Years ago, during a trip to Europe, I chanced upon a nail salon in one of the airports. I wondered who would use a salon at the airport especially when travelling. Months later, I was sitting in a similar salon at Dubai airport getting my nails done. I had arrived at the airport earlier than expected and had some time to while away. Moreover, my nails needed a fresh coat of polish. My travels introduced me to spas at airports, both within lounges and independent establishments, which to me are convenient and not luxury. Think about it. When a flight gets delayed or there is a long layover, nothing soothes the frayed nerves like a neck-back massage or a deep tissue massage.
This brings me to the new and beautifully appointed spa at the Oman Air First and Business Class Departure lounge at Muscat International Airport. The Spa by Shangri-La at the Oman Air First and Business Class Departure lounge was introduced earlier in the year and is a wonderful extension to the facilities provided at the lounge.
Managed by the renowned hospitality chain Shangri-La Group, which has its own spa brand – Chi, The Spa at the Oman Air First and Business Class Departure lounge is located on the first floor. The spa includes individual treatment rooms, a mani-pedi room, hair stations, a relaxation lounge, and a hydrotherapy room. There are separate areas for men and women.
The menu features treatments that can be done in 15 minutes or even an hour. Express Massages include 15- and 25-minute experiences. Facials and longer relaxing massages are perfect for anyone looking to destress and recharge before a long flight. The Spa menu also includes several add-on enhancements that complement the treatments.
The hydrotherapy sessions are perfect if you prefer a hands-free and no-fuss treatment. Hydrotherapy can be experienced fully dressed on a warm waterbed that is activated by water jets that massage the lower back while lying on the bed.
During our visit to The Spa, I opted for the Stress-Relieving Neck and Back Massage. Going to bed the night before my visit to the airport had left its mark on my body and spirit – a throbbing headache coupled with weariness. All therapists at The Spa are trained by the Shangri-La team and most come with years of experience. My therapist was not only excellent at her work but also intuitive about my needs. She worked through the knots and paid special attention to my neck and shoulder before finishing the session with a soothing scalp massage. I emerged from the treatment room with my headache almost gone and a renewed sense of well-being. (Never underestimate the power of a good massage and therapist.)
The relaxation room is a lovely zone to sit back and extend the rejuvenating effects of the treatments one has indulged in at The Spa. First Class passengers receive a 15-minute complimentary treatment at the spa while Business Class passengers must pay for the services.
The Spa by Shangri-La at the Oman Air First and Business Class Departure lounge is undoubtedly one of the finest airport spas and definitely worth arriving early to the airport for your next flight.