Known to benefit skin health, reduce inflammation and pain, remove toxins, and aid with sleep problems, it’s little wonder that thousands of years ago Ancient Romans flocked to the Dead Sea to reap its health rewards. While Cleopatra and the Queen of Sheba are said to have set up private spas along its banks, nowadays it’s favored by celebrities and supermodels looking to boost their beauty.
So what exactly makes the Dead Sea so special? Salt. A lot of salt. In fact, it’s the saltiest place on Earth, and it boasts eight times more minerals than most seawater. These include magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which are all proven to contribute to healthy skin and even to treat conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and allergies. This all sounds great, but not so great that you have to actually go to Jordan for it to work, because, as it turns out, Dubai has its very own answer to the Dead Sea at the JW Marriott Marquis’ Saray Spa. The signature ‘Dead Sea Journey’ treatment incorporates a scrub, mud mask, private floatation pool, and massage, bringing you all the benefits of the Dead Sea without you actually having to be there. So, instead of checking into a flight, I checked into the Saray Spa to get my salt on.
Entering the treatment room, which I can only describe as my own private grotto, I am instantly transported to a mysterious, magical world. With dark stone walls, low ceilings, dimmed lighting, candles casting a warm glow, and the sparkling blue water of my salt pool, it’s like something out of a fairytale. The treatment starts with a full body scrub using Dead Sea salts, which feels coarse, but not unpleasant, and instantly leaves me feeling softer as it gets rid of dry, dead skin. After a quick rinse in the shower (your magical cave comes complete with a huge power shower too), it’s back on the bed to be wrapped in a rich, re-mineralizing mud mask – from the shores of the Dead Sea, of course. Not only does it smell like a dream (it contains coffee to help boost circulation and the detox process), but it feels wonderfully cooling and calming on the skin too. Smothered in a thick layer of black goo, I’m then wrapped up in a cling film-like sheet and left to relax as the mud works its moisturizing magic. In the mean time, I’m treated to a heavenly head massage. It’s safe to say that by this point I’ve entered a state of beauty bliss.
Just when I think that things can’t get much better, they do. A whole lot better, actually, for the next chapter of my treatment fairytale is the heated flotation pool, a luscious lagoon that’s full of salt (shipped in from the Dead Sea) and minerals to make for the most beautifying bath ever. It’s also the most fun I’ve ever had just floating; because of the high salt content, you can lie in any position you want and stay that way. It’s also private, so no one can judge you for making saltwater angels… Sipping my ginger tea and nibbling on nuts that are left on the side whilst I submerge myself in the salty water, I think that I could totally get used to this.
After about 20 minutes of blissful bathing and another quick shower, I’m treated to a full body massage using a soothing rose body oil to nourish my new skin. When the full 135 minutes come to an end, I want to cry. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as light, relaxed, and calm in my whole life (I slept like a baby that night), and my skin still feels smooth and soft a week later. The only problem is I now need to get my own Dead Sea pool at home, because once you’ve had a taste of its salty goodness you’ll be hooked forever.
Saray Spa ‘Saray Signature Dead Sea Journey’, AED 820/SAR 837 for 135 minutes, JW Marriott Marquis.
For appointments and information, call (+971) 4 414 6754.