Check yourself into The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery By Sofitel for a wellness getaway on Palm Jumeirah

A sense of calm. That zen feeling yogis speak of. That’s what you experience the minute you enter this hotel that places wellbeing at the forefront. Shades of the ocean and green landscape make up the interiors, with rounded corners as per Feng Shui, and aromas of essential oils wafting through the air. The journey begins with a refreshing welcome drink at the check-in desk, and a colour therapy session soon after. We met with our lifestyle coach Dr. Grace Ravindran and were presented a deck from which we picked a coloured card each. I chose turquoise and was told I needed to open my heart chakra, and that I had interrupted sleep – the latter was true. My partner picked dark purple, which suggested he needed to work on particular weaknesses, and we both needed to add shades of blue and red at home to reach our state of zen. Retreat Palm_01THE SUITE

Our green, blue and neutral-hue one-bedroom offered views of the neighbourhood and ocean, with a living room to lounge at and read. Relax on your balcony with espresso or herbal tea, to keep you fuelled between meditation sessions and spa treatments, or unwind with a hot soak in the tub. The hotel isn’t licensed, since it is a wellness resort, and the mini bar is stocked with water, juice and a selection of items (sunscreen, an underwater camera, and shades).

RELAX AND REJUVENATE

An itinerary of classes ranging from aqua aerobics to laughing yoga is available at the concierge desk. A schedule was created for our 24-hour stay and we were asked to follow the program all the way through. We consulted with Dr. Grace, to give her an idea of our lifestyle, habits and diet, before attending a meditation class at the Rayya Wellness centre, that put us in a state of lull, calmed our minds, and made my partner fall into a deep sleep. The session ended with laughing yoga to open our heart chakras. Early morning yoga was on the schedule the next day, truly stretching our bodies before breakfast. If you do find a bit of time on your hands and spot the quirky-looking oxygen bars all over, give it a go. The 15-minute treatment allows you to breathe in pure oxygen to boost metabolism and energy levels. To unwind hours after the session, we stopped by the Salt of the Earth cart to create an epsom salt infusion. We chose neroli and soaked in a hot tub with the salts, to release tension and toxins built-up in our bodies. The resort’s pool with direct access to the beach means you can choose a sun lounger or cooled cabana to soak up the sun rays. You can also play eco-golf, where the shore is your driving range and the course is the sea. Don’t worry about harming the environment, the balls turn into food for sea creatures. Retreat Palm_02DINING

Both restaurants complement the resort’s wellness philosophy, offering menus that showcase local, organic and sustainable produce. The all-day dining restaurant, Vibe, is a great option for breakfast and lunch, where you indulge in an array of salads, fresh juice and dishes from various cuisines. Fill your plates with chicken mandi for lunch, followed by Vietnamese spring rolls, Thai green curry, roast meat, butter chicken and pizza, ending with nutritious, guilt-free desserts. The Social Kitchen offers a set, and a la carte, menu featuring dishes inspired by the Levant. For appetisers, try the arayes (meat-filled flatbread) and falafels, followed by Arabic mixed grills and Moroccan tagine with couscous. The resort also offers a nutritious cocktail every hour to “detox” or “energise.”

NEED TO KNOW: The 24-hour retreat is available from Dhs999 per person. The five-day retreat is available for Dhs7,000. Visit theretreatpalmdubai.com