Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Day at THE SPA

Photo Courtesy of The Spa by Clarins, Jeddah
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.
Photo Courtesy of The Spa by Clarins, Jeddah
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 drill sergeant instructor, was very attentive and careful to ensure that everyone performed the exercises correctly. When the class was over, I was exhausted, but in a good way!

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 worn out relaxed from the workout, and enjoying the lovely view – for the first time since I arrived here, I felt like I was not in Saudi Arabia anymore.
Photo Courtesy of The Spa by Clarins, Jeddah
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.
Photo Courtesy of The Spa by Clarins, Jeddah
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!

21 comments:

  1. How gorgeous! Sounds like a wonderful experience. I definitely do not pamper myself enough...I should try it more often.

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  2. Oh Wow!! I would want to move in there, I think!! Lucky you! :)

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  3. I know that place, it is a palace, and that chandelier... I heard it costs 12 million US dollars. here is a pic I took of it. http://qusaytoday.com/365/?p=30

    Too lavish for my taste.

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  4. And I thought Elizabeth Arden in New York was spiffy. Can't hold a candle to this. I would love to lie in that pool and look up at the blue mosaic ceiling. Lucky you!

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  5. So glamorous and decorated in such good taste. Who would not love to visit! A great departure from the norm and a terrific opportunity for you. I'm sure it was a pure pleasure.

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  6. Glad you got the chance for a wonderful relaxing and escapist experience. I could easily spend time in that pool!

    Qusay--great pic!

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  7. Wow, what a treat! You deserve it Susie =)

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  8. I'm so happy for you!
    What a great day you had...As Shahirah writes: You deserved it!

    BLOGitse

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  9. Beautiful place, mashaAllah.
    I don't understand when people say "you deserve it"
    I mean, fine,I'm happy the Susie got to enjoy the spa, but deserve? did she do anything deserving? she doesn't work, neither her husband,what about volunteering?So like I said, I'm glad you had a great day,but deserving?

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  10. Wow! I am simply amazed that women have access to such a spa in Saudi Arabia.

    My husband David goes to 24 Hr Fitness, which is a gym for both sexes. There is a pool, a hot tub, a sauna, and a steam room, as well as exercise machines -- all used by both men and women (together). Nothing out of the ordinary here in Hawaii, where you can see women in bikinis on the beach!

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  11. That sounded wonderful.
    Love - Vivian

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  12. To Anonymous @1:25AM - You have no idea about all the thousands of hours I have put in volunteering in my life - or how much I have been taken advantage of because of it. So please don't pretend that you know everything about me because it's obvious you don't, otherwise you wouldn't have written such an inappropriate remark.

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  13. wow girl you are so lucky and yes you ARE deserving of the opportunity!
    Annon.maybe Susie doesnt work in a shop or an office of a school but her time here is busy educating people like you, on the life in saudi, which i feel is a very worthwhile cause, since its a closed society, her reports, stories and tales, help people make some crucial choices about coming over here to live, so don't dare to say she doesnt work, or her husband. oh by the way susie how is the new store going along , has your husband (who doesnt work, cos obviously owning your own store is not considered work either) opened it yet Love to you all x and keep the stories coming x

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  14. wow so beautiful thanks for the photos you posted by showing it it seems i already been there after all its for the ladies ONLY lol

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  15. wow so beautiful thanks for the photos you posted by showing it it seems i already been there after all its for the ladies ONLY lol

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  16. Sign me up for a day at the spa, Susie.

    I could use a manicure while I'm at it so be sure to mention that.

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  17. On behalf of the whole team at THE SPA by Clarins, Ms Susie, thank you so much for featuring us on your blog! We are really committed in giving all the ladies in Jeddah an unforgettable spa experience. All the best!

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  18. Gosh!! This looks soooooo NICE!
    Wish I was there.

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  19. Incredible beauty, comfort, luxury. Exactly the way is should be at a spa! But wow.

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  20. The photos are amazing Susie! I shudder to think how gorgeous they look in reality! You are really blessed to get the chance to experience such splendor. Glad you had a good time. :)

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  21. Wow, what opulence! I would love to spend a day there being pampered.

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