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Autumn Mooney is a photographer/photo editor & travel writer based in Sydney, Australia. Having worked in glossy magazines in Sydney, London, Dubai and Singapore, the charm of wanderlust continues with reviewsinternational.com
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Dining at the Seven Sands Restaurant in The World Trade Club within Dubai's World Trade Centre is almost like dining in the sky. Raised 33 Floors above ground with glass window walls gives the best surround aerial view of the city and makes for a perfect wind down from a busy day. Take a glass of vino, enjoy a hearty steak and watch the sun set over the flat city into distant sand dunes.
Seven Sands cuisine is deliciously filling and rich in flavour. Meals arrive with large entree servings and balanced with small main courses, which is all you'll need to drown taste buds in each exquisite dish and feel satisfied at this fine establishment.
Recommended is the Pan seared Sea Bass on spinach, almond and broccoli risotto, topped with grapes and cherry tomato confit. I personally recommend the mouth watering Pappardelle al tartufo ravioli with mild pumpkin and parmesan veloute. And for dessert, any chocolate addicts will melt at the taste of Noir Grande Cru with 65% chocolate pudding; Grande Marnier infused liquid centre and tamarillo sorbet. Tastes as good as it sounds. The menu specialises in American steak grills, and if my non red meat choice for the evening is anything to go by, the steaks here would be delectable.
The eatery has only recently opened doors to the public; in 2008 dining was exclusive to World Trade Club Members, no exceptions. Intrigue in anything previously forbidden got my feet to the door, and I can report that satisfyingly, there still maintains a secret men's club feel to the place, so being a female, I feel like I'm in on some big man-secret when seated by the waiting bar. With masculine brown hues to the interior design, you can't help but want to sip a scotch and smoke a cigar in the separate bar lounge while waiting for guests to arrive, and glance up at the hanging moose head - no, that doesn't exist, but it really wouldn't feel out of place!
I'd suggest this dinner venue is great for anyone who might be intimidated by some of the younger, too-trendy eateries and fancy a delicious meal with surround city views and mature ambience. There's definitely an older crowd full of people winding down after a hard days work. Valet parking is available.
Nivea Haus day spa conveniently located in the UAE'S Dubai Mall, downtown Burj Dubai, is surprisingly elegant for what you'd expect from a brand synonymous with everyone's bathroom cabinet.
The age-old brand called Nivea usually brings to mind supermarket thoughts of reliable deodorant and good old tubs of moisturiser, not surprising when the trademark has been around since 1811 supplying just that. Now Nivea has opened three shiny new clinics, two in Germany, and one in Dubai - where I discovered what else they have to offer.
When Nivea products are all displayed together you realise it's actually quite a large range. The Haus combines a Hollywood style makeup counter, hair salon, relaxation centre and several analysis rooms. All these departments work exclusively with Nivea products - of course! To be honest, the Spa looks more like a modern glitzy space clinic than a supermarket aisle.
I visited to try the Nivea facial and makeover from resident experts, which ended a nice day of window-shopping in the surrounding mall. After a microscopic skin and hair analysis, products were recommended and chosen based on my individual skin type and I was treated to a facial which included everything a five star facial would; deep cleanse, exfoliation, extraction and then my favourite - the facial massage. Next was a makeover. A trained artist selected the best colours and powders for my face from a rainbow of colour options. Perhaps I wouldn't personally choose green eye shadow with my blue eyes, but it's nice to try another opinion every now and then.
In the Nivea Haus day spa it is too easy to forget you are being pampered with affordable products that are available down the road (anywhere.) Elegance all the way, I like it!
A facial at Dubai's Park Hyatt Spa in the UAE is what bliss truly means; relaxing, cleansing, soothing and rejuvenating.
The session is 90 minutes, or all day long if you'd like to arrive early and spend a full day relaxing spa style, which any treatment at The Park Hyatt Spa will let you do. This means you can lounge poolside in the sun or read a book under palm-tree shade, order a healthy salad for lunch and enjoy unlimited salt scrubs in the hot steam room. This experience can be such a tranquil day in beautiful surroundings that you might easily forget the treatment you came for! Never fear because the Spa will remember when it's time and they'll show you to your very own secluded oasis haven. This room is yours to relax in, complete with scented candles, massage table, an outdoor garden area to chill or take an outdoor shower, all for the next 90 minutes.
After selecting your choice of mood enhancing sounds, enjoy a warm flower foot soak while seated in the comfy outdoor lounge. A friendly skin specialist will closely examine your skin, give you advice for general care and then expertly begin the facial on the massage table. She will cleanse, exfoliate and do wonderful things to your face while you continue to unwind. Then out comes the electricity machine to blast your face with shock waves, and believe me it sounds worse than it really feels, promise!
Towards the end, you will be taken to heaven with a stimulating head massage. 90 minutes is a long time, but here you will want this luxury to never end, ever.
Results were seen immediately on my bad skin with the electricity waves, I would definitely recommend this treatment. And when you can take advantage of a full day at this most luxurious Spa, a facial here becomes one of the best in town for getting your money's worth.
Soft Touch Spa at The Kempinski Hotel has the best location for convenience; it's connected to Dubai's enormous Mall of the Emirates. This means after a day of exhausting wanderings through the millions of retail stores at the Mall, or snow fun and skiing slopes at Ski Dubai, you can easily unwind and relax with a rejuvenating facial or massage before even leaving the venue.
Walking into the hotel foyer of Kempinski Hotel foyer, almost directly opposite Ski Dubai, sit Dubai's elite guests who are in transit. You will take the lift up to Soft Touch Spa's secluded oasis. There is nothing to do but simply sit down and begin the unwinding process in the ‘peace room,' a haven complete with cozy beds and soothing music. Then you are escorted into a treatment room where scented candles set a tranquil mood.
I tried the blissful Ligne St Bath's facial. After an intense yet blissful cleansing, toning and moisturizing ritual using products from the luxurious St Barth's rage (made in the Caribbean and using 100% natural ingredients) I lay back to enjoy a heavenly hand massage to complete. Totally tropical pampering at it's very best!
There was a skip in my step as I left this spa feeling fabulous, blemish free and with skin that really did glow with health all week!