Set away from the hustle and bustle of the lavish Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, the ESPA is located in the quaint Venetian Village behind the main hotel.After a warm welcome of saffron tea and a cold towel, I was taken on a tour of the location. Interestingly, I was told that all the Arabesque fixtures were shipped directly from Morocco, adding to the authentically Arabian ambience.

The spa has both indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, with light snacks and water infusions for refreshment. I intentionally arrived early in order to explore the spa and enjoy the impeccable sauna, steam and outdoor plunge pool. The mood shower with its changing rainbow colours is a fun way to cool down post-sauna. The secluded, adults-only beach is perfectly maintained and is reserved for the use of spa guests only.

I was taken in to the dimly lit, yet beautifully decorated treatment room where my aromatherapy massage ritual was to take place. The therapist begins with a series of questions about how you’re feeling and what your main concerns are in order to tailor the treatment to your specific needs. She gave me a choice of two oils according to my answers. I chose a peppermint infusion, which she used not only for massage but also added it to an inhalation bowl so that I would be fully surrounded by the scent and benefit from the essential oils, inside and out. The bowl filled with warm water and fragrant oils was placed below my face, so the vapours would rise and instantly sooth and enhance the feeling of complete relaxation.

The beds themselves are very comfortable and notably wider than most I’ve come across, catering to all shapes and sizes. My therapist was extremely skilled and pinpointed problem areas without me stating them and I was soon nodding off thanks to the perfect pressure and sweeping rhythm. An hour later and I was back in the female relaxation lounge, blissfully sipping on more warming tea.

This spa is worlds away from the stresses of the city outside and is a true getaway for those looking to leave their cares behind and  immerse themselves in quiet serenity.

Details: Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta’a, Abu Dhabi, Tel (+971) 2 8188051

Click through the gallery for a closer look inside.

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