The venue: Luban Spa, Umm Al Sheif Road.
The treatment: Bespoke body massage.
What we liked: A multi-sensory experience — soothing music, the right ambient temperature, soft lighting — is a vital part of making a spa treatment extra special, and Luban Spa’s use of the beautiful smelling frankincense is genius. The scent engulfs you right from when you walk into the modern white villa. There’s even a huge bowl full of the stuff at the entrance, with an inscription above it explaining the resin’s origins and history. The frankincense is used almost everywhere — in the skincare and body products, and as incense — but it’s not overpowering or gimmicky.
The massage rooms on the first floor are designed well and quite spacious, which is something you wouldn’t expect looking at the villa from outside. The treatment itself was spectacular; the therapist had expert hands and was very responsive to any pressure adjustments I wanted her to make. Primarily using her strong forearms, she swept over my back with firm strokes, getting right into my stiff shoulders without any hesitation. It was glorious, and probably the best massage I’d ever had. The scent of frankincense is ever-present during the massage, and I was not mad about smelling so nice.
After the massage, while still in a blissful daze, I was treated to some healthy and delicious date treats and fresh ginger tea. A sweet end to an excellent experience.
What we didn’t like: Nothing at all. However, if you’re sensitive to smells, maybe visit the spa first to see if you can handle it.
Go for: A luxury experience that is uniquely Middle Eastern.
The details: Dh460 for 60-minute massage, Dh560 for 90 minutes.