Beauty from Budapest

Posted on April 7, 2011


Having fallen in love with Budapest during my trip to Hungary last month, to run the 200km Balaton Supermarathon and then to enjoy the city in all it’s glory with my mum, it seemed only natural that I check out Elche …. Hungary’s finest import in Dubai, in the form of an award-winning beauty salon tucked away on a quiet backstreet, enclosed by a walled garden, in Jumeirah 1, behind the ladies who lunch and the bella boutiques on Beach Road.

So yesterday I had a trial of their Speed Fitness and then quite literally went under the spotlight for a couple of hours with a tailor-made (& utterly divine) facial which has left me with skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom … and I hope, a youthful glow …

Elche was the first organic beauty salon in Dubai originating from Hungary’s Molnar Family who were expert herbalists. Their expertise in plant-life and natural remedies has been combined with modern scientific techniques to maximise the benefits to be had from natural herbs and fruits.

The product range, whose ingredients are all hand-picked, is 100% natural and free of preservatives. Every last balm and serum, lotion and potion, mask and oil applied to my skin smelt utterly gorgeous, never mind its ability to give those lucky enough to be on the receiving end, clear, glowing and healthy skin. No wonder they’ve won so many awards.

My facial was given to me by Reka. Lasting a good 90 minutes, it incorporated a consultation, cleansing, toning, exfoliating, peeling, gels and creams, serums and correctors to lift, smoothe and rid my skin of the daily consequences of pollution, sand, late nights and more.

The products applied smelt good enough to eat …. think cinnamon and quince, fenugreek and rosehip, grapeseed and lemon. And paprika. Hungary’s national spice! The paprika mask applied to my skin caused so much heat that Reka was fanning my face making me feel like a Geisha … the lengths we go to for a youthful glow …

As for the Speed Fitness, I read about this recently in a Time Out feature and was intrigued to give it a go. Briefly, it’s a German technology that promises a tight body, toned muscles and flat abs. Combined, these bring a beautiful posture and a reshaped figure.

I was dressed in a funny suit and had various wires attached to the different parts of my body … I looked in the mirror and a scuba diver looked back at me which couldn’t help but make me laugh. My trainer (& Elche’s manager), Gabi, was a treasure. Fun and easy to chat to so I felt like I was with an old friend.

In a nutshell, the aforementioned wires are attached to a machine and transport electrodes to the body to stimulate the muscles for maximum results. You dictate exactly how strong the current to be … it should never be beyond comfort level … so whilst it sounds like a rendition of the electric chair, it couldn’t be further from it. You then do various exercises, squats, lunges and so on for a few seconds at a time. Simple yet fiendishly clever!

A big advantage of Speed Fitness is its ability to protect tendons as no load is applied to the joints and the fact that you give your organs a good internal massage as well which is great for detoxing and in particular, great for a sluggish digestive system; something that us brunch-tastic Dubai’ites are often a victim of. It helps to reduce cellulite too … wonderful …

Who’s it for?

Well it doesn’t improve your fitness per se or give you any kind of cardio workout. But it does tone and aid in fat loss for those who want to reshape their bodies. And it does this well …. with minimum effort from you, in a short space of time, in luxurious surroundings. You even get a chocolate shake to sip on afterwards … clearly, they know how to keep us women happy!

Elche’s website claims that their aim is to help women maintain their youthful vitality. And with only a week or so to go, before I turn another year older, I think Elche came into my life just at the right time …

… so be sure to remark, next time you see me, how youthful I am looking …. please!

Need to know:


Go: Villa 42, Street 10c, Jumeirah 1

Call: 04 349 4942



Posted in: Uncategorized