Tips & Ideas

Tips & Ideas

Sanctuary Zara Spa – Mövenpick Dead Sea, Jordan

submitted by: Paris Permenter & John Bigley

We arrived at the Mövenpick Dead Sea just before sunset. We quickly wound our way along the dead-sea-3PRmud-colored buildings of the resort, one designed to recreate an Arabian village, and headed down to the seashore to catch the last rays of light. The sun was setting over the world’s saltiest body of water, turning it a brilliant orange. It was the perfect end to a day of touring the many historic and natural sites of Jordan.

But the day wasn’t over yet. We both had spa treatments planned at the resort’s Sanctuary Zara Spa. Located on the sea’s northeastern shore, the 6,000-square-foot spa carries on the local style of the resort with domed ceilings, walls of local stone, and mosaics.

dead-sea-4PRWe parted in the tranquil lounge and headed our separate ways, to the men’s and women’s sections of resort’s newly-opened spa. For the next half hour, we each enjoyed one of the treatments for which the spa is best known: the Dead Sea Salt Scrub. Using giant granules of salt mixed with rich oils, we were each scrubbed until our skin felt as smooth as a baby’s. After a quick shower to rinse off the salt, our skin was treated to a moisturizing rub, perfect at the end of a busy day of touring.dead-sea-5PR

Along with the salt scrubs, another often-requested treatment is the Dead Sea Mud Wrap. “Because the Dead Sea is a terminal lake, the minerals all remain in the mud,” explained Zein Khreino, marketing and sales manager for the spa. “They produce a calming effect and help balance the minerals in the body.”

Unlike the medical spas of Israel, this spa is for relaxation and beauty. “The concept of the spa is holistic — to treat the mind, body and spirit,” noted Khreino. Relaxation at the $6 million spa begins in the Tranquility Lounge, where Japanese massage chairs invite weary guests to start to unwind before their treatments. From there, visitors unwind at other spa facilities: the Thermariums which offer traditional Hammam massages of the Turkish bathhouses, Tropical Rain Showers scented with mint, an Indoor Dead Sea Pool with 23% concentration of the heavily salted water, and more.

After unwinding, guests move on to their choice from a menu of over 60 treatments. “Two to seven-day packages give you the whole Dead Sea experience,” explained Khreino. Many of the treatments use dead-sea-6PRlocally-made Dead Sea products; the most popular treatments include mud wraps, mud facials, and even mud wraps with anti-cellulite oils.

For us, the additional treatments would have to wait for another day. Feeling energized, we were ready to go explore the resort and to sample a Jordanian feast. We had the feeling that the real feast was just beginning as we looked forward to several more days spent exploring attractions both old and, thanks to the Mövenpick and the Sanctuary Zara Spa, new in this fascinating land.

For more on the Mövenpick Dead Sea, see For more about travel in Jordan, see the Jordan Tourist Board site at

Paris Permenter & John Bigley are founders of – a romantic travel site featuring getaways of special interest to lovers in search of a honeymoon, a destination wedding, or a weekend away.