First, I would like to wish all our Muslim readers a blessed and peaceful Ramadan. I hope that you are trying to take things at a slower pace like we are. And maybe you can take some time off to pamper yourself and treat your body for a relaxing and detoxifying massage.
Today, I headed to Tips and Toes salon at Dubai Media City to try out their new Rattan Foot Reflex treatment.
The spa is offering a 30% discount on all full-priced services booked between 9 am to 3 pm throughout July.
What is a Rattan Foot Reflex treatment?
I was told by my massage therapist that foot reflexology has originated from China. And of course is practiced all across the globe. In China, hot stones are used in the foot reflexology. Which is unfortunately not available at this salon. The Rattan Foot Reflex is a foot reflexology treatment where rattan sticks are used to massage the feet instead of the hands!
The therapist alternates between two rattan sticks during the treatment. A short, small stick is used to target the pressure points on the sole of the foot. While another long stick is used on the side of the foot, and held against the bones. It’s also used on the lower half of the leg in a massaging motion.
The therapist explained to me that extra care must be taken when using the stick to avoid injury. So the person doing the massage must hold the foot with the other hand.
Foot reflexology can be done on a daily basis. Anyone can do it for themselves by using their hands to exert pressure on the points matching the different body organs.
At first instance, the rattan treatment can be painful on some points such as the tips of the toes. So I must add that this treatment is not for the fragile souls! I would say it suits anyone who loves strong massages that use hard pressure. Even when a solid object is used to apply that strong pressure.
The pain associated with the rattan treatment pressure motion will lessen with regular massage sessions.
Benefits of foot reflexology
Improves blood circulation.
Reduces stress and body tension.
Strengthens the immune system.
Cleanses the body.
Purifies the body from toxins.
Helps to regulate periods and relieves other hormone-related issues.
Makes the body feel lighter.
I was pleased to get the treatment done with a Balinese therapist. She’s actually based in the salon’s “Greens” branch, but was at the Dubai Media City salon for a temporary period. So if you want to get a massage done with her, just call up “The Greens” branch and ask for the Balinese massage therapist. She’s the only one 🙂
The regular price for the Rattan Foot Reflex treatment is 150 AED for 40 minutes. But I only paid 105 AED since I booked the appointment between 9 am to 3 pm. So I got a 30% discount off of the regular price.
To find the nearest Tips and Toes branch, check their website at the following link:
I wanted to squeeze in a beach club review before the month of Ramadan begins. Since I’ll be fasting and there is absolutely no way anyone can visit a Dubai beach in the summer without having anything to drink or eat! I also wanted to check out Fairmont The Palm‘s beach and pool club while they have their summer promotion rates going on.
Summer Promotion Rates
Validity of the promotion: Until the end of August
Adult day pass fee: 195 AED (without the food and beverage voucher) and 265 AED (inclusive of a 100 AED F&B voucher)
Kids (ages 5 to 13): 99 AED (without the F&B voucher) and 130 AED (inclusive of a 50 AED F&B voucher)
Pool and Beach Facts
The hotel has four pools; two adult-only pools and two family pools.
A resident DJ plays by the pool bar on Friday evenings from 5 to 10 pm.
I was informed by the hotel’s Operations Director – Frederic Bellone that the beach was partially closed due to construction work “to expand the private beach area and to make the bottom of the ocean more gradient.”
Mr. Bellone also mentioned that the expansion work should be completed within a few days. So you can still head down to the beach club and enjoy their summer promotion. I would suggest that you ask about the construction work when calling to book your day pass. As booking in advance is required for the Fairmont’s beach club.
Is free Wi-Fi Available at the Beach?
Unlike Madinat Jumeirah properties, Wi-Fi is only available for in-house guests and club members. Outside guests need to pay 100 AED for a day’s use of the hotel’s Wi-Fi.
Relaxed and laid-back ambiance with chill-out Arabian fusion tracks playing in the pool area.
The adult-only pool is a good spot for contemplation and meditation. With a couple of fountains pouring water into the pool, the sound creates a calming effect that can be used for meditation. The pool is also surrounded by palm trees, so looking up to the sky does feel like you’re on vacation. Especially when combined with a beautiful bird flying by the water and the fountain’s peaceful water sounds.
A complimentary bottle of still water is provided for all pool and beach guests.
Complimentary locker access. Inside the locker is a coat hanger, a bath towel, a small towel, and a plastic bag for storing your wet swim suit.
The beach and pool day pass also includes access to the spa’s modern and state of the art gym, steam room and sauna.
The facilities are super-clean and well-maintained to high standards.
I wasn’t informed about the partial closing of the beach when I called to book the day pass and ask about the beach/pool access. I only found out about it when I got to the hotel. This meant that I had to lounge by the pool for a few hours until the construction work was over at the beach and I could go into the water. But that wasn’t a problem, as I could always use some meditation at the pool’s relaxing fountains 🙂
The staff at the beach area seemed to be in a rush to close down the sun umbrellas and fold back the lounger cushions when it wasn’t time for sunset yet. Maybe it’s a routine practice and part of their job description, but it gave me the feeling that they were rushing to end their work day chores as soon as they could! The beach area wasn’t busy anyway, and so it didn’t seem like they would have a lot of wrapping up to do at the end of the day.
