I say this a lot, however, similar to Pier Chic, there are a few remaining Dubai properties that I’ve not been able to visit in my ten years here. The Armani Spa has been on my list since it opened, but I somehow never managed to commit to making time to go in for a treatment. All that changed with a call from a friend, who asked if I would be interested in tagging along to check things out? (The answer was a resounding ‘yes’!) Thus, even though I felt a bit ridiculous pulling up to the iconic property — seriously, y’all, the front door of the Burj Khalifa is one of those always cool, is this really my life things in Dubai — in my Yarari™, nothing was going to stop me from enjoying the experience.
- It’s Armani.
- The best approach to treatments, full stop. I loved the idea that you sit down with your therapist (who is trained in any and all of the treatments offered) and build your own unique session. For example, the focus of my experience was a facial, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t time for a short leg and foot massage (heaven). I honestly wish this was the approach at all spas. The price point is the same no matter what treatments you receive during your session.
- Access to other facilities. While I didn’t take advantage of using the pool or gym, both were available for the entire day. In better weather, I think this would be a unique way to spend a day or treat friends and family to an ‘only in Dubai’ experience. When else are you going to chill at a pool on the tallest building in the world?
- Cozy, quiet treatment rooms. In the design of so many spas, there is not enough of a barrier between hallways, changing rooms, etc. and the actual treatment area. As someone who is super sensitive to sound, I was thrilled to see first the sink and shower space and then a door and then the sloped ceilings of the treatment room. More than many other spas in the city, the Armani has an intimate, personal feel (for the rooms, at least).
- Excellent service. All of the staff we interacted with were simply lovely (and not pretentious as I thought might be the case, given, y’know, it’s Armani).
- I really do expect a changing room. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sleek design, but I also like some privacy when I’m changing.
- Another thing I don’t want to think about when I’m at a spa is how to get from one place to another. For those who have been to the Armani Spa, you’ll know that it’s a bit of a maze. I’m all for modern and contemporary design, but I think there have to be limits. When it comes to form following function, a guest shouldn’t be faced with door after door and no signage whatsoever.
- A decidedly ‘un luxe’ robe (with a small hole in it – !). If I had to name my top dressing gown selection in the UAE, it would be the ultra luxurious choices at Emirates Palace or the comfortable in room versions at the Waldorf Astoria RAK.
- Similarly to my visit to Hashi, I just do. not. understand the dark design principles of Armani in general. The lobby? Dark. The lifts? Dark. The hallways? Also dark. There’s moody and then there’s needing to fumble with your iPhone flashlight to see what you’re doing. This does not qualify as ‘sophisticated.’
- Flip flops? Don’t get me wrong; guests need footwear to change into. However, I’m more a fan of cozy slippers than I am weird plastic flips flops. They didn’t seem a good brand fit with the spa or the hotel.
Would I go back? As with most of the spas in Dubai, I would go back with an Entertainer coupon! To be fair, I feel the price point (AED520 for 50-minute service, not including gratuity) to be in line (especially with the location and access to facilities).
What’s your favorite spa in the UAE?
A to Za’atar was a guest of Armani Spa. Opinions are my own, just ask my husband.