ESPA experience - Viceroy Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

Yas Viceroy is already an iconic structure in Abu Dhabi. Drive past at night and marvel at the LED lights that create a feeling of surreality. Arrive in the day time and you still feel you are entering a  very different, elegant and modern space. As I walk through the corridors where I am ensconced by white walls and light, a lot of light, I feel I am in a  hotel like no other in the city. Then it all changes. Silence. I approach ESPA, the UK based spa that has established itself as one of the world's leading Spa brands with a presence in more than 50 countries. 

I am greeted by the Director of ESPA at the Viceroy. Warm and welcoming. I am offered a moist towel and cup of green tea while I fill in my details on a form provided. I can see the value of arriving early for my appointment - feeling relaxed, it sets the tone for my Facial Treatment. 

I am then shown to the Men's change rooms, while I pass a very relaxed resting area. Dark browns set the tone, creating that feeling of tranquility. After changing into  a bathrobe and slippers, I sit in the lounge, where I can see racing cars through the heavy sound proof glass - clever. The last thing one wants at a spa is the noise from a race track. Well thought out. 

My therapist arrives soon after and introduces herself. She guides me to my treatment room and talks me through what will happen in the next hour. The room again conveys a sense of calm and tranquility, with the signature brown ESPA dominating the room.  I immediately notice how knowledgeable she is. There is an effortless manner about how she engages. After checking that the lighting is ok, she starts. 

Cleansing my face first, she explains every step in detail. To make sure what kind of facial will work best for me, she does a UV skin analysis and detects some dryness in key areas - again, her gentle demeanour combined with knowledge makes me so relaxed. She explains that I will have a Rehydrator Facial in which she will focus on nourishing and regenerating my dehydrated skin. Having given me a choice of fragrant oils that she will use, she proceeds. The gentle music in the background has me moving in and out of a peaceful sleep. The rhythmic movement of her fingers on my skin soothes my mind, aiding my relaxation. After she exfoliates my skin, I drift off and awake just as she is applying final moisturiser that will be absorbed by my skin in the next few hours. 

As my treatment ends, I am guided back to the relaxation lounge and poured a cup of camomile tea. While I had just a facial, my entire body feels supple and relaxed. Of course there is a halo effect, but my therapist, excellent throughout, has left my face feeling rehydrated and my mind full of positive energy. 

I take my leave and greet the Spa Director, walking with a spring in my step. Such is the effect of a visit to the Spa, and in this case,  ESPA has been the medium to transport me to that happy place.