The Spa at the Intercontinental Dubai Marina – a city hotel spa at its best
I recently stayed at the Intercontinental Dubai Marina Hotel, as the name suggests located on the Dubai Marina, only a short walk from Jumeirah Beach Walk.
When staying in Dubai, I personally prefer the Marina over the Palm. I find the Palm difficult to get on and off as I have to rely on taxis. And the city centre is too far from the beach and usually provides more indoorsy facilities.
The Marina on the other side offers a long board walk ideal for outdoor walking or running, with shops and restaurants along. Only a short distance away from Jumeirah Beach Walk, I can also walk along the beach, and enjoy more great shopping and dining facilities, a movie theatre, yoga studios and much more.
This time we opted for the fairly newly opened Intercontinental Dubai Marina, a city hotel with an award winning restaurant, bars (best Gin Tonic ever!), different room categories for short or longer term stay, and a Spa.
Their Spa is a typical city hotel spa, for a rather faster in-and-out service by offering all the facilities expected:
The gym is equipped with Life Fitness machines and accessible 24/7 with your room key. Love the flexibility!
What makes this gym special and worth talking about: it is pretty spacious as separated in two rooms for cardio and weights workouts. This is an aspect I really appreciate. Everyone who has worked out in a gym whilst a few people were running on treadmills at the same time nearby knows what I mean… However there was no instructor available when I visited a few times during my stay.
As common in the area, the Intercon provides its guest a heated outdoor pool facing the Marina and providing a good view over it. At first when looking down from my hotel room window I was disappointed for the size and triangular shape. However when I went down, I realised the actual size of the pool, which is totally adequate even on a busy Friday morning. Only lap swimming can be a little difficult.
If you are into sunbathing and plan a stay in March, visit the pool in the morning, as the sun disappears behind neighbouring high towers in the afternoon.
Our pool attendant was very attentive, he even reminded me of my sun screen on my first day when the sun was strong, which I thought was lovely. A pool bar offering not only liquid refreshments makes it easy to enjoy a full day by the pool.
Spa Check In / Check Out
Both were very pleasant. Fast, easy, very friendly. On arrival I filled out my consultation form and sipped my welcome iced hibiscus tea.
The receptionist was very organised, efficient, and welcoming. If I had to find fault, I would say the (typical for Espa) after treatment retail sales is a little pushy for my taste.
The ladies spa section I visited had a Sauna at 90 C, a steam room, a relaxation corner with two couches, and a small jacuzzi. The jacuzzi was not what I expected with air bubbles, but it had a few underwater massage jets for the lower back instead. I felt the temperature was set too warm for a hot country, more like a hot bath I would draw myself on a cold winter night. However I was told by a friend that the days just before I visited must have been rather grey and cool in Dubai.
I was lucky to have had the entire spa area to myself that day, and wondered how it would be with other ladies around.
My Facial Treatment
When doing spa reviews I usually ask the spa to choose a treatment for me. Reason being that the spa knows best their signature treatments. Yet this time I opted for picking my treatment myself, as I was looking at an Espa Treatment Menu. I know Espa from a long time ago, when I actually used to manage an Espa Spa myself, yet have to admit that I have not had one of their treatments in about 10 years. Espa treatment protocols and products have a very high standard and you can be always sure to receive the service you expect. I particularly remembered the skilful massages within the face treatments, that are unique for their 3 step cleanse.
Well trained and experienced
Espa therapists are well trained and experienced before taking additional intense Espa training.
As expected, Ning, my therapist from Bangkok, provided excellent service.
She picked me up from the jacuzzi and escorted me to the treatment room. She offered me to choose from several product options on an aromatherapeutic basis. Amongst others, I picked an optimal skin proserum, which combines the exceptional nourishment of a treatment oil with the active benefits of multiple plant extracts.
I felt well look after throughout, had a faultless treatment and enjoyed a great facial massage including décolleté, neck, and scalp. Ning took great care in explaining the products to me, their ingredients and also their effect.
For the various cleansing steps typical for Espa facials, she used the hydrating cleansing milk and the optimal skin procleanser (for mature skin). Ning also applied the hydrating floral spafresh, a natural toner, as well as a soothing eye lotion.
My therapist opted for the lifting concept in her treatment, thus also used the lift & firm intensive serum and mask.
She finished my treatment with a lovely mandarin lip balm and I felt great afterwards, just as expected. Of course she would not send me back to the relax corner just yet. Not without giving me personal skin care advise. And a lovely hibiskus ice tea for rehydration.
The Intercontinental Dubai Marina is a city hotel at its best. And the ideal hotel for me when staying in Dubai for a few days, mixing work and pleasure.