Tips & Toes spa in Abu Dhabi

Khalifa City is home to a mammoth new spa complex Discuss this article

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The spa

You probably know the Tips & Toes brand already – it has venues in Marina Mall and Khaleej Al Arabi Street – but their newly opened branch is in a whole different league. Set in a compound in Khalifa City A, it is composed of five, yes, five, separate villas, each dedicated to a different aspect of beautifying. One villa is called ‘Hair’ and another ‘Nails’ – each one is decorated differently, but all follow the same style of bold, oversized furnishings in bright and funky designs. Modern versions of the traditional hamam have become very fashionable among Abu Dhabi spa-goers over the past year, so Tips & Toes is bang on trend with the addition of a series of Moroccan and Turkish bath rooms in their soothing ‘Spa’ villa.

Step by step – the Imperial Ritual hamam

We got changed into a soft robe, flip flops and a paper thong, before the therapist led us to a small hamam room. Candles were lit outside in the waiting area, while the room itself was covered in Moroccan mosaics
and had twinkling multicoloured lights in the ceiling. First, the therapist soaped us all over, while we obediently stood still, feeling like a little kid. She showered us down before smothering every inch of our body in a traditional soft Moroccan eucalyptus soap that made our skin tingle. Every inch means every inch – not even a toe was left uncovered. Then she left us alone to lie down on the treatment table and allow the soap to soften up our skin. After a few seconds the room filled with a very thick steam, which opened our pores and wafted the smell of eucalyptus around the room. She returned 15 minutes later, armed with a rough exfoliating mitt and set to work scouring off all our dead skin. It wasn’t comfortable, but she did an extremely thorough job – strings of horrible-looking wet grey skin were sloughed right off. Call us masochistic, but after a little while we started enjoying the sensation of being scrubbed so hard – it gets the blood pumping and is very satisfying to feel so clean. After the scrub, we were given one more soap-down and shower, followed by a quick application of body oil.

Pros

Our therapist was herself Moroccan, and used to work in a hamam in Marrakech, so was very experienced and thorough. The products used – hamam body oils and eucalyptus soap – are top quality and the treatment, an oldie but a goodie, really works. Your circulation is stimulated because of the hard scrubbing, and all the eucalyptus makes you feel cleansed inside and out. Since you leave the spa without a flake of dry skin left on your body, you feel smooth, lighter and very refreshed.

Cons

If you’re used to the hamam experience, you’ll thoroughly enjoy yourself as Tips & Toes do a very good job. But if it’s your first time, the session can seem very intense – it would be more pleasant if someone talked you through the procedure first and explained the use and purpose of the products. If you’re claustrophobic, you might find yourself a little alarmed by the small room filling with steam. Finally – bring your own exfoliating mitt if you have one, otherwise you’ll need to purchase one from the spa at an additional cost.

The verdict:

There’s little doubt Tips & Toes will become a popular spa for ladies who can spare a full day for grooming and relaxation, particularly as Khalifa City A develops. Since they offer such good value packages (see below for details), we’re guessing this spa will be best suited to women who want a long, leisurely afternoon spent pampering.

Dhs200 for Hamam Ritual. Until end of May, Dhs600 for the Imperial Hamam Ritual followed by a full body massage, an express mani-pedi and a hair wash and blow-dry. Dhs800 for a Turkish bath with Tropical Oasis Full Body Wrap, an express mani-pedi and a hair wash and blow-dry. Tips & Toes, Khalifa City A (02 557 2255)

By Helen Elfer
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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