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Posted by on Apr 30, 2007 in Spa Reviews | 1 comment

The World in One: Turkish Delight on the Turquoise Coast

The World in One: Turkish Delight on the Turquoise Coast

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Walking through the halls of the center, you pass a standing Buddha flanked by floor candles along with Russian and Finnish saunas.

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Everything is oversized and a bit over-the-top at the Kempinski Hotel the Dome in Antalya, Turkey.

Start with the city itself, which spreads over 550 square miles, including more than 80 miles of beaches, along the central Mediterranean Turquoise Coast. Then take the entrance to the sprawling ivory-colored hotel: a reflecting pool lined with low arches leading to a superb monumental panel as tall as the hotel itself, elaborately carved by artisans in the Moorish style of the 11th century Seljuk Empire.

Enter the vast lobby, whose blue-and-white patterned dome is reflected on the gleaming marble floor. Massive sofas, with their identifying Fendi plaques, look lost among the clusters of columns. In the rear, an arched aqueduct connects the two wings of the hotel, and a series of lagoons comprises an enormous blue-and-turquoise-tiled pool. Beyond is a wide swath of gorgeous private beach dotted with tented pavilions and circular umbrellas.

No surprise that the Spa and Wellness Center is also vast in scale and wide in its reach. The 38,750-sq-foot facility includes a variety of saunas, a heated seawater pool for thalasso therapy, a luxurious marble Ottoman hamam, and 28 treatment rooms, not counting the tents in the Japanese Zen Garden for outdoor treatments.

Antalya was the site of many civilizations, from Greek and Roman to Byzantine and Ottoman, and the global therapies of The Dome’s spa menu reflect an openness to cultural diversity.

Walking through the halls of the center, you pass a standing Buddha flanked by floor candles along with Russian and Finnish saunas. There’s a room with a seated Buddha and a red embroidery-covered treatment table, others with Asian candelabra and futons, or a variety of tables and tubs as well as an Ayurvedic treatment center with its hanging oil receptacle and, of course, a spacious marble hamam, or Turkish bath. All these accommodate the Spa’s wide-ranging international therapies, among them various Balinese treatments, Japanese Shiatsu, Thai massage, and Lomi Lomi Nui from Hawaii.

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The spa’s enticing therapies include the Turkish Bath or hammam (Sultan application, 20 min, 25 euros; Pasha application, 40 min, 45 euros; Sehrazat application, 60 min, 65 euros). Part water treatment, part massage, this is one of the spa’s signature offerings in which you lie on hot marble in the middle of the hammam, heat enveloping your body. The attendant exfoliates your body with a coarse glove, cleansing, smoothing and softening the skin, and then pours frothy aromatic soap over you before rinsing with water. This is followed with circular massage movements, typical of the hammam, with aromatic oils revitalize muscles, and with special attention given to the head, hands, and feet.

The spa offers Ayurvedic therapies in several applications:

Abhyanga (60 min, 90 euros). A complete body massage with Ayurveda oils that stimulates energy channels, activates blood circulation and energy flow, strengthens defense mechanisms, and helps remove body toxins.

Shirodhara (50 min, 90 euros). A special warm Ayurveda oil is poured slowly over the temple chakra and the crown chakra to affect positively the central nervous system and remove stress symptoms, insomnia, and headaches.

Shiroabhyanga (80 min, 120 euros. A combination of Shirodhara and Abhyanga.

Abhyanga, Queen of Oil Massage (60 min, 160 euros). A four-hands Ayurveda body massage.

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Garshan (40 min, 50 euros. A body massage with raw silk gloves to activate blood circulation and firm and tighten the skin.

The extensive massage menu also includes classic Swedish, Lomi Lomi, Reflexology, Balinese Dry Massage, Japanese Shiatsu, Thai Massage, and Manual Lymph Drainage.

Not surprisingly, seaweed and other products from the sea play an important part in many of the body and facial care treatments.

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The spa’s huge Thalasso pool is another wonderful resource, with seawater heated to about 95 degrees F. so the skin can absorb its trace elements of magnesium, potassium, calcium sulphates, and sodium.

I had never seen such an elaborate therapy pool, and I spent almost an hour at the various jet water stations around the pool’s perimeter, putting shoulders, upper and lower back, lower legs and thighs, in fact, most body parts that occasionally ache, into the therapeutic jet streams. Some were under water, some delivered by long swan-necked shower heads, and one delicious stop was an underwater lounge for a soporific, slow-motion aqua treatment. This aqua therapy did the trick; after an hour in the pool, I was eager to contemplate visits to the area’s great archeological treasures.

This region of Turkey has a long history, and its ancient sites are associated with Alexander the Great, the Persians, Phoenicians, Romans, the Byzantine Empire, Crusaders, Seljuks and the Ottoman Empire. Don’t miss two superb sites: Aspendos, the Greco-Roman theatre built in the time of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) and said to be the best preserved in Asia Minor. With a capacity of 15,000, it is still used for the annual Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival in June-July. In addition, Perge, the thicket of columns defining the agora, ruins of round towers, baths, and other buildings, plus a stadium and theatre, give a vivid impression of life in a 2nd century BC Roman city.

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Kempinski Hotel the Dome. A luxurious golf and wellness resort with 157 stylish rooms and suites, most with balconies overlooking the beach and Mediterranean; 18 garden villas with their own pools. Sports facilities include three clay tennis courts and two golf courses, heated indoor and outdoor pools, private beach and water sports center, and a Kids Club.

Doubles start at 270 euros, at presstime US$349.10.

Kempinski Hotel the Dome

Website
Email Reservations

Uckumtepesi Mevkii
07500 Belek

800-426-3135

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