My love for a good body massage started at home, with my mom. Whenever I am feeling under the weather or have an aching limb, my mom would heat up some oil, grill some calamansi (calamansi is a type of citrus fruit found in the Philippines) squeeze the juice of the calamansi into some warm oil, mix it and apply it all over my body before giving me the most comforting massage. It never fails to put me to sleep and just like magic, heals me.
My mom lives miles away from me now and I don't have that luxury anymore. Good thing, we have plenty of spas in Dubai whom I can turn to when I need some pampering.
The latest one I've tried was the one located at Gloria Hotel
It's called Dreamworks Spa!
Our appointment was at 5:30 pm. Kriska and I arrived first; both by Dubai metro alighting from Dubai Internet City platform. Gloria Hotel is conveniently located by this metro station and is just a few minutes away by foot.
We met Lakskmi at the lobby before we went up to the 8th floor where Dreamworks Spa is located. Lakhsmi invited us (me and three of my blogger girlfriends - Shiela of AB and Me, Abigail of Cuddles and Crumbs and Kriska Marie of Sweet Nothings) to experience Evenings at Gloria Hotel. Shiela and Abigail arrived after Kriska and I started our spa session and we were reunited at dinner time at La Terrasse.
La Terrasse is Gloria Hotel's all-day dining restaurant. They have four theme night's dinner buffet and it's a different theme every night.
Arabian Night - Sunday (AED 150/person)
Taste of Asia - Monday (AED 160/person)
Roast Steak and Carvery Night - Tuesday (AED160*/person) Kids age 6-12 years get 50% off
Fish Market - Thursday (AED 160/person)
All inclusive of water, soft drink, non-alcoholic wine and sparkling wine
When you book a theme night at La Terrasse, you can also enjoy a 20% discount when you book a spa treatment at Dreamworks Spa.
Isn't that wonderful?
We were greeted by an amazing scent of Jasmine as we enter the spa and the receptionist has a lovely smile on his face as he welcomed us.
Each of us was given a consultation card to fill where we have to indicate our stress level, hours of sleep and health conditions. I marked muscle tension and sleep deprivation on my form. I've been doing a lot of resistance and cardio training lately so my muscles ache. I also marked dry skin and dark circles around the eyes.
Most of the spa treatments I've had lasts from 60 to 90 minutes maximum and it left me feeling so preened and pampered already.
So what about a spa treatment that lasts up to 150 minutes which we are about to try? It must be utterly delightful.
What's more exciting is that I am with my girlfriends and we all had the pleasure to experience Dreamworks Spa's Short Vacation Package at Gloria Hotel.
Dreamworks Spa offers many services for both men and women. They have different types of massages and facial therapies, body treatments, and packages to suit your every pampering needs.
They also offer Ayurveda treatment - known to be the oldest holistic healing system. The treatment bed looks interesting and I wonder how it feels like to lie down in there.
Traditional Balinese and Thai massages are also available.
The Short Vacation Package is a 150-minute treatment. In other words, it is two and a half hours of pure bliss and pampering.
It includes a very relaxing full body massage, full body exfoliation using fine argan oils infused with microbeads to nourish the skin and a purifying facial to complete this heavenly treatment.
We met our masseuse Ariane and Dian and they showed us to a couple treatment room. I don't like going for a massage alone. I don't see any fun in getting a massage all by myself. Besides, Kriska doesn't mind that we will be receiving the treatment in the same room. Talk about girls night out (in a very relaxing way)
The ladies moved quickly to prepare the things they'll need for the massage. They left us in the room to change. What's weird is that there were no robes and slippers given to us which I find very unlikely for a spa. We cover ourselves with white soft towels we found on the shelf and added the batik duvet on top, just because they were pretty
The ladies knocked and entered the room, lighted up some candles and gave us each a glass of water before the massage.
Ensuring I am comfortable, the music and lighting are fine and the temperature is good, Ariane begins the massage but before she starts, she asked me if there's a particular area in my body that I want her to focus on. That would be my shoulders and my back. She also asked me to tell her any time during the massage if the pressure is too much for me to handle.
