Find your inner goddess at the Spa by Clarins at Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl – Doha. Ailsa Whyatt spent the morning at the luxurious wellness centre being pampered head-to-toe.
If you are looking for a Clarins experience, partnered with a full array of spa offerings, then look no further than Spa by Clarins at Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl – Doha. This is where I shall be enjoying a signature Rebalancing Massage and the Clarins Expert Facial Treatment with Chutikan, my Thai therapist for the morning.
I arrive at the spa, where I am greeted with stunning Turkish lamps, up-lighting amidst a sea of elegant Qatari architecture, wall mosaics and candles, not to mention the beautiful golden peacock feather imprints which adorn feature walls. Continuous music guides me through from the entrance, past the private Hammam room, steam bed, relaxation areas, Thai massage suite and pool (which stands at 1.25m deep and is warmed to a perfect 30 degrees Celsius) and finally into my destination.
A low-lit room, decorated with rose petals and frangipani flowers – both on one of the massage beds and also inside a candle-lit bubble bath, a splendid touch to this stylish room. Chutikan has set out a lemon mint juice for me to drink whilst I enjoy a lavender foot scrub, gently removed with lemon slices, “For its antibacterial qualities,” she tells me. I am then given a choice of oils for today’s massage; rose, oud or chamomile.
Each has its own qualities and I opt for the tension-reducing oud oil, made from agarwood, a dark and resinous heartwood which comes from the aquilaria, a large tropical evergreen tree. My Rebalancing Massage begins with the sounds of a storm, which blends seamlessly into waves on pebbles, rainforest birdsong and a deeply relaxing collection of music. I have a near Pavlovian response to the sound of the Ayurveda singing bowl, which signals the start of the treatment; I can already feel my body drifting into relaxation mode. The Rebalancing Massage is unique in that the body is massaged from feet to neck in a half and half split, where the right side of the body is then followed by the left side of the body. Emphasis is placed on the aches and pains so commonly found in the neck and shoulders, and I find myself realising just how stiff mine are!
Chutikan’s light touch, combined with the heated oud oil, the warm massage bed and relaxing ambience have me feeling as if I have awakened from a deep sleep by the time we are finished. The Clarins Expert Facial Treatment starts with a spray of Eau Dynamisante, which contains aloe vera, ginseng and aromatic essential oils including citrus fruit, patchouli, bitter orange, rosemary and white thyme to invigorate the skin. We then move on to the colourful, self-mixing instant eye make-up remover followed by a cleansing milk which contains purifying alpine herbs and moringa extract, which detoxifies the skin and eliminates pollutants, cleansing and hydrating the skin. Oilinfused Comfort Scrub is applied to my face, which is both exfoliating and gentle; it contains mango butter and natural beetroot-based sugar microcrystals and leaves my skin feeling soothed and, importantly, not like I have had a run-in with a pumice stone!
To protect against those oft-appearing under-eye circles, Chutikan applies Replenishing Total Eye-Balm Mask and SOS Pure-Rebalancing Clay Mask. The mask contains alpine willow herb and although cold on its application, it soon heats up to a prickly tingle as it purifies, mattifies and cleanses me of impurities in the 10 minutes it is on my face.
To close the treatment, Eye Contour Gel is applied to my eyes to reduce puffiness and dark circles and a combined mixture of Multi-Active Jour moisturiser and age-defying Double Serum, which boasts not just one but 21 plant extracts – turmeric, cocoa, avocado, banana and kiwi to name but a few. A quick application of Extra-Firming Lip & Contour Balm and a final squirt of Eau Dynamisante come before I enjoy a ginger tea and a wonderful power shower directed at my ever-grumpy lower back.
I exchange a ‘khob khun kha’, which is thank you, in Thai, with Chutikan, and as I leave the spa, I cannot help but notice the green and blue glass swirls, displayed together in a profusion of strands, reminiscent of a peacock displaying its feathers. An echo of the relaxing paradise I am about to leave, and a reminder that I should ‘spa’ more often.