UAE's ZOYA Health and Wellbeing Resort offers rejuvenating care

The minimum stay at ZOYA is two nights but guests are encouraged to take packages suitable for the programs and treatments available.

 THE ZOYA Health and Wellbeing Resort takes the wellbeing aspect seriously.  (photo credit: MarkDavidPod)
THE ZOYA Health and Wellbeing Resort takes the wellbeing aspect seriously.
(photo credit: MarkDavidPod)

Landing in Dubai airport one is immediately aware of the hustle and bustle of this busy city: multi-lane highways crisscross and gleaming towers rise to the skies. It’s an amazing holiday destination if you’re seeking a buzz. But just a 30 to 40-minute drive from DXB Airport lies an oasis of peace, surrounded by mangroves and a golf course and just a short cycle away a lagoon and the Gulf.

This is the brand new Al Zorah neighborhood of Ajman, one of the smaller of the seven Emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates. The suburb is rising from the sands as we write, with beach hotels expected to be built over the next decade alongside villas already under construction with some completed. It’s the surprisingly-green home of the ZOYA Health and Wellbeing Resort.

The resort is small and exclusive – some 60 rooms including villas and a royal suite encircle the pool.

The welcome is warm not only at reception but throughout the four-story complex: the top two floors are well-appointed, spacious bedrooms but it’s the ground floor and basement where all the magic takes place.

The minimum stay here is two nights but guests are encouraged to take packages suitable for the programs and treatments available. Indeed, many locals return to ZOYA on a weekly or monthly basis to continue their treatments.

 THE ZOYA Health and Wellbeing Resort takes the wellbeing aspect seriously.  (credit: MarkDavidPod) THE ZOYA Health and Wellbeing Resort takes the wellbeing aspect seriously. (credit: MarkDavidPod)

And it’s the treatments that really take center stage.

The holistic approach to health and well-being means Zoya really is a one-stop shop, from facials to treatment for weak spines, orthopedic recovery and pretty much anything else you would expect in a clinic that deals with body and mind. No treatments are dispensed without thorough medical checks and the filling in of medical forms. On arrival at ZOYA, guests meet with the head of the relevant department. There’s a medical team on board including doctors, physical therapists and nursing staff.

Entering the treatment area, one is greeted at reception by two friendly staff members, immaculately dressed, who invite first-timers to sit in a plush waiting area and update the resort’s records with their preferences or the repeat visitors to go directly to their treatment rooms

As one would expect from such an exclusive resort the décor would not look out of place in a modern palace. Lights are dimmed and relaxing music plays throughout.

There are three identical spa areas – women only, men and couples to cater for traditional and more modern guests. They offer a variety of saunas, a hammam, an icy plunge pool and more. The resort has single and double massage rooms where experienced staff give you a choice of rubs and aromatic oils. The spa also includes scrubs, hydrotherapy, Aufguss aromatherapy and a Vichy Shower.

The medical wing

IN ANOTHER wing, the medical team treats guests – some seeking regular maintenance and others a complete overhaul. There are next-generation machines in every room, to stretch, squeeze, rub and relax. Heat, cold, manual electrotherapy and ultrasound are among the techniques used. For the brave, there’s also cryotherapy, a conservative cold application therapy used to decrease swelling, inflammation and pain. And talking of bravery – in the next room there’s a variety of equipment for cleaning the colon. But not all treatments are quite so invasive: oxygen therapy is provided in a plush lounge with recliners.

Before you enter the state-of-the-art gym, you meet a physical therapist who pops you onto three separate diagnostic machines to learn your muscle and balance strengths and weaknesses. The team checks every muscle set in your limbs and head before walking you through a seven-page readout of your body’s ability to push, resist and lift. The gymnasium has every kind of machine imaginable, including an anti-gravity treadmill. All of them are fitted with user screens so you can track your performance and make adjustments in real-time to reach your goals.

Yoga and other classes are held in bright classrooms and studios, with wall-to-ceiling windows on the airy and curved ground floor. There are lectures throughout the day, with staff taking visitors on walks and bike rides through the neighborhood out to the sea and Flamingo Lagoon.

Food is currently vegan, and tailored to whichever wellness program you are following. but beautifully presented, fresh and delicious. The kitchen and juice bar are spotless and friendly staff are happy to talk you through the day’s menu. Juices are available all day, with lots of ingredients available. Many of the dishes are based on Indian cooking – not too spicy though. Portions served up include a lentil dal makhani, with broccolini rice and quinoa, delicious chocolatey spelt pancakes and moist pulse sliders on coconut-based burger buns. The emphasis is on clean food, so your morning coffee is replaced with herbal tea, or a nice cup of chicory, sweetened with agave.

This is a place for relaxation and treatments – we’ve not even mentioned the anti-aging restorative facial, the detox and weight management, body contouring and muscle building.

In days gone by, this kind of resort would only be available to the super-rich in exclusive hideouts in the Alps but today, it’s comparatively affordable and just a three-hour flight from Tel Aviv.

The writers were the guests of were guests of ZOYA Health & Wellbeing Resort (https://zoyawellbeing.com). They host The Jerusalem Post Podcast – Travel Edition jpost.com/podcast/travel-edition.