Real Retreat

February is the month of love, and self-love is the best way to celebrate the occasion. Fernanda Langhammer visited Raffles Al Areen Palace Bahrain for a pampering escape.

The year has only just started, so it might be a bit early to think of taking a break, but the habit of caring about your well-being should be a year-long practice. For me, the ultimate way to care for myself is to go for a spa treatment. I headed to the newly opened Raffles Al Areen Palace Bahrain to pamper myself and indulge in their Private Villa spa setup. Yes, the hotel is all you can expect and a bit more, offering different experiences to cater to all their guests’ needs.

Raffles are known for creating a world of beauty, wonder and inspiration and I knew it would be the same in their Bahraini property. The hotel is nestled behind large intricate doors opened by staff dressed in traditional Eastern-style attire. It’s such a nice detail that shows a personal touch, like being welcomed to someone’s home (palace). I love that there are no revolving doors. When entering the space, it feels like you step into a different universe. White walls with detailed patterns, loads of greenery (big pots with an array of various plants), and black accents compose the décor for a sleek yet cosy space. The clever use of natural light is also a key element in giving an organic atmosphere in this spotless interior. The contrast of light and the plants’ brightness caught my attention the most, and I could have stayed there soaking in all the beauty for hours, but I had something even better planned for my day.

This month, Raffles will open their Spa Wellness Villa concept, a really unique approach to wellness on the island based on timelessness and longevity experiences. A three-bedroom villa converted into a beauty haven – two rooms for couples’ treatments and one for single therapies. The space is truly distinct, offering a real sense of privacy as each offers its own facilities. In the centre of the secluded villa, a beautiful pool invites you to rest and unwind. The concept also has a pedicure and manicure area, and a setup for a relaxation room where you can decompress even further.

But my spa treatment was not happening there this time. Wiwin, the Spa and Wellness Manager, welcomed me into one of the private villas where my pampering journey would happen. She explained that to give a customised and personalised experience, they also offer treatments in the comfort of guests’ own villas while staying at the property. As the villas have an utterly sheltered space, the massage bed can be positioned by the private pool and with the nice weather these days, the relaxation reaches an elevated meaning.

As I had the villa for myself, I was invited to use all the amenities in the comfortable bathroom and leave my belongings in the closet. I got changed into one of the robes available, with the option of a fluffier one or a lighter material; I went for the latter as it was quite a warm day.

The products used at Raffles Spa are from Dr Burgener Switzerland’s collection, a brand specialised in personalised skin care that creates highend formulas and protocols to treat an array of concerns and goals.

I was then introduced to Intira, my therapist for the day, who explained that I was going to embark on the signature treatment: the Royal Arabian Indulgent. A two-hour session inspired by the Arabic culture and rituals that includes a full-body scrub and a personalised massage. We started the journey with a foot ritual; in my opinion, there is no better way to begin a relaxing time than the touch of warm water on my feet. The gentle scrub with salt and essential oils from Dr Burgener Switzerland emanated a lovely scent. I then moved to the massage bed, where Intira started with the scrubbing. She kindly asked about my preference for the pressure and, for me, when it comes to exfoliation, it’s the lighter, the better. I then took a shower to remove the residues and returned for the massage part of the journey.

My skin felt smooth and clean. Before lying down, Intira lit up bakhoor incense, known for its relaxing benefits, as an extra element of this signature treatment. The oil used in this therapy is oud with its rich aroma and earthy notes. I have to confess that I am not the biggest fan of this type of scent, but this one was very light and had a delightful tone. The massage started on my back, where I asked for some extra attention, and moved to the other body parts in rhythmic movements. I could feel my muscles relaxing and all the stress and tension melting away.

The whole spa concept is to give guests a personalised experience, so I also had a mini facial, ideal for dry skin. Intira cleansed my complexion and applied a Dr Burgener Switzerland Hydra Filler Mask with hyaluronic acid to bring glow and suppleness by hydrating the skin at a deep level. While the mask was acting to deliver goodness to my tired face, she gave me a lovely scalp massage. After 20 minutes, she removed the mask and massaged the serum into my complexion, followed by Dr Burgener’s Hydra Balance Face Cream.

It was time to say goodbye, but before leaving, a beautiful silver tray containing green juice, chamomile tea and delightful sweets was waiting for me. What a treat!

If you are looking for privacy, exclusive indulgence and a tailor-made experience, Raffles Spa is the right place for you, as in this palace you will be treated like a queen. And there shouldn’t be anyone in your life in a higher position than yourself!

For more information or to make a booking, please call Raffles Spa at
Raffles Al Areen Palace Bahrain on 1784 5000.

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