Sea therapy

The spa’s infinity pool with views out<BR>over the sea

The first Thalassa spa in the Gulf makes its debut at the new Sofitel property in Bahrain

Sea water is well-known as a source of life and well-being. Now, in a first for the GCC region, the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa is harnessing this resource in a regionally unique offering of pampering and rejuvenating treatments.

Soft launched in October and with its official opening expected in January, the spa is located within the French brand’s beachside property.

Ranging over 2,000 sq m on two floors, the complex features 14 treatment rooms, with separate areas for women and men, using seawater and sea products in massage and wellness programmes.

The spa uses the new Thalassa sea and spa cosmetics brand Aquascience which features a unique combination of the properties of spring sea water, from the depths of the ocean, with algae and trace elements to moisturise the skin improving vitality and firmness.

Treatments include oxygen bubbles beginning with a gentle scrub with pearls of spring sea water, a marine serum followed by a a wrap, again using spring sea water.

The revitalising wrap with laminaria algae involves the application of a warm algae cream to the body to help replace lost minerals and relax the muscles, or there is a moisturising wrap using shea butter, algae and beeswax.

The thalassa multi-jet bath offers a full-body hydro massage performed in a bath of scented sea water accompanied by a relaxing head massage, or there’s the underwater shower – in a bath of heated sea water, the underwater massage sees jets directed at specific pressure points by a hydro therapist.

Elegant bathrooms add to the pampering experience

The spa also offers a range of facial and other beauty treatments for men and women from sea salt scrubs to sport, Swedish and Table Thai massage and even a hydraulic massage table into which the user sinks!

And perhaps the beauty holy grail, the facility also houses Bahrain’s only Watermass machine which uses high-pressure seawater jet massage to help remove the dreaded cellulite.

As well as the private treatment areas the spa includes a seawater hydrotherapy pool, a freshwater pool, saunas, steam rooms, a yoga and pilates studio, fitness evaluation area, a men’s hairdresser and a beauty salon for women all encopassed in a relaxing space where decor, colour, scent and sound offer the ultimate in sensory relaxation experience.

Programmes include week-long stays – six days of therapy which is said to be the ideal length of time to really feel the lasting benefits of thalassotherapy for about four to six months after a visit.

The choice of therapy weeks ranges from fitness, harmony and slimness to health, mother and baby and detox and coaching tonic weeks.

There are also short stays, for those seeking a one-, two- or three-day getaway, therapy à la carte at the property’s institute and beauty space and beauty stopovers offering a range of facial and body treatments using the Aquascience and Skinceuticals brands.

And the facility is staffed by a small army of fully-trained professionals waiting to bring the thalassotherapy dream to life.

The spa is the final addition to the Sofitel property, which opened in September, offering 262 lavish rooms and suites, including 21 Prestige Suites, six Opera Suites, each with its own theme, and one Royal Suite with breathtaking sea view, a private terrace, its own infinity pool and Jacuzzi and access to Club Millesime for lounge, breakfast and butler service.

The hotel offers nine food and beverage outlets, so you can start your day with freshly home- baked bread for breakfast at Saraya, the all day dining restaurant, indulge in tropical cocktails from Lagoon pool bar at midday, then further into dusk, dive into amazing signature dishes served at La Mer seafood restaurant.

Bedroom design combines contemporary with traditional Arabic

To end the day there is dynamic entertainment at Pashawat, the local specialty restaurant that takes you on a flying carpet of a thousand and one nights right out of a folk story with the live art of belly dancing.

The hotel’s meeting rooms and banqueting facilities can accommodate up to 1,000 guests with a vast ballroom which alone covers 1,100 sq m and can seat up to 840.

The $150-million Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa is set on the island’s coastline and built on a curve to follow the natural line of the beach.

From the exterior the building resembles a traditional Arabic fortress and inside the welcome is both Middle Eastern, with hanging lamps and traditional majlis gathering areas, but with a twist of French in the ‘bonjour’ you will receive from every member of staff.

The outdoor space offers a breath of fresh air in its beach access, the almost Mediterranean Tapas restaurant and bar, which is on a promontory surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf, and a well-equipped children’s play area beside the pool.

And now, with the addition of the spa, Sofitel Bahrain promises to be the height of island luxury.