Arabia’s hot new hideaways

MANYA SEHGAL takes a sneak peek at the hottest spas to look out for this year

Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort, Al Areen, Bahrain
This jewelled desert oasis, scheduled to open this year, will mark the island-state of Bahrain as one of the leaders in the Middle East spa race.

To be the only all-villa private pool resort in the Arabian Gulf, this Banyan Tree Spa is beautifully located around Bahrain’s well-preserved forts, museums and the oldest mosque in the Gulf. Banyan Tree’s spacious villas are poised to blend perfectly into their natural desert environment, offering a retreat that personifies indulgent spa pampering at its best.
Drawing on time-honoured Asian traditions that combine a holistic approach to physical and spiritual well-being, the spa facilities to look out for Areen include a state of the art hydrotherapy area, rain mist showers, a Hammam and deluxe and royal spa pavilions (each with a relaxation area, sunken bath tub, indoor shower, Rain Mist treatment, steam, a treatment room and a private garden with a fountain). Bliss!

Six Senses at Sharq Village & Spa, Doha
This Ritz-Carlton property will feature a Six Senses spa-village that will be a celebration of traditional ambience and modern-day spa treatments, promising a unique design concept that has never been seen before in the Middle East. Giving the impression of a true Bedouin village that has grown organically over time, the Sharq Village & Spa will reflect a Qatari souq, complete with winding village streets and 23 spa treatment rooms resembling typical village houses. The 70,000 square feet spa will be surrounded by 174 guestrooms and suites that also offer fantastic beachfront access.
Evason Hideaway, Zighy Bay, Oman
Scheduled to open mid-2007, Evason Hideaway at Zighy Bay, Oman is exactly what the name conjures up — a hideaway in a secluded fishing village on the Sultanate's northern Mussandam Peninsula.
Designed with 82 pool villas and pool villa suites and a private marina, the setting is quite dramatic, with mountains on one side and a 1.6 km sandy beach at Zighy Bay, on the other. The spa will offer holistic therapies.
Evason Hideaway will also offer a great choice of dining alternatives – from a hilltop restaurant serving international cuisine to a central coffee shop that will also features regional specialties.
And more…
Set to make their way into the UAE over the next few years are:
• Anantara Spa Jumeirah Lake, opening in 2007. It will draw from a fusion of this city multi-cultural lifestyle, creating treatments and design elements that incorporate the rich Arabic traditions of Dubai with hints of Asian mystique and Western innovation.
• Banyan Tree Holdings is spreading its wings across the Middle East, with three new spas set in the UAE set for Ras Al Khaimah (2007), Al Gurm (2008) and the Banyan Tree Esplanade in Dubai (2009). Its sister brand, Angsana Resorts are also adding to their portfolio in the region, with the Dubai Angsana Residences (2008), and the Angsana Resort & Spa in Abu Dhabi (2009).
• Two new spas are set to open in Fujairah, including one at the Nikko Hotels and another at the Fujairah Rotana Al Aqah.
• Finally, the spectacular Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi will soon boast two spas fit for kings and queens that will be located in the east and west wings, with a luxury line of treatments to pamper your clients to perfection.