IT FELT LIKE WE were living in a buddy comedy movie script. Amidst weeks of planning a trip that would span five cities, four countries and three continents in seven days, Banu Yilmaz and I were determined to find some time while in Dubai to unwind a bit; and we’d planned massages at the ShuiQi Spa at Atlantis, The Palm — three separate times.
Our first plan was to arrive in Dubai Friday night and start our Saturday morning with a spa visit; an airline change meant adjusting our arrival in the city until Saturday and pushing our spa visit back by one day, rescheduling for the next evening. Or so we thought. We arrived after our first full day of meetings and a long travel itinerary more than ready to decompress only to find out, due to a miscommunication, our rescheduled appointment had been made for the evening of the day before. It was a comedy of errors. Luckily, the staff swooped in to assist in rescheduling — again. Three hours later, we returned to finally indulge in our massages.
Atlantis, The Palm is an expansive property, meaning we easily found ways to entertain ourselves until our 8 p.m. appointment time. There are more than 15 dining options, marine and water parks, activities exclusive for children and nightlife options. Additionally, the resort boasts a variety of meeting and event spaces. My favorite feature of my guestroom was the ample patio with skyline views of Dubai. The accommodations were comfortable and spacious; my room included two beds, a desk, a TV stand and still plenty of space to spread out. A nice feature of the equally generous bathroom was two well-lit vanity spaces, perfect for families or couples staying in one guestroom.
ShuiQi Spa at Atlantis, The Palm is truly a stunning place to unwind. Set over two floors, beautiful tile work, high ceilings and water features create a serene environment. The spa’s philosophy invites spa-goers to experience the harmony between water and energy. In addition to the wet area, ShuiQi Spa boasts 27 treatment rooms and separate male and female relaxation areas and changing rooms, as well as a fitness center. Through a partnership with Shiseido, the spa carefully crafted unique treatments. Other well-known beauty brands and products found throughout include ESPA, Aromatherapy Associates, Bastien Gonzalez and Gentlemen’s Tonic.
Fittingly, we were both scheduled for the Aromatherapy Associates Jet Lag Recovery massage. Other treatments at the spa feature facials for anti-aging, brightening and hydration/ nourishment; other massage options for intense muscle work and relaxation; body treatments; express options; pedicures and manicures by Bastien Gonzalez; a Men’s Collection; a Medi-Spa menu; and a full salon. Signature treatments, ranging from four hours to 75 minutes, include Shiseido Japanese Ritual; Shiseido Face & Body Experience; Dubai Glamour Ritual; ESPA Back, Face, Scalp Treatment with Hot Stones; Bastien’s Duo Nail Treatment; and Morning Wellness. Something I hadn’t seen before was the Spa Tasters menu — 45-minute experiences that allow spa-goers to sample one of the three premium brand partners and a variety of their treatments. The Shiseido Taster, for example, includes a Future Solution LX Facial and a rejuvenating hand exfoliation and massage. An Aromatherapy Associates and ESPA taster are also available.
Our 60-minute massage, designed to combat jet lag fatigue, was just what the doctor ordered. Once we changed into our comfortable robes, we bid adieu, headed to our separate treatment rooms and finally relaxed into the spa treatments we’d been so desperately craving. The bliss began with a back massage before moving onto a lower leg treatment using Revive Body Gel. The gel contains grapefruit, rosemary and juniper essential oils to invigorate, even out skin texture and maintain healthy micro-circulation. It also helps combat water retention and cellulite in areas of concern, including legs and stomach. A scalp massage — my favorite — capped off the treatment.
My therapist, Sherylle, left me with notes on recommended products for home care and a warming cup of tea as I waited for Banu to finish her treatment. When we met back in the relaxation room, I think the looks on both of our faces indicated the same sentiment — it was well worth the wait, all the back and forth and confusion. As we were among the last appointments of the day, we didn’t linger too long.
It’s a funny thing how timing always seems to work out in just the way it was supposed to — the massages proved the perfect lullaby to our day and a true antidote to any lingering effects of jet lag. I returned to my hotel room, climbed into bed and enjoyed an amazing night of sleep. If only all long days could end in a similar fashion.
SHUIQI SPA AT ATLANTIS, THE PALM
Crescent Road, The Palm
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
tel 971 4 426 1020
Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
It’s not even 9a.m. in the sleepy fishing village of Rawai on Thailand’s famous Phuket Island, but already the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea swarm with local fishermen casting their lines and releasing their nets from the bows of rustic long-tail boats. The scents of lemongrass, incense and sweet pandan leaves season the air as the villagers slowly rise from their beachside bungalows to start their day. In just a few more hours, the fishermen will return with their catches, filling the stalls of the iconic Rawai Seafood Market with buckets of shellfish and displays of fresh filets. Visitors line up each afternoon for the catch of the day, selecting their fish with care before hauling their purchases across the well-worn road to the restaurants opposite the market to have the fish cooked for 100 Thai baht per kilo.
MMGY Travel Intelligence released findings from its 2021 fall edition of its Portrait of American Travelers survey. It revealed the vast majority of vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are planning trips in the months ahead, but the types of trips are different.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
Airbnb.org is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in moments of crisis, sheltering those displaced by natural disasters, offering frontline workers a place to stay at the height of the pandemic and, now, helping Afghan refugees.
Italian hospitality brand AG Group announced an international collaboration with Hyatt Hotels. AG Group’s IL Tornabuoni, slated to open in Florence in October 2021, will be part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The Tribune in Rome will become part of JdV by Hyatt in October 2021.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Hotel diversity isn’t where it could be, but it’s a work in progress. Fueled with new energy that emerged from the racial reckoning of 2020, there’s more of a sense of urgency ... and with good reason. There’s plenty to do when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion in the hotel industry.