The food quality at the pool bar could use some enhancement. More so since the Fairmont on Sheikh Zayed Road is associated with great brunch and food options. I will be talking more about the food in a while.
The front section of the ocean’s ground has rocks and is not smooth for walking. I believe that the management should consider making the ground surface smooth for walking. Especially for kids.
What to Eat and Drink?
To quench my thirst, I ordered an orange ginger tea cooler. Which was basically orange juice with a hint of ginger. It was a refreshing drink for a hot summer day.
For lunch, I had a chicken breast burger on wheat bread. I was delighted to see a healthy option for a sandwich on the menu. But I was disappointed as the chicken was a bit tough and didn’t look like it was cooked up to good quality levels. The taste of the food was average, and could use some improvement.
A few hours after lunch, it was time for my coffee break. And for that, I ordered a banana soy latte at the beach. It’s a blend of bananas, soy milk and a shot of espresso. The first time my drink was prepared, it had a lot of ice blended in it. And so the taste of the latte was somewhat non-existent from the excess of ice that was used. But when I asked for less ice to be used in preparing my latte, it tasted much better and was such a revitalizing and cooling summer drink.
Will I go back?
I would love to go back to the Fairmont’s beach club for three reasons:
To take advantage of the summer promotion rate while it lasts.
To check out the pool atmosphere on a Friday evening when the resident DJ is playing. I went on a Saturday and so I missed it. (Please take note that this will continue after Ramadan only).
To see if I can meet a potential husband at the pool or beach (note: most guys at this beach club are very fit with buffed-up masculine bodies and wash board abs) 😀
I will leave you with some random images from my day at the Fairmont The Palm’s beach club. You can also check my Facebook page for more images and other cool posts.
A strong instinct told me that I must have a look at the latest issue of Time Out Dubai while I was standing at the magazine stand the other day. To my amusement, The latest issue’s cover read: “Battle of the Beach Clubs”! The timing was perfect as I was planning to visit and review a couple of Dubai beach clubs this summer.
After reading the detailed description and comparison table for the different beach clubs, I decided to head to Talise Fitness, Madinat Jumeirah for my next review and make use of their fabulous summer offer.
Beach and Pool Access
The day pass gives you access to the 3km long private beach stretching from Al Qasr extravagant hotel to Jumeirah Beach Hotel, in addition to the two pools (one is at Mina Al Salam hotel and the other is at Al Qasr hotel).
The staff at the Talise Fitness club reception and the beach and pools were very friendly, attentive and helpful.
The facilities including the rest rooms were always clean and well-maintained.
The cushions on the deck chairs were very comfortable.
There are private cabanas available free of charge.
The tent-designed cabanas at the Al Qasr side of the beach can be rented for 500 AED per day.
The beach and pool are not too busy; average crowd.
Quiet beach, great for reading a book.
3km long private, enclosed beach means a lot of room for swimming and chilling in the ocean.
The loungers are within close proximity to the water.
I was informed by the water sports rental staff person that the weather in Dubai this year has been remarkably pleasant, compared to the usual scorching heat that hits the region at this time of the year. Normally, the temperatures soar starting June and up until the end of September. But luckily, the summer this year has started on a lighter note. And let’s hope that it stays that way for a while!
There even was a cool breeze at the end of the day as we approached sunset. And I found myself commenting on a Facebook status which spoke about cool weather conditions at a nearby venue, and saying that I was also enjoying the cool temperatures at the beach at Mina Al Salam hotel.
Unlike my previous beach trip when the beach was flagged and the waves were manic, this Friday witnessed quiet waves and cool water temperatures. But don’t worry, Talise Fitness beach always keeps the beach goers informed of the ocean and weather status. Check out their boards and signs with weather and water forecasts.
Where to have Lunch
The beach waiters can bring your food order from the pool bar straight to your lounger if you were too lazy to leave your comfy deck chair. You can also head to the pool bar and eat at one of the tables like I did. Or if you were with someone or a group of people, then you might want to have lunch at one of the many multi-cuisine restaurants available at both Mina Al Salam and Al Qasr hotels.
I went for a prime beef burger with a side green salad. And I had a beach punch mixed fruit mocktail.
I must say that the iced-coffee was a let-down, since it was basically ice cubes dropped into a glass of coffee. I think I was still craving the highly refreshing iced-coffee that I had at The Habtoor Grand Beach Club. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read all about it here.
As the time came close to sunset, I decided to go and try out the largest leisure pool in Dubai at Al Qasr hotel. Access to the pool is included in the beach and pool day pass. To get there, you can either walk, take a buggy, or the water abra. I opted for the famous Dubai lifestyle transport: the lovely buggy car.
