Located at the dazzling new Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, Qua Spa has quietly been treating Dubai folks to unique holistic treatments since it opened in November 2018. Keeping in mind Caesars is home to The Rotunda (a stonking 500-seat entertainment dome), a truly fabulous interior, and Cove Beach (an exclusive beachfront retreat), the hotel has refreshingly refrained from shouting and jumping up and down like most Dubai venues!
The Caesars property accommodates practically every type of guest with its three sub-properties: the family-friendly Resort, the luxury Hotel, and The Residences for those wanting more of a home than a hotel. There’s also an array of restaurants, lounges, and bars, and entertainment areas to choose from.
As for Bluewaters, it is an impressive new man-made island oasis and one of my favourite areas in Dubai to explore right now. It is chock full of developments with Ain Dubai, the world’s highest observation wheel, as the centrepiece.
So, having heard the buzz about Bluewaters and Caesars, when Qua’s Spa and Wellness Manager Ayuko Suzuki reached out with an invitation to visit, I didn’t hesitate. I grabbed my partner-in-crime Anna Royall-Smith and we headed off to experience the zen promises of Qua!
At Qua Spa, the focus is on holistic wellness and working with the five elements to achieve the perfect Qi (energy). There are eight treatment rooms (two for couples), a relaxation lounge, saunas, and steam rooms.
The entrance into Qua Spa isn’t what you might normally expect. I’m used to walking through a door from the hustle and into a cosy, tranquil space. But with Qua, you walk straight down through Caesars, turn right at the sign, and then bam, you’re in the wide open reception area.
Designed by a Hong Kong group, the spa’s minimalistic Asian-influenced interior will be appreciated by those who love straight lines and clean design. While it didn’t quite invoke the sense of serenity I usually look for in a spa, the layout is still lovely. The reception area has a beautiful display where you can see all the brands Qua supports, such as Neom, Sahara Tea, Elemental Herbology, and our buddy Carol Joy London.
The amenities and services, and staff show that no expense has been spared here! The staff have clearly been well-trained – each person I encountered was immaculately presented, polite, and articulate, both at the gym and spa. In the impressive group changing rooms, you’ll have access to Dyson hairdryers, fluffy gowns, towels, and showers with super jets, not to mention a steam room and sauna. There’s also ample locker space and should you forget your own toiletries bag, you’ll find everything you could wish for, from hair brushes to Carol Joy London serums and creams.
My only concern was the amount of plastic and the expense that come with providing such a wide selection. Perhaps shared amenities could be dispensed in reusable glass bottles or maybe put some recycling efforts in place. The brushes, for example, are handbag-worthy but how will that affect the bottom line of the brand? Even the smallest changes can have a huge impact in the long run!
To the left of the reception is the hotel gym, an airy and spacious area stocked with Technogym equipment and fully set up for serious fitness fiends. Caesars Palace are serious about not only encouraging hotel guests to make full use of the facilities but also pulling in locals and expats who are looking for a wellness centre and it shows.
Monthly gym memberships start at 1200 AED for individuals or 1900 AED for couples which might make you wince. However, keep in mind that longer commitments will come with a discount and there are hefty benefits. Skim through the extensive list and you’ll see an excellent selection of classes and beach club access and perks, that make the price point easier to justify.
As for the type of crowd you’ll see here, it’s a mix of locals and hotel residents. With the spa still being quite new, there’s a pleasant calmness about it which also gives the staff and team the time to perfect the service and treatments even further.
Qua Spa is doing great things in terms of unique experiences and spotting gaps in the market, including the introduction of Dubai’s first Iyashi Dome (more on that below).
Before getting pampered, Anna and I put on water-friendly workout gear and headed to the outdoor pool for an AquaFit session. We did a circuit in the pool that included hopping on a bike, bouncing on a trampoline, and doing exercises on a floating board. It was a fab way to change up our workout routines and still have plenty of fun. Just be ready to challenge yourself, especially with the AquaMat session – what a way to work your core!
Once we had gotten our heart rates up, it was finally time for our spa treatments. I headed off to experience the Detox Dome, whilst Anna had the Royal Arabian Desert.
The Detox Dome treatment starts with a session in the Iyashi Dome, which mixes technology with tradition and promises to detox the body through the use of infrared rays. The dome was inspired by the old Japanese practice “Suna Ryoho” where people bury themselves in the sand near certain natural hot springs. This therapy is said to eliminate toxic buildup through sweat and the dome was created to simulate this same effect, independent of location.
The dome is more like a tunnel that cocoons your body but leaves your head sticking out. Whilst the treatment itself was fantastic, the 45 minute session made me long for something like a head massage to help me relax more. Those of you who are restless or unable to turn off might find yourself tapping your fingers and staring up at the ceiling, wondering how long you’ll be in the dome.
The Iyashi Dome treatment is said to burn up to 600 calories and 1200 ml of water in one session (which can be 30-60 minutes), as well as draw out toxins like heavy metals. It also helps reduce cellulite and improves the quality of your skin, which I would imagine would be more evident after a number of sessions. I actually felt the effects of the treatment more the next day so give it a day or so to see how you feel.
After the dome, I had a scrub with Himalayan salts, a thermal clay mask, and then a massage (with two showers in between). The fact that you’re able to have various treatments is fab but two hours, five towels, and two bathrobes later, it also made me acutely aware of all the resources that go into this. I was appreciative of the indulgence that Qua Spa offers but since The Caviar Spoon ReBelle has dedicated itself to putting sustainable luxury at the forefront these days, I also felt a bit guilty. There must be a way we can indulge and still take care of the planet at the same time, right?
Anna’s treatment, the Heated Rose Quartz Bed, is based on hot sand therapy from ancient Egypt. If any of you love the feeling of laying on the beach, it mimics a similar sensation. This Quartz Bed just has a few more luxurious touches than a beach, like aromatherapy, inversion therapy, and an undulating massage.
They use quartz sand specifically because it does a better job of contouring to the body and retains heat at just the right temperature. A session in the sand bed can decrease stress, ease muscle pain, and increase blood circulation, to name but a few benefits.
Anna’s sand therapy treatment was combined with Arabian Herbal compresses (frankincense and cedar wood) and a massage with a spicy muscle balm to melt away any tension. There are three versions of the Heated Rose Quartz Bed treatment that you can book, and you can also customise your treatment with additional experiences like hot stones, singing bowls, and body wraps.
Qua Spa delivers through and through. If you’re someone who enjoys trying unique treatments (this is the only place in Dubai with the Iyashi Dome) and embracing a holistic approach to your wellness, Qua will be right up your alley. Also, don’t forget to stop by the relaxation lounge afterward where there are four beds and some nibbles to stretch out your spa experience.
Bluewaters Island itself is also worth exploring and for those lucky ones who live in JBR or the Dubai Marina area, you’re not too far at all from the island oasis. Grab an upstairs balcony seat at The Coffee Club and lap up the views of JBR from the “other side”.
Big thanks to Ayuko and her team at Qua for the full experience, from falling off our AquaMats to testing out the benefits of infrared technology!
Bluewaters Island, Dubai