Sunday, November 23, 2008

Spa Aquatonic at Crowne Plaza Hotel Kuwait - GO!


I visited the new spa, Spa Aquatonic, at the Crowne Plaza, Farwaniya, this weekend. Oh..... my......God! It is GORGEOUS. I am fer sure going there. It is amazing. It is definitely the most luxurious place I’ve seen in Kuwait. Who wouldathunk it would be in the CP? Right there – under my nose – the entire time. Well, not the entire time because they have just finished it and the soft opening is still underway until November 27th when they open the pool. (Photo to right from CP's marketing materials.)

The CP is making a big deal of the spa – as they should be. They have changed their automated phone system to say, “Press 1 for the hotel, press 2 for the spa.” The renovations to the entranceway to the hotel is almost completed and when you drive in, you’ll notice the gateway to the spa on the left. Thankfully, the hotel has taken down the concrete blast barriers so it doesn’t look like a federal prison anymore.

Slapperella and I toured spa starting with the ladies locker area (they wouldn’t let us into the men’s area – we tried) and it was enormous – so many lockers and sinks and mirrors (WITH hair dryers!). The walls are covered with carved wood, there is lots of marble, and the hardware is all gold-toned. Puuuuuuuuurty!

I did some recon of the pool area and was able to snap several photos clandestinely while Slaps chatted with the greeter girl (who almost had a coronary when she saw me taking pictures with my mobile; it was a “Mr. Bill” moment). The CP is being secretive about the spa because – as one higher-up manager told me – imitation runs rampant in Kuwait (puhleeze – come up with an original idea!), so they are being cautious that people don’t try to replicate it. Yet.

(Update:  Ladies, be sure to bring a bathing cap.  They only have skanky, previously-worn ones that they will lend you if you don't have one with you.  You can buy one from the gift shop for 17KD.  Without one, they won't let you in the pool.)

Let me just tell you, Elysium (which is now closed for renovation, but was supposedly the most posh spa in Kuwait) NEVER held a candle to this place. I never understood why Elysium got away with their outrageous membership fees. Their space seemed cramped and the services were only so/so as far as I could tell. Not to mention that their “beach” wasn’t very far away from a sewage outlet draining into the Gulf. Special.

I’ve never understood why someone hasn’t come up with a hotel that is really over-the-top luxurious here. “… If you build it…. They will come….” I’ve been to camps in Kuwait that are more opulent than some of the hotels. Pillow menus, people!!! Anyhoo… back to our story….

The Jacuzzi Grows Up: Pimp my Pool!

The 650m2 pool is similar to the Hilton’s concept – only taken to the 10th degree with much more spectacular upscale d├ęcor. It is also multi-leveled. The pool uses hydra-therapy to address different problems (back, neck, shoulders, etc.) in different areas in the pool – Jacuzzi style. The pool is mixed gender, but they are planning for ladies-only hours.

Unlike the Hilton where the treatment rooms are IN the pool area (making it noisy when you really want quiet and uncomfortable as the pool is mixed gender and the treatment room doors open toward the pool), the spa houses their treatment rooms on a separate floor with elevators. Aquatonics lists “Chocolate Therapy” as one of their treatments. What I want to know is: Do they treat you WITH chocolate or is the treatment for your addiction TO chocolate? They also do my favorite hot stone massages, various wraps, lifts, contouring, and facials.

I’ve written about this before, but my family goes to Nemacolin Woodlands Spa at Christmas. Nemacolin’s spa has their own signature scent. As soon as you walk in the doors, you smell the scent; all their products (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, bath gel, massage oil, candles) have the same recognizable scent. All the treatments are done using their signature products. I love the scent and anytime I use their products in Kuwait, it reminds me of their spa. I would like to see someone here do that, but I guess it would be asking a little too much as it falls under the area of branding – which is still a relatively new concept to Kuwait. Well, maybe it isn’t a new concept, but it is one that a lot of business owners don’t see as an important issue.

Anyhoo, if you get the chance to go to the spa, you should – at least to take a tour. Even the front entranceway is worth the trip. Looking is free. Membership prices start at 500 KD/yr for single women to 1200 KD/yr couples. Prices depend on number of treatments you have included in the package. Walk-in day memberships (without treatements) are 50 KD per day. Cha CHING. E-mail: aquatonic@crowneplaza.com.kw.

MEN:  I DON'T KNOW ANY PLACES WHERE WOMEN MASSAGE MEN.  IT IS ILLEGAL IN KUWAIT.  DON'T FRICKIN WRITE TO ME ASKING ME WHERE YOU CAN GO.

3 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Firstly very well written! There are only 2 of these Aquatonic Spas in the world so I can appreciate their secrecy. They are more relaxed with the photo taking now!

Women sessions are now also available. The times are at the reception desk I lost the times Sorry about that!

To ease your curiosity... The men's dressing room is exactly the same as the women dressing room! The layout is just opposite. ANd yes we have hair dryers in there too!

Spend 2 glorious days in that pool and it is an absolute must if you ever in Kuwait worth every KD!

Anonymous said...

Good day Maam / Sir,

May I know if how to get a job here as massage therapist?:))

Thanks;))