Whether you want to #chill, #splash or #spa, these jaw-dropping venues will set your feed on fire.
1. The Chedi Muscat, Oman
When you leave the smog of the city for a luxurious spa break at The Chedi, your stress levels (and your Insta feed) will thank you. With the majestic Al Hajar mountains and the Gulf of Oman as a backdrop – not to mention 21 acres of lush garden oasis – you can leave claustrophobic skyscrapers in your rearview and truly #escapetonature.
Ease your mind and body into relax mode by kicking off your stay with The Chedi Oriental Ritual (RO187) at the 13-suite Balinese Spa.The 150-minute treatment includes an aromatherapy foot polish, facial, Thai-style foot reflexology, Himalayan crystal body polish and an oriental bathing ceremony for the ultimate feel good experience.
You can continue to enjoy the stunning setting after dark in one of six award-winning dining venues where food lovers can feast on everything from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes to specialities from Southeast Asia and India accompanied by breathtaking views of the pool, beach or garden. While the main restaurant boasts stylish design by Japanese interior designer Yasuhiro Koichi, you can’t beat the vista of the 370-metre private beach from the al fresco restaurant as you enjoy delicious seafood coupled with the salty seabreeze.
2. Burj Al Arab, Dubai
When it comes to creating a wow-factor picture, you can’t beat the world’s only seven-star hotel as a backdrop. The two-level Talise Spa at the Burj Al Arab offers a range of treatments created using the world’s most luxurious skincare brands, including La Prairie, Sundari and Thémaé (#beautyhaul, anyone?).
For the ultimate luxe treatment, opt for the opulent 85-minute Arabian Journey (Dhs995). Your skin is polished using aromatic verbena-scented sand before patchouli and Argan oils are massaged onto the skin to renew and revitalise – just in time for some poolside posing at the spa’s indoor infinity pool. Perched 150 metres above sea level, you can take in stunning views of the Arabian Gulf as you swim, sauna or steam.
Outside, the hotel’s two terrace pools are equally as impressive: the fresh water pool spans over 612 square metres, with a shaded swim-up bar for creating the perfect sundowner shot, while the 828-square metre salt water pool appears to flow seamlessly into the ocean. To experience the hotel’s terrace as a day-guest (and boost your travel ‘grammer rankings) rent one of the 32 air-conditioned poolside cabanas (Dhs1,800) where a dedicated butler will cater to your every whim.
All that posing can whip up an appetite, and if you’re #eatingfortheInsta, then the enchanting menu of Californian fusion style dishes at the terrace’s Scape Restaurant & Bar will have your followers drooling, with plates like scallop with tiger milk, apple and red radish.
3. La Ville Hotel & Suites City Walk, Dubai
Boutique hotel La Ville has Insta-worthy surprises at every turn, from the rustic corkscrew centrepieces in the industrial-themed Grapeskin winebar (which are just begging for an #onthetable charcuterie platter shot) to the luxe open spaces of the courtyard and the rooftop infinity pool, but it’s the views from LookUp bar on the roof that will really clog up your phone’s camera roll.
This low-rise property may not be among the tallest building in the city, but the view from the top includes the twinkling lights of the iconic Burj Khalifa, so it’s no wonder it’s become a fave haunt for the hip young after-work crowd from neighbouring DIFC.
A welcome break from the five-star chains that populate the city, this boutique hotel is all about bespoke experience, and that intimacy is reflected in the two treatment rooms or ‘relaxation suites’ at the spa. The luxe treatments and signature massages use two premium skincare brands, Neom and Anne Semonin, and each experience is made-to-measure for individual guests; meaning you control everything from the therapist’s hand pressure to the music and even the room’s scent.
Elsewhere in the hotel, architecture lovers will be in their element amongst the breathable al fresco spaces that are complemented by luxurious urban décor in soft neutrals. For the ultimate in #inspravel (that’s inspirational travel, FYI), check in to the stunning 180-square metre Penthouse Suite which boasts its own private terrace with a magical view of the city skyline.
4. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai
We all know that Instagram loves a superlative almost as much as the UAE does, and there is major social media kudos to be had from staying at the world’s tallest hotel. The two iconic towers rise up to 1,164ft, but there is much more to lure you to the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel than a #skyscraper hashtag.
For starters, the in-house Saray Spa was recently named Best Spa at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2017, so they know a thing or two about wellness. You’ll be in safe hands as soon as you step behind the ornately carved doors and into one of their 17 treatment rooms – including two private hammam rooms featuring a genuine Dead Sea floatation pool.
Ancient Arabic rituals are expertly blended with locally-sourced natural ingredients and modern wellness treatment to create the ultimate spa experience. The Saray Signature Dead Sea Journey (Dhs990) draws on the legend that the Queen of Sheba and Cleopatra had spas along the shores of the Dead Sea. The journey begins with a Dead Sea salt scrub, followed by a full-body mud mask using mud from the Dead Sea shores. A rejuvenating soak in the floatation pool is followed by a nourishing massage to end the two-hour ritual.
To maximize your experience, grab your girlfriends for a bonding sesh and take advantage of the Girls’ Day offer which includes a 30-minute facial or back massage each, followed by afternoon tea at the ultra-chic La Farine Café and Bakery (Dhs300).
Also not to be missed at the hotel is the heated outdoor pool, with snaptastic views over Downtown Dubai and the majestic Burj Khalifa, while Prime 68 on the 68th floor is the place to mingle over top class steaks – just ask E! presenter Giuliana Rancic who recently documented her visit to her 2.7million Insta-followers.
5. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
Celebrity Instagrammers like Demi Lovato, Maddie Ziegler and Kim Kardashian know that the dramatic dunes of the Dubai desert make for some seriously cool Insta-action, and you can be sure of a suitably sandy landscape at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.
This luxurious resort is nestled in the gentle sandy slopes of the desert, with more than a nod to the true culture and heritage of Dubai and the UAE. The resort is build in an Arabic fort setting, so you’ll soon discover a labyrinth of shady courtyards, lonely walkways and water features to fill up your Insta-feed.
After taking in the desert views from the comfy rooftop terrace, the Satori Spa is a must-visit for luxurious pampering. The Blissful Desert Rose Experience (Dhs1,400) is a three-hour wonder package combining body exfoliation, Aromatherapy massage, body wrap, a luxurious facial and a scalp massage using an inhalation of Frankincense. Goodbye tension, hello deep relaxation and spiritual awareness – not to mention amazing skin. #Ahhh.
Words: Aoife Stuart-Madge