This spring, a whole new boutique hotel opened its doors here in Dubai. That in itself is nothing new as the city is pretty much built up on hotels. The reason why it immediately peaked my interest was that La Ville Hotel simply seemed to tick all the boxes for me. First of all, it is located in the new, hip and gorgeously designed neighbourhood called City Walk right smack in between the ocean and Burj Khalifa. The design is a dream for a Scandinavian woman: monochromatic, luxurious, clean and very stylish. Utterly European with a health lack of frill and arabic add-ons. I love to spend time just sitting in the lobby working and all the best events of the season have been hosted at the hotel’s amazing rooftop pool lounge with its breathtaking view over the city’s skyline. At La Ville Hotel health is key and all restaurants show their dedication to this by sourcing ingredients in a sustainable way and delivering menus that are beautiful for the heart and soul.
Now, this really reads like a hard-selling article and I wanted it to be anything but that. You see, when I find a place that gives me That Luxurious Feeling I just have to let you know about it! I stumbled upon a way to incorporate La Ville into my work with beauty in the most unexpected way and I simply had to take it.
Before we start; a little disclaimer might be in order. I usually don’t like to write about wellness or health due to the fact that it’s not my area of education, I think it is a slippery slope to discuss what health really is and what it is not and I do suffer from some health-related issues myself which makes it a tricky topic. Please read this article as a fun and interesting way of looking into and experience ingredients rather than me trying to extend lifestyle advices on how you should eat or be!
You know that I always try to learn and understand more about the ingredients used in our beauty products. Over the time I’ve naturally come across some ingredients (or combination of them) that I particularity like and trust. I’ve also seen that it goes in trends: 2016 was all about Charcoal and Turmeric while 2017 seems to be focusing on Prickly Pear seed oil. Two of my most used (and repurchased) skincare products with these ingredients are the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Mask and Turmeric & Cranberry seed energizing radiance masque by Kiehl’s. I always trust them both to deliver instant results while being gentle with my sensitive skin.
During one event at La Ville I happened to run into the Director of Beverage for the hotel’s different outlets and I mention this: that ingredients within the skincare industry seems to come in trends and that certain benefits are more sought after than others. He seemed genuinely interested and it soon became clear why: in the hotel’s restaurant CHIVAL they have focused on a whole new concept of Charged Crystal Waters and an ingredient focused Juice Bar! Most people he meet might want to focus on the alcoholic beverage. I kindly asked him to set up a Juice- and water tasting! I wanted to see what my favourite skincare ingredients would taste and feel like 🙂
First up: the Crystal Botanical Water. We all know that water comes in a huge variety of qualities and even natural taste depending on where it’s been sourced and how. CHIVAL has taken it two steps further by focusing on:
- charged crystals
For those unfamiliar with Hydrosols it is basically the aromatic water that remains after you steam-distill a number of botanical materials, not only flowers. When any plant matter is steam-distilled you’ll get two bi-products: on the top comes essential oils (oil-soluble constituents) and at the bottom of the fluid you’ll have hydrosol (water-soluble constituents). This aromatic water is mostly known as adding aroma to beauty products but it can also be used for food flavouring in water, juices, soups, ice cubes and so on.
You might have heard that herbal teas have a lot of therapeutic benefits? Hydrosols have them too, alongside with health benefits and they are stronger than tea which makes them more active. Also, they are not fluid draining for the body, the way tea is.
CHIVAL uses two hydrosols for their botanical waters: Egyptian Rose Centifolia and Neroli (orange blossom). For now, the hotel offers us two different botanical waters to choose from!
Water of CLARITY & CREATIVITY
Enriched with charged Labradorite and Clear Quartz Crystals and Infused with Neroli Hydrosol this water not only have a pleasant aroma; it seems to wake up your mind. The staff of the restaurant have tried to drink it during the afternoon when you might feel a bit tired and unfocused. They claim to see great results. If I would book a meeting or workshop at any of the hotel’s conference facilities, I would most definitely serve this tho all participants instead of the usual afternoon sugar-rush! You know how much I love Neroli in my perfumes and skincare. It suits my personality while feeling fresh and positive. Right now, I’m trying my best to convince the hotel to bottle the water up! I need it in my own fridge.
Water of LOVE
The next blend on the menu might be the one that most people will focus on? Pure spring water have been charged with Clear Quartz Crystals and Rose Quartz and Infused with the fantastic Rose Centifolia hydrosol. The taste! I’ve brought many of my friends her simply to treat them to some water hahahaha. It is made with love, it tastes like love and we know that different hydrosols affects our body and mind.
All crystals comes from a well known and old London based company and once again; I think we all wants to buy them for our homes.
As I side note I simply have to add that these hydrosoles also are used in some of the hotels super creative alcoholic drinks. I’ve had a full night of hot (!) rose martinis…
Time to step it up: welcome to the CHIVAL HERBAL JUICE BAR. My “skincare heaven”.
Yes, nowadays you’ll find “juice bars” in every shopping mall and hip neighbourhood. I have nothing to say about that. What I’m focusing on here is the fact that I’ve found a place to have my juice That Luxurious Way. What does it mean?
First: ingredients, ingredients and ingredients!
