REVIEW: Spa and afternoon tea at The Palace Downtown
It takes a lot to impress anyone who has lived in Dubai for a few years. The city is packed with five-star food, five-star hotels and five-star service. But The Palace Downtown is one of those places that still manages to feel special – its palatial interiors and views of Burj Lake are striking for starters.
We went to try out the hotel’s spa day package, which includes a 50-minute signature massage, afternoon tea at Al Bayt and access to the spa’s facilities for AED700 per person – quite a bargain given that it really is a full day of pampering.
The spa is kitted out in a modern Arabic-style, with arches, lanterns and a colour palette of creams and browns. Make sure you get there with plenty of time to spare before your treatment, as the Jacuzzis, monsoon showers and steam rooms are ideal for some R&R.
The signature massage is all about wellbeing that’s tailored to your specific concerns. We started by choosing an aromatic oil (lavender every time), and then laying down for a head-to -oe massage. Our therapist applied medium/hard pressure to relieve areas with muscle tension, and lighter pressure in other areas to make for a relaxing but beneficial treatment.
We finished the spa experience in the relaxation room with a cup of herbal tea, and were seriously impressed with the electric day beds that can be adjusted so that you’re sitting or lying in the perfect position (seriously, where can we buy one of those things?).
The Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is served in Al Bayt, in the lobby area of the hotel. With large gold curtains and plush burgundy chairs, it has a high-end Middle Eastern feel. The outdoor terrace overlooks the pool and has an uninterrupted view of the Burj Khalifa, making it an impressive setting to take visitors.
The tea is served buffet-style, so you can help yourself to a large selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes. There is a small selection of hot bites, as well as cold options like prawn cocktail. We got stuck into a huge helping of strawberries and whipped cream – simple, but one of the undisputed best desserts around.
The tea menu is extensive, with plenty of special fruity blends as well as breakfast tea. It comes served in a large glass ‘teapot’ along with a large gold-leaf glass – the set up wouldn’t look out of place in the Water Gardens of Dorne in Game of Thrones.
Considering the price tag that comes with most five-star afternoon teas in Dubai, this is brilliant value considering that it’s a full day out, including a spa treatment. If you’re looking for a special treat for a friend, this place ticks every box.
When: 9am – 10pm
Where: The Palace Downtown
Price: AED700 per person including a 50-minute signature massage, access to the spa facilities and lunch at Ewaan or afternoon tea at Al Bayt.
Contact: +971 4 428 7805, firstname.lastname@example.org