Elementary inspiration

Published: 20 August 2019 - 8 a.m.
By: Claudia De Brito
Concept

The Spa was launched earlier this year in February, around the same time as the hotel. The treatments and atmosphere at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai draw inspiration from the UAE's landscape and culture.

Each spa treatment is designed to soothe both body and mind with the incorporation of natural products in a peaceful setting. One of the signature treatments is the Nomadic Sensory Journey which features Emirati drumming as a unique healing practice. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai has regional exclusivity with LING New York and incorporates Asian beauty principles with cutting edge technology. The UAE will be home to a second branch of The Spa at the upcoming Mandarin Oriental property in Downtown Dubai which is set to open by late 2021.


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Management

Sara Codner, the director of spa and wellness is a trained therapist. She says: “I completed my training in the UK and worked as a therapist there for many years. I also worked as a therapist in Cyprus and Hong Kong before moving into Management. I worked across three Mandarin Oriental properties before Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai starting with Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London.

Codner opened The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou which was the first urban hotel in mainland China, prior to her position at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. Speaking about The Spa as a revenue driver, Codner said: “The wellness experience within Mandarin Oriental is a key driver for our guests. The wellness traveller in particular looks at what type of wellness experience they can have at a hotel.”


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Ambiance

Before opening, the team conducted a lot of research when it came to the kinds of music that help to relax the mind. The music played at The Spa reflects its oriental heritage. In fact, One of the treatments on offer is a rhythmic spa ritual that captures the spirit of Emirati Bedouin life, against the soundtrack of the beat of a Doumbek (Arabic goblet drum). In terms of ambience, The Spa aims to create experiences that appeal to five distinct senses – sight, sound, smell, taste and philosophy.


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Treatments

There are a total of nine treatment rooms including a VIP suite with an en-suite relaxation room and outdoor relaxation area. All feature treatment tables supplied by Gharieni. In addition, the spa is home to a hammam-style suite along with two couple’s suites. Inspired by the region, the spa’s signature treatments are the Nomadic Sensory and the Royal Saffron. Codner wants the spa menu to evolve constantly and new treatments will be introduced in the next six months.


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Design

The Spa, which features uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf, was designed by SilverFox Studios based in Singapore and the UK. According to Codner, the firm was inspired by natural colours reflective of the UAE’s landscape. The fi t out was entrusted to Dubai-based PMQ. One of The Spa’s standout features, the company was tasked with creating the otherworldly pods in the relaxation area, allowing guests to unwind in privacy.

The Spa is 2,000m2 so it’s no surprise that the treatment rooms are larger than average. Speaking about how this impacts ROI, Codner said: “Our treatment rooms focus on the luxury feel and comfort of the guest, our guests are more likely to return to us if they have an incredible time with us in rooms that are spacious and extremely well designed.”


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Retail

All brands featured are aligned with The Spa’s philosophy. All products are cruelty free, use natural ingredients and have a strong sustainable concept. In addition, the retail area stocks signature products that are available across all Mandarin Oriental properties. These reflect the facility’s oriental heritage based around the five Chinese elements. Some of the brands include Subtle Energies from Australia, an aromatherapy Ayurveda range, LING New York used in advanced facial treatments and Hammamii, a local brand based in Dubai used in The Spa’s hammam treatments.

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According to Codner, price points reflect the products that they have sourced that are not mass produced. Instead most of the ingredients used are carefully sourced, handpicked and hand blended in traditional ways that keep the authenticity and the strong ethos that Mandarin Oriental has made its trademark.

When asked about The Spa’s approach to home care, Codner said: “We listen to what our guests needs are, we are very ethical in our approach to recommending homecare to our guests. We believe in our products and their efficacy, if you don’t believe in what you’re recommending to your guests or giving them what they don’t need, then you are failing at what you are trying to achieve.”


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