CHIVAL only work with day-fresh ingredients, organic and preferably locally sourced. Everything, even the garnish is of highest quality. I can either apply my skincare topically, or I can come here and drink my body weight in it….I prefer to do both!
There are four drinks to choose from, all carefully created to be much more than an average freshly squeezed juice. For an ingredient-junkie like myself, it’s very fun to present these to all of you.
Secondly, but equally important to me: presentation. I’m a snob. I don’t enjoy drinking from plastic or paper cups, I’m not impressed by grownups slurping through a straw while walking the mall and I’m very happy to be served my juice in an elegant, thin glass with matching garnish. It’s just the way I am.
The HERBAL+ (Green)
Described to be an excellent juice to snatch up on the way to the gym (yes, if you live at City Walk its easy to walk pass the hotel but you’ll miss out on the delicate presentation if you take it to-go) this green thing is a kick for the system and taste buds.
Filled with Fennel, Spinach, and Green Tea it awakens the digestive system while the cool mix of zesty Lime and Sea Salt simply takes it to a new level. I’ve never had a juice seasoned with sea salt before; it doesn’t make it “salty” – it just gives the drink a little pinch. The lime with all of its vitamin C feels like a great way to start the morning and for me who often need a little extra iron, spinach is a must have.
The TURMERIC ELIXIR (Yellow)
Here we go. This beauty was the reason we got to discuss the crossover between skincare and food in the first place. I love love love Turmeric. The history of its health benefits is well documented and tested. In skincare, Turmeric is used as an anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It brightens up dull complexion with instant results. For cooking, the yellow root powder has been used in Indian and arabic kitchens forever as it is said to ease joint and muscle pain, address headache and be anti-inflammatory. The active ingredients of turmeric; Curcumin has been a part of Ayurvedic Medicine for a very long time. Turmeric is also known to support the circulatory (blood) system as well as the digestive system – which we all know functions to support vital organs with transportations of nutrients.
The drink is made with Turmeric+, Carrots, Orange and seasoned with Ginger and Long green pepper oil.
I thought that this would be my clear favourite of the four since I enjoy orange and carrots a lot. It is tasty and interesting but something with the seasoning made it a little too strong for me. I will still continue to drink it as the benefits of its ingredients are something I simply must enjoy for my health issues.
The BEAUTY ELIXIR (Red)
It’s no secret that I enjoy roses in my beauty products, both for the scent and its properties. It has to be said though, roses comes in many level of qualities and origins. Be careful when you purchase a beauty product with rose extract, so that you’ll get the right quality and benefits! Especially if you’re looking at facial mists.
This beautiful drink comes with the garnish of fresh red roses which makes it so incredibly lavish and luxurious. Inside it, you’ll find only fabulous ingredients: Pomegranate juice and seed together with the hotel’s botanical rose water and seasoned with Rose Centifolia hydrosol. It is feminine, fresh for the body and very uncomplicated. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t enjoy a beauty elixir while waiting for their food? It tastes heavenly and light. The perfect drink as the weather gets warmer.
Darlings. This is my favourite. I don’t know where to start!
First of all, the juice is named after the most significant Persian thinker of the Arabic Golden Age. As a child, Avicenna studied everything from medicine, chemistry, philosophy and psychology. At the age of 18, he was already a well known and educated Physician. During Avicenna’s lifetime, he managed to publish 450 written works, 240 of them have survived and the most important one The Canon of Medicine a five-volume medical encyclopedia was the standard medical textbook in both the European and Islamic world up to the 18th century. I think it is quite fabulous to know that the Canon of Medicine actually got reprinted in 1973 in NYC.
In The book of Healing, Avicenna has left us an encyclopedia that blends philosophical and scientific work together and with The Book of Minerals he was one of the first ever to classified minerals into groups of stones, fusible substances, sulphurs and salts.
For my personal interest in active charcoal and its many benefits, I was completely intrigued to see a drink holding this ingredient. It is said to be the ultimate “Persian magic potion” and the black liquid is filled with Active Charcoal from Indian bamboo. To make it tasty as well as anti-inflammatory, finned with vitamin C and kind to the digestive system it also contains Lime, Ginger and Red Grapefruit.
While all of my skincare masks with charcoal completely assist in drawing out impurities from the skin in the most beautiful way, to digest charcoal has a bit of the same action. We know that the status of our digestive system shows on our skin. It is the centre of our body and naturally when it is not in balance, our skin won’t be either.
I don’t know what to say other than that this drink works. Whenever I have it, I can see results on my complexion the day after. I thought it was just wishful thinking, but I’ve really put it to the test when my skin has been acting up.
Please La Ville: you seriously have to bottle this! I need to stock my whole fridge with it. The taste is super fresh and let’s face it: drinking a black drink is quite cool!
On a last note, I also urge you to take a look into the Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science”. This prize is awarded every second year by UNESCO and addresses the issues raised as we see advancement in technology and scientific research. To me, I think this is something extremely important. I almost wish it would be one of the Nobel Prizes!
I hope you had a good read and that you are encouraged to start using some of your favourite skincare ingredients in food and beverage. It is doable it you do it right.
And its really fun to broader your perspective ♥