Balinese on the waterfront

Balinese on the waterfront

Lap up spectacular views of Dubai Marina as you get pampered at Candles & Pebbles at La Verda. Sushmita Bose does just that and re-emerges rejuvenated

"My name is Suchitra, and I am going to give you a Balinese massage." It was a declaration of intent by my Thai masseuse, and for a tiny moment, I felt slightly scared. My body would be stretched and teased - only a little bit, I was assured - and I was dreading that Suchitra would judge me for how out of shape I am.
I needn't have worried. My body was a fast responder and there were no embarrassing gaffes. The massage itself was amazing: reassuring and relaxing - yet firm and functional.
This was my first visit to La Verda, Suites & Villas, Dubai Marina, and I was pleasantly surprised by the relaxed, almost un-hotel-like aura the property exuded. It felt cosy and homely. Candles & Pebbles, the spa, boasts a natural extension of that unhurried ambience; even though it doesn't have wet facilities (like jacuzzi and sauna) and has only a limited number of treatment rooms, the pampering and the services were full-on. A larger spa is in the works, I was told, but given a choice, I'd probably come back to this one for its sense of purpose. I absolutely need to put in a word about the en suite washroom that doubled up as changing room; it is HUGE and fully loaded - the kind of place I'd like to spend an undisturbed entire day boxed in.

Therapy time
The 60-minute session starts with changing into spa gear followed by a temperature-controlled foot soak, and then lying belly down for the treatment. Suchitra, exquisitely capable (something about her makes you believe you can just leave everything to her!) checks out the pressure points on my back and decides I need to be unknotted and de-stressed. Balinese it is. Long strokes to ease my tension, and firm mouldings to align my system. For the first time in my spa trek, I get stretched and tweaked. Felt nice. I was also relieved my body seemed limber enough for the exercise!

What we loved...
The Thai masseuse, Suchitra. She really knows her stuff! For a small spa, the overall service factor is excellent - and customised. The views were great; I was lying face down most of the time, but it was nice to know there's a waterfront waiting should I choose to - even momentarily - look up.  

What we didn't...
For those who like spending quality time in the steam room or jacuzzi, you won't get that here - yet. If you're a spa snob, you may just think the treatment room looks more like a hotel room instead of a 'therapy' space. There's no locker, for instance; you dump your stuff in the closet.

Balinese Massage
Candles & Pebbles Wellness Hub, La Verda, Suites & Villas, Dubai Marina
Reservations: Call 04-2784463
Cost: Dh425 for 60 minutes/Dh550 for 90 minutes
Our rating: 4/5

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