The smell of orange and frankincense infuses the air as hot herbal tea simmers quietly in a thick clay pot, offering a warm and tranquil aura. White light flickers through ornate panes of decorative brass lanterns across the floor, reflecting curved flower-like shapes on draped walls. Walking into Saray spa, Marriott International's newest spa concept that features traditional Middle Eastern treatments and products, one transcends everyday chaos and enters into a moment of calm and deep rooted culture.
Officially launched today at the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, Saray Spa encompasses the rich customs that stem back to the caravan serai of the Silk Road, which were roadside inns where weary travelers once rested and relaxed during their journeys. Embracing Arabic design elements and offering time-tested remedies, the spa consists of treatments and services that, combined, provide guests with an authentic and holistic experience.
"We are very excited to introduce Saray to Marriott's growing spa portfolio," said Sharilyn Abbajay, Vice President of Spa for Marriott International. "Our hotels worldwide now have an option of incorporating a spa that is culturally relevant and unique into their guests' visit. The heart of Saray features the traditional Hammam, which for centuries have been used in the region as gathering places to cleanse and nurture."
All products and ingredients used at Saray are true to their Middle Eastern roots, consisting of components that can only be found in the region. The Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth and the saltiest body of water in the world, is a major feature in Saray treatments. The rich minerals and mud from the Dead Sea have been harvested throughout centuries. Saray Spa combines this natural marvel with additional essences that contain beneficial properties such as honey, pomegranate or yoghurt to stimulate, beautify and revitalize.
Treatments at Saray are crafted not only to provide relaxation to the body, but also to present a relief to the mind, incorporating sensual and aromatic elements such as olive oil, sandalwood and mint. Paying homage to the best of Arabic healing rituals, Saray offers a unique variety of services including traditional Hammam bathing rituals, Silk Road massage and Arabic coffee awakener.
"In today's fast paced and interconnected society that constantly overloads us with information and activities, you sometimes need to unplug and take a minute to reconnect with yourself," said Abbajay. "Saray brings back wonderful ancient remedies to help regain that calm."
Saray spa is currently open and operating in Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites and will be coming soon to JW Marriott Hotel Tripoli in Libya, Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel in Qatar and JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. Marriott International currently manages 170 spas globally and will increase its spa portfolio by 90 locations by 2013, of which 14 will be added in the Middle East and Africa region.