The promise One of world’s most extensive hydrothermal facilities, it consists of nine different hydrotherapy stations as well as eight hydrothermal cabins including the ice igloo, brine cavern and herbal ceramic sauna. Seven different experience showers diffusing aromatherapy, each designed to soothe and revitalise parts of the body, ensure a truly holistic spa experience. A vitality pool boasting nine hydrotherapy stations completes the rejuvenation process.
Step by step This is basically about getting cleaner than you’ve probably ever been so no surprise that it starts with a dip in the rain shower to slough off the grime of the day before heading into the brine steam room. Brine, to me, says sea but this was an altogether more aromatic affair with a distinct hint of herbs in the air as I was engulfed in great billows of hot vapour. You only stay inside for five minutes, which was quite enough for me, I felt as if I was ready to melt but, after this one, everything else would surely be a piece of cake.
Glowing (as in ‘horses sweat, men perspire’) profusely, I was introduced to the corridor shower. A bit of an odd concept, that did make me wonder who comes up with these things. First off there’s a fine cool mist, a bit like London drizzle only without the traffic fumes, followed by a swift downpour and so on through four different water levels until you reach the end of the corridor where water streams from above with a pressure that actually hurt my shoulders.
You then head into a ‘monsoon’ shower, complete with storm sound effects and then into the ice igloo where it’s bloomin’ freezing (no really?) and you’re encouraged to rub ice onto your previously burning skin which is a bit ouch and a bit good.
It sounds a bit nuts but no stranger than I probably looked dancing around the igloo in a vain attempt to warm up.
Next a fusion shower hits your body from the sides and back followed by a cool rain mist shower – I was beginning to feel quite at home.
My favourite part came next in the form of the ceramic sauna where you chill out and warm up in lemon and rose infused heat, I could happily have stayed longer than my allotted five minutes but, no, it was time for, you guessed it, another shower. But this one was also aromatic so I didn’t feel too bad about leaving the sauna.
The treatment finished with a dip in the outdoor pool, complete with massage jets to hit lower and upper back, knees and thighs and a gorgeous waterfall leading the way into a darkened Jacuzzi cave where I could easily have whiled away the rest of the day.
The results There’s no particular promise on this one but I certainly left feeling incredibly relaxed and went home to sleep the sleep of the righteous.
The pros • Al Areen’s been off the radar for a while but the property is still as stunning as ever, even if it does look just very slightly run down • A spa treatment that doesn’t hurt and won’t break the bank
Cons • If your eyes are sensitive, you might want to take swimming goggles. The monsoon shower’s like a proper monsoon, there’s literally no escaping it.