Tuesday, 9 December 2014

I don't know about you, but I love a good pampering session, particularly in the form of a spa treatment.

I have fond memories of a wonderful afternoon at the Sanctuary Spa with my mum in London years ago, and a fabulous spa afternoon at Sopwell House with my friend Dani (afternoon tea in the conservatory whilst the snow fell outside the floor to ceiling glass windows, coating the beautiful grounds in a thick white blanket like something off a winter postcard- absolutely gorgeous. Not so fun when the car wouldn't start afterwards and a lovely chap had to jump start us!)

My friend Vicky and I spent the best part of our Marbella holiday being massaged to within an inch of our lives on the beach by a fab Filipino lady, however as glorious as that was, there is just something so calming about entering a spa, closing the doors on the outside world behind you, and walking into a serene environment where the ultimate purpose is to relax you. 

I've visited one or two of Doha's spa offerings in my year or so of living in the desert (including the St Regis Spa which I blogged about here), and yesterday I paid a visit to Jaula Spa at the Grand Hyatt hotel. I had visited once before during a tour of the hotel, but I had never had a treatment there. I was very kindly gifted a spa voucher for a one hour treatment from the lovely Christoph Franzen (as a gift when I was very ill at the beginning of the year, not for any kind of review purposes) which I realised expired on 30th December, so I hastily booked myself in for a 60 minute Calm Mind Massage. Just the ticket to kick off the working week!

I like that the entrance to Jaula Spa is separate from the entrance to the main hotel - it makes it seem as though it is it's own retreat from the hustle and bustle of the busy 5* hotel lobby, as well as the hustle and bustle of the rest of Doha.

I was early, so I was directed down to the Club where I made use of the sauna and steam room, and relaxed for an hour or so before my treatment. At 6pm, I headed back up to the Spa, and was led through to a beautiful relaxation room.

I got myself comfortable and filled out the standard Spa questionnaire about my general health, and what pressure I would like from my massage.

It has actually taken me up until this very point in my life to fully master exactly what pressure I like my massages - for so many years I've winced as masseurs have rubbed my ridiculously sensitive back and shoulders too hard, wishing they would hurry up and finish, and descended into absolute bliss when they've started work on my legs, which can take the firm pressure.

In Sri Lanka, I asked for soft pressure on my back and shoulders, and hard pressure on my legs. I'd forgotten that at the time I'd found the hard pressure on my legs a little too much, and put down for the same again this time.

My masseuse, Maria, was fabulous. She introduced herself, and led me through to the treatment room, where she offered me a refreshing shot of cucumber, pineapple and mint, before going over my requirements. I explained about my sensitive back issue, and said my legs are fine for hard pressure.

I got changed, hopped up on to the bed, and Maria proceeded to give me the most incredible massage I have ever had. I have literally never wanted a back massage to end - her pressure was spot on!

The background music was different to any music I have heard in a Spa before. I am used to the 'sounds of nature' kind of tracks - rainfall, etc etc. This, however, was what sounded like a beautiful female church choir, and while it wasn't a Christmas carol, it certainly had a very Christmassy feel about it. I felt like I was tucked away in a warm hideaway escaping the bitter cold outside, rather than the reality of the outside temperature being 21 degrees! The only downside to this was that it was one track, on loop. I didn't actually notice until about half an hour in, I thought it was an album all by the same artist. By the end of the 60 minute treatment, I felt like I could have signed up to the choir then and there and known all of the words!

I winced a little when it came to my legs, but that was my own fault as I'd asked for that pressure, and to be honest I figured it would be doing my tense muscles the world of good, so I kept quiet, even when Maria asked if the pressure was okay. Now I know for sure that next time, I need to go for soft pressure on the back and shoulders, and medium on the legs!

I came away from my massage feeling absolutely incredible. I popped back briefly to the relaxation room, where I was offered tea, and an abundance of magazines to read whilst relaxing by the tranquility pool.

Next time, I would skip using the Club facilities and go straight to the Spa and make use of the relaxation area to properly unwind before my treatment. There were a few too many little'uns down in the Club which made it hard to switch off. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at the Jaula Spa, and wish I could have stayed there all night instead of traipsing over to Carrefour to do a food shop!

The ladies over at Pearl and Peach also reviewed the Jaula Spa recently, and I think they came away feeling just as zen as I did!

If you are a Doha dweller, what spa is your favourite? If you reside elsewhere, what treatments do you enjoy the most?


  1. Omg this sounds flipping amazing I am so jealous! Wahhhh xxx

    1. Get yourself to the spa lady! I felt so wonderful afterwards. I'm going to try and do this more often in an attempt to look after myself a little more. You must tell me more about #HealthySelves soon!x