The Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som not only caters to families but is the world’s first medi-spa to revive therapies from ancient Arabic culture. Rose Dykins reports
The Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som opened in Qatar in February, instantly becoming the region’s premier medi-spa destination, and featuring the world’s first contemporary curation of Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine (TAIM).
The cutting-edge resort is managed by Chiva-Som, a world leader in the lifestyle transformation sector, with 26 year’s experience operating its flagship property in Hua Hin, Thailand. Developed by Qatar’s Msheireb Properties, Zulal is the first full-immersion wellness resort in Qatar, and the largest in the Middle East.
With unique treatments and service based upon Arabic and Islamic Wellness principles, and ingredients indigenous to the region, Zulal Wellness Resort also draws upon family values, and the strengthening of familial bonds through holistic wellbeing practices.
Zulal means “pure, natural water” in Arabic, and the resort’s location in Khasooma, a private coastal location in the north of Qatar ties in with this theme. Zulal offers guests two distinct paths to achieving their wellness goals: the adults-only Zulal Serenity and Zulal Discovery, which invites families to connect and embark on a wellness journey together.
Derived from the 11th-century Canon of Medicine, written by physician-philosopher Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna), TAIM distills more than a millennium’s worth of evidence-based wellness practices into a range of treatments and programmes that are geared towards supporting health in the 21st century.
TAIM emphasises the importance of restoring balance through herbal medicines, spiritual therapies, and dietary and mind-body practices. The wellness philosophy at Zulal is built upon six pillars: nutrition, fitness, spa, physiotherapy, holistic health and aesthetics. And TAIM is integrated within each of these pillars, with the aim of helping guests attain their optimum physical, mental and spiritual health in a sustainable manner.
The adults-only Zulal Serenity resort has 60 rooms and suites that create a calming ambience for guests embarking on their individual wellness journeys. It offers seven programmes, each one tailored to an individual’s specific health needs, and guests can choose to focus on relaxation, detox, weight management or fitness.
Zulal Serenity’s extensive wellness facilities include thermal and hydrotherapy suites, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa suites, a gym, exercise studios, a cutting-edge physiotherapy studio, a hammam, a Himalayan salt room (pictured below), an arctic cave and an aesthetics centre.
Younger children are encouraged to explore, with nature-based excursions and arts and crafts activities, while older children spend their time being active, with kayaking, dancing and personal training sessions. Each programme aims to balance the physical, mental and emotional elements of wellness – and always incorporate meditation and healthy meals.
All the personalised wellness packages at Zulal Wellness Resort include accommodation, meals, a health and wellness consultation, daily treatments, and unlimited access to wellness facilities and group activities.
There is a digital detox policy in public areas, and guests are encouraged to fully disconnect, naturally re-energise and develop a sense of calm from taking in the resort’s surrounding desert and ocean views.
Dedicated nutritionists are also on hand to offer guests so they can continue their transformative culinary journey once they return home, and cooking classes with Zulal’s chef can also be arranged. At Zulal Discovery, there are children’s menus that encourage a health approach to food.
Krip Rojanastien, chairman and CEO of Chiva-Som, says: “At Chiva-Som, we believe in a holistic approach to wellness, drawing on the indigenous traditions of each destination. Zulal Wellness Resort continues Chiva-Som’s journey of pioneering and sustainable development, bringing a contemporary take on ancient wellness practices and incorporating them into the over 400 wellness treatments we offer at the resort for complete wellbeing and life transformation.”
Daniele Vastolo, general manager of Zulal Wellness Resort, adds: “We look forward to welcoming guests to such a unique experience in the Middle East. While rooted in tradition, Zulal Wellness Resort is thoroughly modern in its results-oriented wellness offering, and we cater to guests’ needs with a beautiful setting, expert consultants, and recognition of the holistic connection between body, mind and spirit.”
Retreats at Zulal Wellness Resort start from £2,599 per person when booked with Healing Holidays. The package includes the resort’s three-night Taste of Zulal programme, Qatar Airways flights, transfers and full-board accommodation.