Two weeks ago, I brought my mom to the newly opened Aurora Spa by Joelle at Mövenpick Hotel Riyadh to treat her to one of their relaxing massages and to be able to observe their services as I watch on, reporter-style. A week prior to that, the spa opened to much fanfare and success with the presence of Ms. Joelle Mardinian herself. We weren’t able to stay long enough for the free reflexology massages during the grand opening so I decided to come back at a later time to fully enjoy and observe the amenities.
We arrived 15 minutes earlier than our set appointment at 10am but the staff were already there to greet us. They asked us to wait for a bit so that they could finish setting up inside. We sat at their lounge and browsed through their temporary menu of services. I saw that that the facial treatments were quite costly but their set of massages were reasonably priced ranging from 250SR to 350SR for a 60-minute session.
My mom was ushered into the changing room by one of the spa staff named Honey. They had lockers, changing rooms, bathrooms and a vanity table. The halls fork into two paths: one leading to the whirlpool, sauna, steam room and ice room; the other to led to the secluded massage rooms. My mom was told that she could use the whirlpool and sauna first before they proceed to giving her a massage. When she first made the appointment, they already told her to bring along a swimsuit and so she did and was able to dip in the pool for a good ten minutes.
They turned on the whirlpool/jacuzzi and my mom went in to relax. I was hoping there’d be some light house music to help set the mood, instead the TV was turned on and showed replay clips of Joelle Mardinian’s shows and clinics in the Middle East. It was on mute though and we were left with the sounds of the bubbling water to cut through the silence throughout the spa.
After the jacuzzi, Honey offered my mom to get in the sauna but given that she’s never been a big fan of it, she politely declined and chose to proceed to get her massage.
There are four massage rooms, named “Ginger”, “Vitality”, “Lime Grass” and “Aroma.” I’m not sure if the rooms are named to smell like their names but perhaps since they had just opened for the day, they haven’t gotten around to induce the scents.
On this end of the spa, most of the decor are in brown and gold with dim lighting. Each massage room is fully equipped with all the necessary items for their services, along with a small speaker for the relaxing background music that I was looking for out in the pool area. My mom got the Relaxing Massage and I didn’t stay in side with her. She would later tell me that the massage was fairly good but she was more used to receiving hard massages. I told her that it was labeled a “Relaxing Massage” so maybe that’s why the masseuse didn’t use any intense pressure. She also commented that she really liked the ambiance of the massage room itself.
Meanwhile, I waited around the pool area as she finished her spa treatment and sat on these chic pool chairs admiring the view.
As my mom was wrapping up, I noticed that several more guests were coming in for their spa day and luckily, I’ve already taken enough photos that I needed. Of course, in an all-ladies spa I’d have to be very sensitive about taking pictures, especially when there are other people around. As my mom was done changing, they offered us some warm tea to indicate that the session has now reached its end.
Overall, I’d say that the approach of Aurora Spa was nothing too exaggerated and instead focused on straight-to-the-point services. The spa facilities were well-designed to depict a minimalist chic yet functional vibe and the massages delivered what it promised to its guests. For the value of the massages (considering that this is an in-house hotel spa) were reasonable for a 60-minute session and the complimentary use of the sauna and jacuzzi is an added value for an extended spa time or me-time for yourself.
Aurora Spa by Joelle still has an ongoing Opening Promo of 15% off on all their services until May 18, 2016. Contact them in their details below to book your next day of pampering!
Aurora Spa by Joelle
Mövenpick Hotel Riyadh
For reservations, call: +966-11-4579999