We check out the sensational sea spa at the Sofitel in Zallaq
Time Out Bahrain staff
I’ve watched the Thalassa Sea & Spa and the Sofitel Hotel at Zallaq develop since it was a pile of rubble so I was really excited to see it finally finished.
I’m a bit of a water baby and love the whole concept of sea spa treatments and when they told me they’d got a special one dedicated to battling cellulite I thought I’d maybe found the holy grail!
Watermass sculpting involves massage with water heated to around 37 degrees coupled with essential oils. All perfectly reasonable except that the spa has the only Watermass machine on the island and the treatment is carried out by a therapist using suction and high-pressure seawater jet massage to help remove the dreaded cellulite as the warm fluid gushes gently onto your skin.
It’s a bit of a weird sensation – I never did understand why my dog liked being hoovered – and can be a tad uncomfortable but the therapist was constantly checking that the pressure wasn’t too much and it was overall pretty pleasant.
I’m not sure about the cellulite-busting benefits, for that you have to have a course of at least six treatments, but it certainly left my skin feeling super soft.
Next up, the wrap. Now we all know Dead Sea mud is famed for its mineral content and healing properties but I’d be really interested to hear who came up with the idea of slathering a person in the stuff, wrapping them in plastic and then zipping them, blindfolded, into the equivalent of a giant heated body bag.
When you put it like that, the very idea sounds ridiculous but, trust me, it feels wonderful, particularly when you discover that the treatment is carried out on a water bed which is programmed for you to gently sink in as you wait for the mud to heat up.
It really does feel like you’re floating on a very gentle sea and the blindfold, well it’s an eyemask really, adds to the experience as you feel yourself drifting away in a warm, moist (but slightly stinky) cocoon.
Admittedly the mud is somewhat pungent and does take quite a bit of washing off but it’s sooo worth it, my skin felt great and the whole experience is superbly relaxing with a knowledgeable therapist trained at one of Southeast Asia’s most prominent spa academies.
I finished up with a Swedish massage. It’s a treatment I’ve been having for years and this has to be one of the best I’ve ever experienced. The strength of massage therapists never ceases to amaze me, I’m sure my arms would drop off if I worked that hard.
What I really liked was that she asked which area I would like her to concentrate on so, although my legs and arms got a good pummeling, she really went to town on my back and the knots that had been gathering in my neck and shoulders were soon history.
It was another treat, though I must admit I did feel slightly bruised the next day.
Ranging over 2,000 sq m on two floors, the spa complex has 14 treatment rooms, with separate areas for women and men and special men’s skin therapy to protect against the ageing affects of shaving. The treatments use a new Thalassa sea and spa cosmetics brand Aquascience which features a unique combination of the properties of spring sea water, from the depths of the ocean, with algae and trace elements.
You can just go for treatments or stay over for beauty breaks with access to the indoor salt and freshwater pools.
Prices start at BD25 for scrubs and some massages up to BD225 for a romantic couples pamper package, I think I’ll start dropping hints for Valentine’s Day!