Al Areen Palace & Spa Al Areen’s Spa is having what you might describe as a good year. Just a few weeks ago it was crowned Bahrain’s Best Destination Spa at the Luxury Hotel Awards, while it also picked up two regional gongs (Best Design Spa and Best Destination Spa) at the Middle East Spa awards earlier this year. So, what is it that’s driving the spa judges (and that’s a job we’d like to have) wild?
Well, clearly the size is worth remarking on – the 10,000sq metre spa area is officially the biggest spa in the Middle East (and second biggest in the world). But we all know it’s not (just) size that counts. It is also luxury.
The spa’s 12 pavilions each host their own twin rainmist shower beds, infinity bathtubs and a private garden. Other facilities include a hydrothermal garden and garden hammam, ladies’ beauty garden, gentlemen’s salon and more. Treatments vary from a one-hour hydrothermal garden experience for BD18, to the top-end, 210-minute royal indulgence package – which includes rainmist, a ginger lemon scrub, rain shower, massage, facial, bath and more – for BD151. Open Sun-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri-Sat 10am-midnight. Al Areen Palace & Spa, Manama (17 845 000).
Kempinski’s Pure Spa The clue is in the name here – Kempinski’s Pure Spa prides itself on using ‘super-natural’ pure ingredients, which it mixes with a modern approach and ethos. The spa’s claim to fame is hosting the largest Turkish hammam in the kingdom, in addition to ten stylish treatment rooms, as well as a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, a terraced open air infinity pool and in-house restaurant, Nasmat. Best of all, the spa enjoys an exclusive relationship with Bahrain’s own Green Bar, a company known for re-igniting historic beauty rituals with products derived from natural plants and oils.
Stop by for bespoke massages, scrubs and body wraps – our top picks are the ‘Quality Time for Couples’ packages, which take place in the private couple’s spa suite and range from one to three hours, ending with a 45 minutes couple Jacuzzi and refreshments (from BD60++). Open daily 10am-10pm. Pure Spa, Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre (17 171 122).
The Ritz-Carlton Spa Dubbed ‘The Royal Spa’, The Ritz-Carlton’s trademark relaxation centre offers a strong range of competitively priced massages, facials and other treatments, as well as tempting bespoke packages, including the (we imagine very popular) ‘Jet Lag Reviver Ritual’, a 90-minute treatment (BD55) based on vetiver, sandalwood and chamomile. Another favourite is the new-for-2014 ‘Wedding Delights’ treatment. Especially created for the happy couple, customised treatments in the 150 minutes package (BD210) include a scrub, facial and massage – ideal to ease away the wedding day stress. Open daily 6.30am-10pm (treatments scheduled 9am-9pm). The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel & Spa, Manama (17 586 808).
Sparadise Elite Resort and Spa Don’t be fooled – Sparadise is far more than just a clever name. This calming Manama spot offers an impressive range of holistic treatments and packages. At the top end is the ‘Sparadise Indulgence Deal’ (BD85), a 205-minute treatment which includes a flavoured body polish – choose from chocolate, milk coconut, tamarind and ginger or coffee – followed by a stone massage, express facial and a light meal. Other highlights include a warm candle treatment where hot wax is dripped down your back for relaxation purposes (BD40 for one hour), while the spa has also recently started offering the bang-on-trend ‘Brazilian Blowout (from BD100, two-to-three hours), said to be the only straightening treatment that is actually good for hair. Open daily 10am-10pm. Muharreq, Manama, (17 313 131).
Thalassa Sea & Spa Here it’s all about the deep blue sea: Thalassa claims to be the first in the GCC to offer ‘thalassotherapy’. Before you reach for your smartphone for a translation, we can tell you the term derives from the Greek word ‘thalassa’ (sea), and refers to the medical use of seawater as a form of therapy. The theory goes that the sea is a concentrate for life, containing all the trace elements, minerals and vitamins that are vital to the balance of our bodies. Thalassa prides itself on using seawater and sea products, adding a holistic and healthy twist to familiar treatments. The Sofitel’s trademark spa complex covers 2,000sq metres and boasts 14 treatment rooms, as well as a seawater hydrotherapy pool, a freshwater pool, saunas, steam rooms, hairdresser, plus a recreation and yoga studio. It’s worth noting that the spa is currently offering a 25 percent discount on all weekday treatments (Sunday-Wednesday) of more than an hour. Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa, Zallaq, Manama (17 636 363).