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We try the ultimate mummy-and-me experience

By Time Out Abu Dhabi Kids staff
Abu Dhabi, 17 September 2012
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When it comes to a rare spot of me-time for mum, it’s usually confined to those hastily snatched moments when the kids are in bed, or when dad can take them to let off some steam at a soft play area. But how about somewhere you can indulge in some much-deserved pampering, and your little one can join in too?

At Anahata Spa in Khalifa City A, anything that mum can do, so can the kids (and then some!). Recently rebranded from the popular Sharani’s Wellness Spa, this chic haven now boasts its very own Mimi Children’s Spa (it’s named after the director’s daughter) – with all manner of gorgeous, pampering treats for tinies to teens.

Just like the grown-ups, there’s an array of lush treatments, from signature massages, and facials specially adapted to troublesome teenage skin, to manicures, hair styling and princess make-overs to look exactly like their favourite cartoon character. With a special room dedicated to the spa’s younger clientele, there’s bean bags to lounge on for massages and mani-pedis, Barbie DVDs on tap, and every kind of salon convenience you’d expect from a chi-chi day spa (not surprisingly, it’s a hugely popular venue for girls’ parties, which can also make use of the yoga-cum-belly dancing studio on the top floor, too).

While the kids’ menu is generally aimed at girls aged five and up, the spa is flexible and can adapt some treatments for under-fives who want to enjoy a bit of pampering with mummy, and also accepts younger boys for haircuts and grooming, too.

When I arrive with a very excitable four-year-old in tow, she is made to feel quite the little VIP from the very start. After a quick bounce on the huge chaise longues in the relaxation area, we’re both led to a luxurious treatment room, where two beds lie side by side for the treatment.

As I’m given the details of my massage (the spa’s signature ‘Seven Chakras’ Crystal Massage), my daughter is guided through her own treatment by the friendly therapist – a yummy-sounding Chocolate Fondue Scrub, followed by a Chocolate Fondue Body Wrap.

While I concentrate on my own treatment, I sneak a quick peek from under my eye mask, and it’s clear to see that she’s thorougly enjoying being scrubbed and buffed to perfection (she’s smiling blissfully in between bossing people around – wonder where she gets that from!).

After her chocolate wrap, it’s time for to start the second part of the experience, the bit that’s made her so excited in the first place: the princess make-over. Proudly sporting her yellow robe and spa slippers, she skips off downstairs, while I lie back and enjoy the rest of my own massage, which aims to identify blocked chakras and harmonise the mind and body through the use of coloured crystals, aromatic organic oils, and a variety of massage techniques designed to relax, improve circulation and detoxify. For me, it’s apparently the root chakra that’s blocked, which I’m told can affect feelings of survival, security and safety, and have a number of physical effects including cold extremities, stiff shoulders and joints and fatigue. Pretty spot on.

After 90 dreamy minutes of pure relaxation as muscles are gently unknotted and all tension massaged away, I float downstairs to collect my little one. It’s clear from the giggles audible from the kids’ spa that it has gone well. She bounds out dressed exactly like Sleeping Beauty, her hair curled and adorned with a sparkly mini-tiara, fingernails and toes given a girly mani and pedi, and all topped off with a liberal sprinkling of glitter. Even better, she informs me mid-twirl that she can take her new costume home as part of the package.

In short, she’s ecstatically happy, and can’t wait until the next time. In fact, she’s already trying to peruse the treatment menu and choosing what princess she’ll be next time. Uh-oh...

Adults’ Seven Chakras Crystal Massage, Dhs450 for 90-mins. Kids’ Chocolate Fondue Wrap, Dhs80, and Chocolate Fondue Scrub, Dhs80. 25-min Princess Manicures start at Dhs40. Dressing up as a character from the Mimi Boutique is priced separately. Visit www.anahataspa.ae for full Mimi treatment menu. Khalifa City A, (02 557 7722).