As I lay in my warm sand bath under the Omani sun, I had to wonder is this the most bizarre treatment I have ever had? What I know was that it is also one of the most relaxing I have ever had.
The Spa: Dunes By Al Nahda’s award winning URU Spa is the only one in Oman to have an Egyptian Sand Spa. I was told by the spa staff that this was the perfect treatment to relax and rejuvenate. Sand Baths are part of an ancient healing tradition to warm the body and relive pain and tension.
The Treatment: As I made my way to the open-air spa, hidden behind large doors in an open-plan villa I was welcomed by my therapist Asha who led me to a private changing area.
It was then time to climb into my sunken bath filled with mineral-enriched sand which had been heating up under the hot desert sun in the previous hours. I was covered up to my neck in richly coloured sand and next my therapist applied a cooling face mask.
Despite my first thoughts that this was a little strange, I quickly fell into a deep state of relaxation, the heavy sand acting like an anti-anxiety blanket. I found myself relaxing and only being aware of the warmth of the sand and sun and the noise from the surround dunes in the distance (the occasional roar of a quad bike going over the dunes was surprisingly quite hypnotic).
The odd fly might have buzzed around my head, but I was under the constant watchful eye of my therapist who waved away any winged disruption to my zen-like state.
I lost track of time as I snoozed within my warm cocoon, but I was gently brought back to reality as it was time to emerge and shower off any remaining sand and facemask under the open-air shower.
I was then led to a massage bed to receive a yoghurt-based massage. The cooling affect after my warm sand bath loosen my muscles and soothed my skin (very welcome after spending hours by the pool under the Omani sun).
Following my massage, I jumped back into the shower to rinse off, before one final part of the treatment, a nourishing and relaxing aromatherapy massage.
After that there was only one thing to do and that was to wander towards the pool and lay relaxing while gazing out to the stunning sand dunes.
The Result: The treatment was extremely de-stressing and relaxing (although I hadn’t really done anything but relax since I arrived at the resort) but also soothing to the skin and a great way to loosen muscles after a long-haul flight and days of activity.
What I loved most however, was the element of sand in this treatment. The imposing dunes had been such an important feature during my stay at Dunes by Al Nahda. My days at the resort had been filled with dune bashing in an 4X4 and quad biking and even just marvelling at the stunning vistas of the dunes. With this treatment, it was nice to bring the dramatic dunes into the spa for a little R&R.
Sarah Bryans, 01/10/2019