INTERVIEW: “A hotel’s wellness offering is an integral part of a guest's stay,” says Sioux Lees

INTERVIEW: “A hotel’s wellness offering is an integral part of a guest's stay,” says Sioux Lees

Raffles The Palm Dubai’s Director of Spa boosts bookings with celebrated collaborations, hot sand therapy and two types of hammam

After leading spa operations of a luxury hospitality brand in Hong Kong, Sioux Lees joined the pre-opening executive committee team for Raffles Jeddah hotel in Saudi Arabia in September 2022, and then transferred to Raffles’ flagship, Raffles The Palm Dubai, in the UAE in 2023.

Raffles The Palm has since cemented its luxury status by importing the brand’s elevated service into every aspect of the hotel, including in its Cinq Mondes Spa, directed by the award-winning Lees. 

As Director of Spa for the Palm Jumeirah sea-facing property, Lees is able to deliver decadent indulgence with 23 beautifully appointed treatment rooms, including two VIP suites, each with their own steam room and sauna. 

“Many of our repeat guests continue visiting us for this reason as we offer a uniquely intimate yet luxurious experience at our beachfront property,” says Lees. 

We caught up with the Pro Beauty GCC award-winner to find out more. 

Cinq Mondes Spa

Connecting Travel: How influential is a spa when it comes to guests choosing or returning to a hotel?
Sioux Lees:
This has become extremely crucial as people are becoming more aware of their personal health and wellness, especially when it comes to the topics of longevity and overall quality of life. Now with the plethora of wellness choices available, a hotel’s wellness offerings are an integral part of a guests’ stay and overall experience. 

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CT: What does your spa have that others don’t?
Our partnership with renowned aesthetician Dr Rita Rakus, which combines pioneering techniques and cosmetic treatments using cutting-edge technology, has really positioned us well in the medi-spa arena and sets us apart from other spas in the market. 

Treatments include the 90-minute ‘Machine Queen’ Maximum Jetlag Recovery Treatment, which costs AED1,150 and reduces the symptoms of jetlag on the limbs using air-pressured trousers and shock wave technology to accelerate oxygen supply and the Dr Rita Rakus Monte Carlo Brilliance Facial. Originally developed for attendees of the Monaco Rose Ball, the 90-minute facial treatment costs AED1,400 and employs advanced lifting technology, including ultrasound, radio frequency and infrared LED to stimulate collagen for an immediate lifting and plumping effect.

Dr Rita Rakus

CT: What are the highlights on your spa menu?
Among the most-loved treatments at Cinq Mondes Spa is the traditional Thai Massage and the signature MLX Quartz Bed for Psammotherapy [hot sand therapy] featuring the therapeutic sound benefits of singing bowls. Hammam treatments are also spa-goers’ favourites, especially for overseas guests visiting the Middle East, as they are often seeking an authentic Middle Eastern experience. 

We offer one of the most unique hammam offerings in Dubai with six individual treatment rooms and a choice of both Turkish and Moroccan hammams. Most spas only offer one or the other

And our advanced HydraFacial treatments incorporate the Universkin STEP serums that are bespoke to each client, along with micro needling and radio frequency. The combination of deep cleansing, resurfacing, lifting and firming provides the most incredible results on any skin type.

Raffles The Palm Dubai spa pool

CT: How do you select the treatments and products used at the spa?
As a Director of Spa, I will review the location, the target market, the spa concept and also review in detail what every other spa in our luxury segment is using, as being as original as possible is important. It’s also essential to align with a brand that is also as reputable in the market as your own.

CT: What is the spa’s best-selling product?
Most of our clientele are concerned about protecting their skin from ageing and our best-selling product is our Precious Concentrate, which is a concentrated serum packed full of active peptides and hyaluronic acid that intensely hydrates and works to promote radiance and firmness of the skin. 

CT: You recently won the Professional Beauty GCC award for ‘Best Spa Leader for the GCC Region’. What does that mean to you?
Being awarded the ‘Best Spa Leader for the GCC Region’ in February 2024 was without doubt the highlight of my career and something that I am incredibly proud of. Simply being recognised by my industry peers after so many years in the industry, was both humbling and heart-warming and something that will motivate me for ever.

For more information, visit www.raffles.com/thepalm-dubai/spa


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