As I stepped into the Talise Ottoman spa at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, I felt as if I had stepped back in time to the lavish period of the Ottoman Empire. The surrounding decor resembled the famous Topkapi Palace in Istanbul and lured me into a mesmerizing and rich ambiance. The scent of exotic oils tempted me inside, where I could marvel at the ornate mosaics and stunning murals. At the heart of this palatial spa, is an authentic and spectacular Turkish spa and hammam rumored to be the best hammam in Dubai. I was there to try it for myself.
Historically, the hammam was not only a place for bathing, it was a cultural tradition revered as a focal point for relaxing and meeting friends. My ‘body cleansing ceremony’ began in the magnificent Royal Majlis, where my therapist lead me in an ornate Turkish hammam. I lay down on a warm marble slate and looked up to the intricate mosaics as gentle heat softened my skin. The ritual commenced with an intense exfoliation on my arms, legs, face and back. A glorious soapy smell then awoke me as I was smothered in a lather of warm bubbles made of hand-made olive oil soap. I felt like an indulgent princess being bathed and pampered; all I had to do was lay on the warmth of the ‘kuna’ and drift away. My therapist then washed the bubbles away with cold and subsequently, warm water. I then sat while my hair was washed and conditioned, leaving me feeling soft and revitalized from head to toe.
My journey came to an end with a plate of dried fruits and a replenishing yogurt drink. I could have stayed in the beautiful majlis for hours.
I would advise arriving early for an appointment to take advantage of the wonderful spa facilities. The spa boasts a snow room, sauna, hydrotherapy showers and a super thalassotherapy pool. You can share the experience with your loved ones on Thursday nights or book a Couples Treatment at anytime. There are separate floors for men and women, but on Couples night the female majlis is open for all.
Talise Ottoman Spa, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Tel: +971 44530000.