We select four of the best spa treatments in Bahrain. It is a tough job - but somebody has to do it!
Diplomat Spa, Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel, Residence and Spa Cost BD40 Time 90 miniutes It hasn’t taken long for the Diplomat Spa to establish itself as one of the premier pampering palaces in Bahrain. Less over the top than some of the other spas in the Kingdom, it makes up for what it lacks in opulence with a solid array of treatments guaranteed to soothe the senses and cleanse the soul. Pretty much everything here is a safe bet which means that, despite the somewhat inflated prices, you are assured of a treatment that exudes quality from every newly cleansed pore. On its first ever visit to the spa, Time Out plumped for the Balinese massage, perhaps remembering the time when the only way we could find solace from the wearisome army of invading Aussies on the Indonesian island was when we ducked into a ramshackle beachside shack for a sly bit of body pounding. It wasn’t strictly as we had recalled – the diminutive lady tasked with pummelling our aching bones here was Thai not Balinese and the professional massage bench smelt a heck of a lot fresher than the slightly overused mattress of yonder year. Despite the lack of tie-dye accoutrements or the tell tale smell of ‘special’ cigarettes wafting through the air, the delicate chimes of the piped Oriental mood music soon put us in a suitably hippified state of mind. The reverie continued for the duration of the massage, the skilled kneader combining elements of Thai massage with acupressure, gentle stretching and aromatherapy to leave us hankering after a speedy return to the paradise island. Bahrain that is, not Bali.
Deep cleansing facial
Banyon Tree Resort & Spa Al Areen Cost BD40 Time 60 minutes Those suffering from lifeless looking skin could do worse than to book themselves in for this facial. But before your therapist turns her attention to your face, expect your feet to be soaked in a bowl of warm water – a true treat for tired tootsies – while you enjoy a heavenly ginger tea brew. After this warm welcome, you’ll be asked to lie horizontal on a massage table where your experienced therapist will bathe your face in cleansing milk before gently scrubbing it all over in order to remove those dull surface skin cells.
The next step sees your visage warmed by steam in a bid to open up pores, followed by the application of a hydrating mineral-rich mask. While that works its magic, lie back and enjoy a muscle-melting head, neck and shoulder massage which, is not only great for improving sluggish circulation, but is a sublime experience full stop. To finish, moisturiser is applied and when the hour’s up, you’ll walk out red carpet worthy with noticeably firmer, fresher skin.
The Spa at the Coral Beach Club Cost BD22 Time 60 minutes No matter how long we’ve had to get used to the concept, the vigorous nature of a good Thai massage can still come as something of a surprise. Perhaps it’s a gender thing. While you can easily equate some of the swarthy moustachioed guys who pummel for a living in hammams across the Middle East with the concept of pain for gain, it’s more difficult to reconcile delicate looking South-East Asian girls with muscle manipulation of the hardcore kind. These preconceptions are, of course, ludicrously sexist and wrong, but Time Out was still taken aback by the initial onslaught on our none too supple joints at the Coral Beach Club. Once we had gotten use to the idea that our sweetly smiling masseuse was steelier than she first appeared, we settled into an hour of deep-tissue therapy that left us feeling battered, bewildered, but essentially beatific. A philosophy developed over thousands of years, Thai massage generally follows the Sen Energy lines on the body to deliver a stretch intensive work over that clears the mind and reinvigorates the body. Be warned, the treatment is not for those who like to grab a quick catnap when getting their flesh infused with scented oils. And by the time you’ve had your back arched, your ears pulled and your knuckles cracked, you might start to ponder the wisdom of subjecting yourself to such an experience. It’s far from arduous, however, and by the time you kick back in the steam room afterwards, the old adage of ‘no pain, no gain’ will likely come to mind as your muscles glow with renewed life.
The Ritz Carlton signature experience
The Ritz Carlton Spa Cost BD38 Time 90 minutes Spa going has become the norm in the Middle East; a vital way to manage wellness, look good and feel even better. If you’re in need of a little pick me up, we suggest signing up for the Ritz Carlton’s signature experience, which can best be described as bliss (well you’d expect nothing less from the glitzy Ritz). Once horizontal on the treatment table, you’ll be scrubbed from head to toe – a ritual which will stimulate your skin as well as softening it. Once the scrubbing has stopped, it’s time to drag yourself up off the table and take a shower (the power of the shower will delight any diva), to wash away any residue. Then comes the icing on the cake: a magical massage using essential oils of your choice. Your therapist will use sensuous strokes to knead every inch of your body before delivering a mini facial and a stress-relieving scalp massage. Afterwards, rest in the relaxation area and allow the full effects of your treatment to slowly sink in before you slide back to reality. A real wow treatment, this is a pleasure for all the senses. At BD38 it’s not a cheap indulgence, but trust us, it’s well worth the wedge.