Every great love story has a memorable beginning. This one began with the first time we ever visited Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman 2.5 years ago. Whilst drowning in delectable treatments in the most surreal surroundings, we interviewed and met then-Spa Director Rosalin Lau. (In fact, we’ll be heading back to Zighy Bay very soon but check out Ronan Keating’s drone video in the meantime.)
Now fast forward to 2018 when Rosalin sent me an email to say that she was now the Spa and Wellness Director for the Six Senses Day Spa smack bang in the centre of Dubai, housed on the fifth floor of the Renaissance Downtown Hotel.
This spa, Rosalin told me, had six treatment suites each dedicated to different sense and was a complete sensory experience. Given the high touch/high level experience I had back in Zighy Bay and with Rosalin now being so close, the gears started whirring in my head.
We’ve recently launched our Caviar Society, an invite-only hive of #rebelleboss ladies we handpick for salubrious events that we know they’ll love. These women come from all walks of business but the main objective is to build friendships and to support one another in the crazy worlds of business and life.
These Caviar Society events might be an enigmatic mystery supper or indulging in a wellness experience, and no two are the same. We had an intimate group of ladies in mind for our Caviar Society event and when Rosalin’s email came through, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
Together, we designed a full morning (we’re talking about 240 minutes!) of swoon-worthy spa experiences to dazzle and delight our ladies and suffice it to say, it was an absolute hit.
And if you’d like to know a bit more about the Caviar Society and stay in the loop, have a peek here.
You never thought you’d find a Six Senses Day Spa in Business Bay, did you?
Yes, there’s lots of building work going around in the area but if you just forget that part, then you’ll be a very happy bunny. As soon as you drop your car off with the valet, you’ll already be impressed with the Renaissance Hotel but the magic really begins when you arrive on the 5th floor.
The interior of the main reception area is warm and bathed in sandy neutral tones, with a very clean aesthetic and details of the highest level. Here, you can take in the gleaming views of Dubai through the floor-to-ceiling windows as you transition into a calming state of mind. Separated by a delicate chain curtain is the nail area (and even if you’re not there to get your nails done, you’ll be tempted to touch and play with the chains).
For your treatment, you’ll be led straight to your dedicated suite. There are no separate changing rooms – your suite is your private sanctuary and yours to discover whilst there. I highly recommend booking some extra treatment time (which you can do if you to add on a treatment or even just have time for an indulgent and refreshing shower). For those of you who want to make the most of it, get yourself in for one of their journeys, which combine two senses into a 2.5-hour session, so you can just utterly unwind and enjoy every moment.
Each suite is designed to match its therapy – a wavy ceiling to mimic sounds waves in one, a domed room with speckles of stars in another, an earthy wall layered with cross-sections of tree trunks in yet another. I’m willing to bet my last dirham that you’ll be more than tempted to come back another handful of times just so you can experience all the other suites!
Because of the intimate size and nature of the spa (and some fortunate timing), our Caviar Society group of six was able to have the entire place to ourselves. Rosalin and the spa team were fabulous throughout the entire coordination process. The timing just kept coming together, allowing us the privilege of meeting world-renowned colour therapist Mark Wentworth, who was the spa’s guest practitioner at the time.
At Zighy Bay, I was already blown away by the service and quality and that has clearly been passed on to the team in Dubai, which includes three therapists from other Six Senses locations (Con Dao in Vietnam, Zighy Bay, Soneva Fushi in the Maldives), one Ayurvedic Doctor, and one wellness practitioner/manager who used to work in Canada.
Everything has a special personal touch and the intimate space of the spa further amplifies the personalisation that sometimes feels like is missing from larger places. Whether you book for some solo time or do an entire spa party, the staff here will work their magic and create experiences around your needs.
Whilst here, don’t forget to explore the different products and brands stocked at the spa, such as Subtle Energies, Dr. Burgener, and Bio Sculpture. But I particularly loved seeing the support for local conscious and ethical brands, such as The Camel Soap Company by legend Stevi Lowmass.
Each #rebelleboss was assigned to a different experience based on what might suit her personality and preferences. Before each person was shown to her respective suite, Rosalin and her team led a group Singing Bowl Ritual, which helped put us all in the same head space.
For those unfamiliar with this beautiful practice, the Singing Bowl Ritual nudges the brain to move into the Theta brain wave frequencies that induce deep meditative and peaceful states, clarity of mind, and intuition. The sound vibrations can directly affect our nervous system, engaging our relaxation reflex and inhibiting stress response.
Here’s a break down of what each suite specialises in:
Sight: Special lamps work on regulating your natural circadian rhythm and you can put on a light mask to help negate the effects of modern light pollution. There are also soothing digital projections on the ceiling to round out the sensory experience. We had Beverly O’Connell, an integrated practitioner, in here with Mark Wentworth for some color therapy.
Touch: With a live moss wall, a flotation pod waits for you in here, with 400 kgs of Epsom salt to help you achieve weightlessness. Accompanying music and colour lights help keep you from feeling too isolated. The weightlessness helps the body achieve a natural restorative state, quiets the mind, replenishes magnesium, and is also said to be beneficial for hormonal balancing. Courtney Brandt, a food and hospitality writer known as A To Za’atar, had the chance to take part in a flotation session.
Sound: In here is a healing vibroacoustic lounger that sends sound vibrations through your body, said to do everything from improving circulation to rebalancing brainwaves. This is where lucky Pra was placed (and where you’ll get to look up at the cool wavy ceiling).
Smell: An alchemy bar stocked with therapeutic herbs, spices, and essential oils lets you pick your favourites to blend into custom products to use in your treatment. Anna Royall-Smith, celeb stylist and global #rebelleboss ambassador, had her massage here and got to play around with the alchemy bar.
Taste: This suite, which almost has an ethereal feel, is dedicated to hamman therapies and you can choose the tastes and ingredients you want to use there, which is exactly what incredible singer Clarita de Quiroz got to indulge in.
Beyond: Here, you can partake in guided yoga, stretching, and breathing exercises, as well as a singing bowl therapy known to help relieve stress symptoms and pain. We had Shannon Maddock, co-owner and designer of RTW brand Mesh, in here for a soothing yoga session.
Once everyone was done with their treatments, we all regrouped back in the main area to share our experiences. We were all, of course, so curious to learn about the sensory suites we weren’t in!
Now we don’t want to completely ruin the surprise of the in-person experience but we can safely say that these suites are extremely high tech whilst remaining zen at the same time. It’s like a playground for (pampered, spa-loving) adults!
What is a girls’ spa day without a ladies lunch? Being a day spa, once you’re out of the spa, you’re out. But you don’t have to go home immediately.
After a glorious morning of wellness and pampering, we headed down to Chef David Myers’ BASTA! on the ground floor of the hotel. This is a fab rustic Italian restaurant where you can graze through classics like bruschetta and beef carpaccio, wood-fired pizzas, and artisanal pastas. The casual vibe makes it the perfect lunch spot for some post-spa downtime, especially if you’ve booked a group like we did and want to carry on for the rest of the afternoon.
On top of that, Six Senses is known for keeping sustainability at the heart of their operations (which we also raved about in our Zighy Bay review). They are constantly looking for ways to minimise their ecological impact, are leaders in sustainable tourism best practices, and work with the environment by being mindful of how and where they build.
Sustainability has been on an upwards trajectory for a while now and you’ll also see us focusing more around sustainable luxury and travel because we realise how important it is to us (and to you!) that we remain thoughtful about the places we go, visit, and support!
Get comfy while you’re here. We recommend some of the chic and cosy pieces from our friends at Yoguh.
Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Marasi Drive, Business Bay, Dubai