We take a tour of the new bespoke spa at The Domain Bahrain
Time Out Bahrain staff
A dramatic golden circle suspended around the reception area is what greets you at Vie Lifestyle Lab in The Domain Bahrain. Immediately, you can tell this spa is a little different to the rest but until you take the full tour it’s hard to imagine how much. We take our tour with spa and wellness director Lisa Mascoll who brings to the table years of experience from five-star spas around the world, as well as her previous training in fitness, massage therapy and as an esthetician.
The essence ‘The name says a lot,’ says Lisa. ‘Vie Lifestyle Lab is not a traditional spa and especially not a traditional five-star spa that are usually based on ancient and traditional therapies.’ Instead, working within the modern approach set forth by home grown hotel concept The Domain Bahrain, Lisa wanted to come up with something more clinical, hence the ‘laboratory’ reference.
‘What we were really looking to do was to create a wellness oasis essentially,’ Lisa explains. ‘Rather than just treat specific causes or give someone luxury pampering, we wanted to create a laboratory where people could come and work with lifestyle consultants and really address issues.’ The entire experience incorporates components such as fitness, nutrition, lifestyle consultancy, treatments, hydrotherapy, weight loss, detoxification, beauty therapies and, of course, relaxation.
The tour From the retail section, we’re taken through the lady’s changing room and ‘heat experience’ area where we find an aromatherapy steam room, Himalayan salt stone sauna and experience shower. Then we weave through the treatment rooms, each of which are named after woods primarily from the region. From ‘Cedar’ to ‘Rosewood’ to ‘Oudh’ we go, exploring the equipment and enjoying the modern, chic interiors.On the 11th floor, it’s the ladies-only section which is complete with all the above and a small boutique gym, beauty salon and nail bar. Meanwhile, on the 15th floor it’s for mixed use. Here, there are even more treatment rooms, a larger state-of-the-art gym with Technogym equipment, a small health food café and a grooming salon for men.
The spa attractions To enhance the detoxification treatments, the spa has a range of hydrotherapy equipment that works on fat and cellulite reduction, increasing metabolism and working toxins through the system. This includes a bath offering underwater massage, targeting certain trouble zones on the body. Then there’s the ‘amphibious bed’ that makes you feel as though you’re floating while enjoying your treatment.
Finally, we’re introduced to the ‘floating bed’ with a membrane atop. You can have a body wrap here and once they’ve applied it, they’ll drop the platform and submerge you in a tank of warm water. ‘It’s like a hammock inside of a bath,’ Lisa says. ‘The spine falls into perfect alignment because you’re suspended, the water is warm, we turn off all the lights, there’s very minimal music and you have 20 minutes of this very tranquil space. You can almost hear your heart beat.’
Even the relaxation room is high-tech with a number of ‘four senses loungers’. This pod-like chair offers light therapy dependant on your mood, it pipes music through the dome, it releases aromatherapy and even vibrates based on the music. ‘It really puts you in your own world,’ says Lisa.
The Iyashi Dome The ultimate star attraction at Vie Lifestyle Lab is the ‘Iyashi Dome’ which is a first for the entire region. ‘Its Japanese sauna technology that uses far infrared sauna heat rays,’ Lisa explains. ‘Rather than the standard sauna, this heats you deeply from within, increases metabolism, moves toxins from your system and metabolises them out through the sweat glands.’ Basically, a session in the sunbed-like ‘dome’ is akin to a vigorous work-out in the gym so it can enhance any detox or weight loss programme through regular use. ‘You see this in detox clinics in places like New York and London,’ says Lisa, ‘And that’s why we brought it in.’
The products The product line is exclusively Sothys and only used in this spa in Bahrain. ‘It’s a boutique luxury spa skincare line out of Paris,’ Lisa tells us. ‘They have their own institute there, train their own technicians there, they grow their own herbs and they have a lab.’ Incorporating both natural and scientific components, Sothys is a very results-driven brand that is luxurious but also works well with the spa’s detoxification programmes in particular. They not only use them in their treatments, either, but also sell all the products on-site so you can continue your treatments at home.
The treatments The spa menu is broad and encompasses a huge range of varying treatments, including regular spa offerings like hot stones massages and relaxation facials, to a selection of Sothys patented programmes like a ‘Collagen Hyaluronic’ anti-ageing facial or the High Protection Eye Treatment. There are more clinical treatments like the microdermabrasian facial and oxygen therapy, as well as a whole host of slimming-detox-firming body treatments.
Our impression What we like most about this spa – apart from the fact that it’s super high-tech and brand spanking new with plenty of new-fangled technology – is that it’s a homegrown concept just like the hotel. The entire ‘oasis’ – as Lisa says – has been built from scratch in the middle of an urban hotel in the Diplomatic Area and they’ve achieved something very unique and attractive. While walking around its sophisticated interiors, it’s so easy to forget all about the bustling roads beneath and just focus on being holistically well. Annual hotel and spa membership rates start from BD290 (single) and BD390 (couples). For more information call The Domain Bahrain on 1600 0000.