar ingredient hyaluronic acid. Manu explains this power couple work together to actively reduce the formation and appearance of adipocytes (fat cells), while caffeine and energising essential oils of grapefruit and rosemary don’t just smell divine but also help slimming and circulation.
But the truly magic element here is something else: cold. Fiercely cold. Cryotherapy massage balls, straight from the deep freeze to kickstart cell activation, shocking the immune system into action. It’s my first time under the ice, so to speak, but Manu is reassuring and gentle. The massage balls are cold but silky smooth, gliding around every contour, and strangely filling my body with warmth. It’s only at this point that Manu gets tough, because for really effective smoothing you need really firm, deep-tissue massage, just on the edge of painful, to get real results.
After these trials, it’s time to rest again, as Manu applies a thick firming green algae body mask to my legs, wrapping them in cellophane to seal in the action, before turning to my facial. A light Botanical Milk Cleanser with hazelnut oil and marine algae followed by rebalancing witch-hazel Botanical Toner remove all traces of make-up and pollutants. Then it’s time for Anne Semonin’s signature Soothing Intensive Complex, a pair of essences which activate when combined, blending sesame, sage and lemon vascular toning with seaweed, aloe and brown algae for an intensely anti-inflammatory effect. The feeling is deeply restful, as Manu smooths the frown from my forehead, circling my temples and running along my jawline, before locking in the goodness with a jojoba, shea and mimosa firming Cream Mask. Anne Semonin’s Express Radiance Ice Cubes are legendary, winner of the 2022 Nouvelles Esthétiques Prix Innovation. A bio-stimulating cocktail of botanicals including red seaweed, wild indigo, gingko biloba and hyaluronic acid is blended in marine spring water and frozen. These cubes are then used to create active cryo-pressure points, which Manu glides over my face, neck and décolleté to instantly improve elasticity and illuminate. The finishing touches are a few drops of Super Active Serum with collagen-promoting myrrh and oenethera, sealed in with Extreme Comfort Cream with macadamia and softening beeswax.
From head to toe this is a highly expert, highly personalised rejuvenation experience. I take my time changing back into my city clothes. But facing the hustle feels that bit easier knowing this urban sanctuary exists, next time I need to escape the world below.
For more information or to book an appointment,
please call Lamara Spa at InterContinental Doha –
The City on 4015 8888 and 3098 3103.