One of my friends just signed up for a year’s membership at an exclusive women’s spa and health facility here in Jeddah - and Lucky Me! I was invited there as her guest recently. The Spa by Clarins is located along Jeddah’s Corniche, on the top floor of the regally opulent Qasr Al Sharq Hotel, which is part of the Waldorf-Astoria Collection. Just walking through the glass doors on the ground floor of this lavish hotel, you can feel the decadence in the attention to detail: the gold accents and the gleaming polished marble; the sumptuous fabrics, dark rich leather, and luxurious carpets; the winding staircase carpeted in red; and the glittering crystal chandeliers – there’s even one that rises up from the ground floor and seems to never end when looking up. It must be made of more than million individual crystals.
I was told that this hotel was originally built for a prince who was unhappy with the outcome, so it was sold and turned into this indulgent hotel overlooking the Red Sea. Indeed the several separate areas making up the lobby on the ground floor are quite cozy, and feel more like someone’s home rather than a hotel lobby. It’s hard to imagine that this magical place would have evoked someone’s displeasure.
UPDATE: And now I've heard from someone close to the designer of the building that it was built for a prince and his wives, but by the time it was completed, the place was actually too small for his quickly multiplying family. So the prince donated it to the government as a VIP facility instead.
Security is tight for The Spa to ensure every woman’s safety and privacy. The Spa is beautifully decorated in a peaceful Asian theme. Each guest is assigned a locker which contains a plush white robe and slippers to use while there. The crown jewel of The Spa is the Aquamedic pool. It is equipped with jets designed to massage you while in the pool. Above the pool is an enormous skylight surrounded by a gorgeous iridescent tile mosaic in several shades of blue which evokes calming waters.
We arrived just in time to participate in the water aerobics class which began with a 15 minute warm-up of stretching and balancing on the deck of the pool. It felt great to finally enter the pool. There were only four of us taking the class so it was a very nice atmosphere and a more intimate experience, which I really liked. Yanni, the
We sat down at a table off to the side of the swimming pool where we were served a healthy lunch that we had ordered before the class. The floor to ceiling windows next to our table offered an amazing panoramic view of the Red Sea and the Corniche below. Sitting there with our wet hair and in our bathing suits covered by the white robes, feeling
After we finished eating, we took a little tour of the facilities. It is a full service spa, offering the ultimate in pampering and relaxation. There is a Steam Room, a Whirlpool, a Sauna, Showers, and of course The Gym, which looks out onto the pool area. Other services include footbaths, therapeutic massages, facials, exfoliation, body wraps, pedicures and manicures. All products used are by Clarins, and the products are also available for retail as well.
There are several Spa Membership Packages available, ranging from one month to three, six or twelve months, as well as Spa Day Packages. In addition to the use of the facilities, packages can include credits and discounts on Spa treatments and Food and Beverages, guest vouchers, and overnight stays on the premises in the Qasr Al Sharq Hotel. Gift certificates are also available. The Spa is open every day of the week from 10AM until 11PM. For reservations or more information, just call The SPA by Clarins in Jeddah at 659-9999, ext. 7960, or visit their websites:
For the QASR AL SHARQ HOTEL, click here.
For THE SPA BY CLARINS, click here.
For The Spa by Clarins - Facebook Group, click here.
Thanks to the helpful Assistant Manager Christina of The Spa for providing the photos of the actual spa area. And thanks to my wonderful friend (you know who you are!) for inviting me to tag along in the first place. I had a fabulous time!