An exclusive male lounge Grooming experience - Urban Male Lounge, The Galleria, Abu Dhabi

In recent hotel spa reviews, I have commented on the fact that more and more men are turning to spas as  a form of relaxation now that they are becoming comfortable with the idea of pampering themselves. However, even though hotel spas are growing in number, there are not many options for men who want a full grooming experience. Massage therapies are no longer enough. Moreover, hotel spas are still the domain of women. Thankfully this is all changing. Thanks to Urban Male Lounge, men now have a dedicated treatment facility in The Galleria on the upmarket Maryah Island, right next to Rosewood Hotel. I arrived for a treatment that included a manicure, pedicure haircut and 30-minute back massage. 

I think part of the enjoyment and relaxation is the venue. Do not expect a five-star facility that you may have encountered in a hotel. On the contrary, the space is intimate, the lighting normal, but ironically these are strengths. Urban Male Lounge, with its mall location, is not intimidating at all. You feel these are people you can talk to you and this facilitates relaxation. While I wait for my therapist, I am offered a cup of coffee by the manager who then goes to make it himself. This simple act is so symbolic of the venue. . 

The Rooms

There are basically two types of treatment rooms - a compact room used for manicures, pedicures and then a bigger room used for massage treatments. The room I use is equipped with a TV screen and headphones. 

My therapist starts off with the manicure. First, she soaks my cuticles which already sets a relaxed tone. Her conversational manner also ensures that I can just relax, but I also appreciate that she knows when to chat and when to let me be - an important balance. 

She follows this up with a pedicure. First, she gives me a Dead Sea salt scrub which removes all the dead skin. As she proceeds, I nod off. I wake up to find my nails all trimmed and looking good. How she manages this is something because I am naturally ticklish! Her skill I guess.

The most surreal experience follows next when she uses paraffin wax to moisturise my hands and feet. My hands and feet are put in plastic bags containing melted paraffin wax. As it cools down, it forms  a type of gel around my hands and feet. Then, she puts my hands and feet in glove and sock-like bags which are heated, ensuring the wax remains a bit soggy, therefore moisturising the skin. Highly recommended!

To end off my afternoon, I have a trim in the hair salon, a 20 step walk from my treatment room. Branded hair products like Keratin and Redken line the wall, able to match any comparable salon in the city. Before I know it, two hours have passed, and with a dinner appointment in the offing, I thank the staff who have shown me the value of good old-fashioned people skills.

Urban Male Lounge fills a void in the market as there is a dearth of male salons catering for men with the level of service and products that are offered here. All in all, my treatment cost just under 400AED,a  bargain in the Abu Dhabi context. 

Urban Male Lounge has come up with clever packages which will appeal to those who enjoy a  visit to these type of centres fairly regularly. Very good value indeed! Men may have found a new place to hang out before hitting the clubs and restaurants. 

The Essentials

Urban Male Lounge
The Galleria,
Maryah Island
Abu Dhabi
Tel: 800 UML (865)


Brandon Stoltenkamp
Disclaimer: I was invited by Urban Male Lounge to try out the facility.