Kozma and Kozma Salon

Sometimes, when you can’t get away but you desperately need a holiday, there’s nothing like a day of pampering. We are pretty spoiled in Dubai with a zillion world class hotel spas and salons to choose from, so I expected Kozma and Kozma, a new beauty salon on Al Wasl Road, to be just another great spa. My jaw actually dropped when I walked in to the villa and saw a spiral staircase, a colourful chandelier and rows of candy jars on the wall. I have officially entered Willy Wonka’s dream fantasy for all things girly! (The hot pink branding should have given it away :D)

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Get the Party Started

After ‘checking in’ at the reception, we were lead to the sunken seating area and given a menu of super healthy and delicious juices to choose from along with an array of sugary treats. Liquorice, gum balls, twizzlers? I couldn’t resist the candy hearts.  I was feelin’ the relaxed, vacation-like vibe of the place and went for a coconut and pineapple fresh juice, while my friend had a green apple and ginger juice to go along with our candy. Cheers!

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Oh, my Mani-Pedi

Getting your nails done is not a half hour quickie during a lunch break at work here. It’s a sacred beauty ritual best reserved for a long, lazy, indulgent afternoon with your bestie. My nail therapist walked me past rows of the best nail polish brands – Essie, Ciate – until I settled on a summery hot pink for my toes (as an homage to Kozma and Kozma’s colours!) and a classic French manicure for my hands. Business on top and party on the bottom? 😀

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Next time I’ll be bold and try this

Snowman Manicure

The manicure was more than just application of colour. We were led upstairs, where I took a seat in a leather massage chair that worked my back while I flipped through magazines and sipped on my juice. Then my therapist came with a steel bowl filled with snow-like material (totally eco-friendly and bio-degradable, she says), and I’m told that the salty composition helps soften hands and makes it easier to remove cuticles later. I was only half listening because the best part is that you’re also given material to BUILD A SNOWMAN! What a creative way to stay cool in Dubai’s summer heat 😀

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Do you wanna build a snowman?…

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Ok I’m really good at this #careerchange

 

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Proud momma of a snowman

Unicorn Pedicure

Yep, you read that right. A pedicure inspired by unicorns. I got to choose a colour for the (warm, this time) salty slush that I could squish between my toes to prep them for a pedicure. I went with a vibrant blue:

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I must say, my hands and feet at the end of the whole process were baby soft, with the most careful application of colour I’d ever experienced.

Though the mani-pedi took a little longer that I’m used to, it was so nice to have a nice girly chat with my friend and some quiet time before resuming my crazy schedule. I loved it so much, in fact, that I booked a hair treatment the following week because the hair salon and products looked amazing!

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Ta daaa! Thank you dream team!

Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Welcome
 
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
 
The rooms
 
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
 
Eating
 
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
 
 
Location
 
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
 
Don’t miss
 
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
 
 
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at www.hotel-bedford.com
 
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450

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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!