The pool at Al Qasr hotel was designed to be not too deep with families and kids in mind. The water temperature at the pool is centrally controlled throughout the year to adjust to the changing weather temperatures. So the water temperature was just right when I went in for a swim. What’s unique about the pool at Al Qasr is that there are two wild ducks swimming and fluttering their wings on its expansive surface! The ducks (named Chip and Dale by one of the life guards) are imported from overseas to spend three months in Dubai (June, July and August) before re-breeding and then going back to their hometown. It felt so relaxing and soothing to swim in Al Qasr’s wide and elegant pool. And the pair of ducks’ floating on the water made the experience even more calming and peaceful.
This beach club has a very polished, glamorous and posh edge to it. It might not appeal to everyone.
The quietness of the beach makes it a bit on the boring side.
There’s no music or DJ playing. Which means that the only sounds you will be hearing are other people’s conversations or the sound of speeding jet skis.
The place lacks in character, soul and a strong identity. Its ultra chic and glamorous look leaves no room for a spontaneous feel.
Jebel Ali Beach Club makes for a great escape from the city, since it’s located in an isolated resort. While you can’t get that same feel with Talise Fitness beach. Seeing the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the sky scrapers on Sheikh Zayed Road while swimming in the ocean, makes it difficult not to feel that you are still in the heart of the city!
Who Should Visit?
If you are looking for a quiet beach to relax after a long work week or would like to read your book in peace, then this beach club could be the right pick. But if you are someone who’s looking for a vibrant and busy beach atmosphere, then this beach club might not appeal to you.
Will I go again?
I must admit that I plan on going back for two reasons:
To see the beautiful orange and red hues of light as the sun sets at the beach. I didn’t get to see them this time because I wanted to head to the pool early.
To make the most out of their summer promotion day pass fees which lasts until September 10.
Free Wi-Fi is available at the beach and at all Madinat Jumeirah properties. So you can easily check your e-mail, or browse the web and Facebook from the comfort of your sun lounger 🙂
The regular fee for the day pass is 495 AED inclusive of a 150 AED food and beverage voucher. However, during the summer months until September 10, you can get the day pass for just 250 AED (without food and beverage) for adults. And for kids aged between 1 to 15 years old, the entrance fee is 150 AED. The fees are valid for both week days and weekends alike.
The beach is open from 9 am till sunset.
The pools are open from 9 am until 9 pm.
Should you require any additional information, you can contact Talise Fitness by checking their web site:
On my last day in the city, I decided to treat myself to the famous Asian foot reflexology. And I wasn’t disappointed when I chose Gao’s Foot Massage Co. The place was listed as one of the best places to get a foot reflexology in a travel article that I read while searching online. What makes the foot reflexology in this part of the world unique is that the massage is done all the way up to your knee. The pressure and rubbing techniques were perfect. They also serve complimentary tea with rose petals!
At Gao’s Foot Massage Co., you can choose how long you want your reflexology treatment to last. I think I went for the 50 minutes foot massage which costs 198 Hong Kong dollars. I only say this because I have that in my notes, so I’m guessing that that’s what I went for. Well it has already been five months since I got back from that trip, so you can’t blame me for not remembering every single detail!
For more information about Gao’s Foot Massage Co, check out their web site:
After my wonderfully relaxing and soothing foot massage, I went to meet my friend who lives in Hong Kong and who I met while I was taking a course at London College of Fashion! My friend Tanya lives in Sai Kung, which is a town located by the sea, an hour away from central Hong Kong. That’s mainly why I couldn’t see my friend as often as I would like, but I guess we made up for it on the last day 🙂 We had steamed fish balls in a noodle soup for lunch. The traditional dish was recommended by Tanya’s mom after I had explained to her my stomach issues from experimenting the local cuisine! The food was light, healthy and tasty.
Final Words on my Trip
At first glance, Hong Kong reminded me of London in so many ways. With its highly populated and busy streets, the layout of the city’s streets and shops, the high walkability of those streets, and the liveliness and hustle and bustle the city emits. I even told that to my local friend, who agreed and said that Hong Kong is a lot like London, only it’s an Asian city. So, that’s how I saw Hong Kong from the 8 days that I spent there.
Would I go back to visit? definitely. But I would prefer to stay at my friend’s place in Sai Kung for two reasons:
Because I felt lonely staying in a hotel alone in Hong Kong.
To experience the relaxed life by the sea. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
What bothered me most about this trip was that I wanted to escape from busy and fast-paced Dubai to a more quiet and relaxed place. Only to find myself in an even more populated and overly crowded city! with no space for a single person at any coffee shop on the weekends! At least in Dubai, that is never the case. So I was greatly disappointed that I went on vacation to a busy and populated city. Especially that it was the holiday season too.
Another thing that I would change if I plan to visit Hong Kong again would be to go there during the Chinese New Year instead of the busy holiday season as I did. And I might stay for at least two weeks to have enough time to relax by the sea and explore the rest of the city.
I hope that you enjoyed reading my review of my 8-day Hong Kong trip. If you have any questions about anything, feel free to comment on the relevant post.