Moroccan Hammam – The ultimate treatment??

My day ini Marrakech starts with an hour meditation and then 30 minutes with the ultimate training device TRX.  The straight into meetings where we are commencing the work on creating one of Europe’s coolest destination spas in Marrakech and then off to Royal Mansour for a complete Hammam experience.

And hence my question – is Moroccan hammam perhaps the ultimate treatment? Where you are washed, scrubbed, massaged, anointed like a baby until you are so clean and relaxed that the feeling is close to unparalleled with any other treatment.

Let me tell you about my treatment. Starting with Royal Mansour, this is a design masterpiece, representing the vision of its owner, King Mohammed VI of Morocco. The design is so beautiful, the quality among the best I have seen and makes a fantastic first impression.

Customer service was excellent, albeit not personal except from my therapist, as a hammam wash is unavoidably very personal. After changing into disposable underwear, my therapist greets me takes my robe and we walk into the hammam and she lies me down on the heated floor alcove.

Here is the biggest design mistake, instead of raised slabs, the hammam treatment is done on the floor, which makes it difficult to sit up and a terrible working position for the therapist, which results in a lesser treatment due to not being able to carry out the treatment squatting or bending the back 90 degrees. Well here is the sequence:

 

  1. Buckets of water gently prepares the body
  2. Wash with the traditional black soap
  3. Move to another alcove (why I don’t understand, just an uncomfortable and slippery move)
  4. Scrub with the special glove, shedding chunks of skin and my therapist saying “it is normal”
  5. Wash and then another scrub using special product and this time also includes the face
  6. The she sits me up and start washing my hair before I can stop her (I stopped washing my hair about 6 months ago, and it takes a while for the hair get rid of the silicone and chemicals when you wash it – will tell you more on a later blog post)
  7. Massage and stretch with Argan oil – and here is where the quality is not nearly as good as it could be, my therapist is an excellent masseuse, but impossible to do a proper massage squatting on a slippery floor.
  8. 5 minutes relax and then a shower
  9. Cold dip – wonderful for  a Swede, but she tells me that not everyone feels the same way
  10. Anointment in a dry room – still done on the floor –   with a bit of massage and after 90 minutes as good as new! She tells me that I will sleep like a baby and I believe her.

She asks me if I would like tea, but then never serves it? English is not that good, which could be a reason.

Their second be design mistake is that there is no relaxation area, and this is a BIG mistake. After a hammam treatment in the heat and having gone through such a ritual, all you want to do is lie down for a couple of minutes, but instead I am shown to the locker and asked to put on my clothes. Major turnoff.

Albeit the above, I truly feel fantastic, my skin is pink and fresh, and I am wondering why I don’t do this every week, like the Moroccans do.

In my view, this is the ultimate treatment. Have a raised slab and relaxation room and it would get the highest score from me – and if you are ever going to Morocco do not let the hammam pass you by. You can pay about €180 at the Royal Mansour or €10 at a local public hammam.

Ending up with a phenomenal dinner, back to the hotel for 3 hours sleep before getting on the plane to Budapest, I have to say that not a bad way to spend a day and  a half!

//Anna

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