Laying in a comfy bed and the batik duvet to cover my modesty, the massage started with inhalation. The oil's minty scent helps bring me to a state of calmness and serenity. Each limb was taken in turn starting with my back and shoulders. The amount of pressure was more than I wanted but I was too comfortable to say anything. By the end of the massage, I felt so light and I can't say that I didn't enjoy it because I did. Ariane informed me that the massage is done and she will do the scrub next.
The good thing about my therapist is that she guide me every step of the way. She tells me whatever she's doing next like "I am applying the scrub and it is cold." She applied the scrub all over me first before starting to scrub. What's comforting, even if I am shivering, is that I know I'll come out super clean and with the glowing skin after that.
We moved on to the facial while keeping the scrub to linger on me for awhile. The warm towel she placed on my neck and face during the facial treatment was a welcome relief for my shivering body. The facial and head massage was amazing. I loved it, especially when she did the pressure points. I also liked the eye patches and how it soothes my tired eyes.
The only weird thing is I wasn't sure which one she should have done to me first, the massage or the scrub. I feel that I would be even more satisfied if the scrub was done first. But then again, it would mean getting up for a shower after the scrub and back for the massage and the facial. Either way, I felt so relaxed and was in a complete bliss after the treatment and I can't complain.
When we get up, it was already 9 pm. Kriska and I took turns in the shower and dressed up quickly so we could meet Sheila and Abigail for dinner.
All four of us had a glowing skin and we all looked so refreshed.
La Terrasse Restaurant
La Terrase is just right outside Dreamworks Spa on the same floor and we just hopped and skipped to the table that's been prepared and waiting for us.
La Terrase offers A la Carte menu and an international buffet. The spacious and contemporary restaurant features live cooking stations and themed dinner buffets every night as I've mentioned earlier. Since it was Thursday, it was Fish Market or seafood night
I think the massage made me hungry. I walked around to see what I could eat.
It wasn't the biggest and grandest buffet I've been to but it has everything it needed to be called a great seafood buffet. I also love that it doesn't overwhelm me.
I spotted these fresh oysters in a bed of ice and it piqued my curiosity. I've never eaten oysters in such a very long time. I think the first and the last time I tasted oysters was when I was little and none after that. I wasn't that interested in trying it until now.
Abigail loves oysters and assured me that it's delicious. My other girlfriends were very supportive of me and cheered while I ate my first, my second and third. Yes, I ate three oysters and it was actually not as bad as I thought it was. I squeezed lots of lemon to it because it was briny. Abigail said it should taste like that otherwise, it is not fresh anymore.
There were also a lot of fresh seafood (fish, tiger prawns, crabs, mussels) to choose from. You can have whatever you like and take it to the chef at the live cooking station.
You can tell the chef how you like them and he'll cook it for you.
We had ours grilled.
Then there are a whole lot of other seafood dishes in the mains buffet table including this vibrant and delicious paella
Juicy grilled prawns skewers
Mighty mussels. I called it that because I don't remember the name of the dish. If I recall it correctly, it's stir-fry mussels with black bean sauce. It was yummy.
I started with a plate of maki rolls, sushi, oyster, salmon gravlax, tuna sashimi, and...
Yeah, I had that too and it was really nice.
Then I moved on to this. I had a little bit of everything and they're all delicious.
Ended dinner with a jar of old but gold tiramisu
and then some more desserts to serve as a cherry on top of my already super sweet day.
All this over interesting conversation with the girls.
Shout out to the ladies and gents living and working at Internet City. You have an awesome neighbor if I may say so. Although it's a dry hotel you can still make your evenings relaxing with Gloria Hotel. They're just a stone-throw away from you. It could be a couple massage or a foot spa, or dinner with friends after work to help you get through the week. Oh, and they also have La Terrase Tent - an open terrace shisha lounge with a view of The Palm, which I think does not need any introduction because it's already a popular hangout place for a lot of you according to Lakshmi and most of the time full when there's a match.
So, ciao for now!
Gloria Hotel _ Dreamworks Spa_La Terrase
P.O. Box: 502222 | Dubai Internet City | Sheikh Zayed Road | Dubai | UAE
T: +971 4 399 6666 / 800-Gloria (456742)
F: +971 4 399 6000
*We were guest of Gloria Hotel but all photos and opinion are my own except otherwise stated