RESTORATIVE WELLNESS

A sensorial journey is what Fernanda Langhammer experienced at ESPA Life at Waldorf Astoria Lusail – a treatment that went beyond body care.

Embarking on a spa journey is always an exciting moment to energise the body but also the soul. During my visit to Qatar, I had the pleasure of having a memorable therapy at ESPA Life. The beachfront spa offers 180-degree views of the Arabian Gulf, with interiors by French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon (who is well-known for conceptualising hotels, spas and restaurants around the world). The décor inspiration reflects the desert and sea surrounding Qatar with accents of gold, bronze and mother-of-pearl. White walls and curved compositions that resemble waves can be spotted throughout the space, which spans three floors and 2,500sq/m with 19 treatment rooms.

Connecting body and mind is the wellness approach at ESPA Life at Waldorf Astoria Lusail Doha. This philosophy is rooted in positive lifestyle principles and blends holistic practices with innovations in scientific well-being and technology. The transformative experiences include nutrition, exercise, movement and mindful practices.

After entering the spa premises, I was offered a welcome drink with chia seeds, rose water and aloe vera, a great combo to improve digestion. I was then taken to the changing area, but before reaching there, I passed some of the amenities, such as the Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and ice fountain. The changing area was ample, with lockers, seating areas and well-illuminated mirrors for a comfortable pre- and posttreatment experience.

The long corridor to the treatment area was dimly lit, putting me in spa mode. When I reached the room, I was introduced to my therapist, Charlene, who had a sweet voice and a beautiful smile. I then had a consultation with her to find out which treatment would be best for me. She opted for the Essence of ESPA Rest and Restore Massage from the Nurture pillar (there are five pillars, which are explained below), a relaxing escape with long sweeping strokes and powerful aromatherapy oils. Talking about oils, she asked me to choose my favourite smell, and I went for the restorative oil made with rose geranium, sweet orange, lavender and palmarosa – it was a hug in a bottle. She said my sense of smell was choosing what my body needed, guided by my mood and emotional intention. I guess a hug to put me back on my feet was the feeling at that moment.

It’s important to highlight that ESPA Life is based on five pillars: Nurture (calming and supportive to soothe the senses), Resilience (helps to build resilience to the physical body and a mindful state), Reflection (focused on raising self-awareness and conscious breathing), Form (inspired by the idea of renewal and recovery, it begins with an exercise) and Vitality (boosting a sense of energy to the mind, body and spirit is all about awakening the senses). Hammam treatments are also available.

We moved to the massage bed and, to my surprise, Charlene requested me to lie facing up – this was a complete first for me (and I have done many massages). She then heated the oil and urged me to concentrate on my breathing while she whispered words of positivity. The guided breathing and visualisation her words asked me to create in my head helped me unwind from physical and emotional stress. It gave me a deepening sense of connection with myself, fully embracing that moment.

Charlene’s movements were soft but firm, using a rhythmical technique that consisted of kneading, circular stroking, downward strokes and lemniscate movements. The latter is the movement of the number eight or the symbol of the infinite that penetrates the tissue deeply. I believe that because it started in a surprising way, facing up and not the usual downward, this made me more aware and connected to the movements. I felt present during the treatment, which was very relaxing – one of the best treatments I’ve had in a while. It was time to end my session and more words of optimism filled the room in Charlene’s sweet voice. What a magical journey!

I was then invited to have some chamomile tea in the relaxation room. The space had an eye-catching wall with a mosaic of flowers in black and white tones with some gold accents – an art piece that I kept staring at while sipping my tea and listening to soothing music from the Nurture pillar compilation. I had some extra time to reflect on my experience, which made me feel hugged and restored. If you are looking for a spa day with a holistic approach, ESPA Life will give that and more.

For more information or to make a booking,
please call ESPA Life at Waldorf Astoria Lusail on 4456 5656 or
email espalife.doha@waldorfastoria.com
@espalifedoha
@waldorfastorialusail

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