Hamman - Spa, Marrakesh
This really is an amazing spa, the building is beautiful! The hammam and massage were very good too. Make sure you have time on your hands and make the most of relaxing in the luxury surroundings. We had the 45 minute hammam and 1 hour massage package, which we felt was very good value for money based on home prices, considering how nice the spa was.
The women in the hammam and the masseues were very friendly, but they didn't speak very much English so maybe learn how to say 'harder' and 'softer' in French before you go!
You're provided with a robe and slippers and the changing facilities are good.
Try to book in advance, it's a popular spa! Thankfully even when it's busy it doen't feel overcrowded in there, it's very peaceful and relaxing.
From the JEF we headed down one of the alleys to the Hammam Ziani. Hammams are public bathhouses dating back to when most homes didn’t have a bath so people gathered at a Hammam for their baths – a very social experience.
In Muslim tradition, the men’s and women’s sections are separate so my husband and I parted ways at the door. Inside our experiences would be the same. First you change out of your clothes – women may either wear a bikini, underwear, or nothing at all. Then you go into a circular steam room that has marble stools and stool-level sinks. You wash yourself – while one of the women washes your back – with this brown, gooey, soft soap – think molasses.
After that you sit in the steam for several minutes until someone comes for you. You lay down on a table and your skin is scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed – the idea being to take off all the dead skin. Then you are washed again before heading to the massage table where you have a wonderful massage. The table is plastic coated and when combined with the massage oil you are kind of sliding all over. It was wonderful!
Next it’s time for another wash, and at another table you are smeared with seaweed before being wrapped in plastic (sort of mummy like). For the next 30 minutes or so you are just so relaxed you are almost sleeping. Too soon, it’s time to get up and get in the shower. (We did go to another more famous Hamman, Les Bains de Marrakech, but this one was much better, although less "fancy" inside.)
A Hammam experience is as a much a MUST DO as the JEF!!
Les Bains de Marrakech is supposed to be the best Hamman in Marrakech. This one was different then our other Hamman experience – geared more for foreigners I guess since we both stayed together throughout this one. Same set up only side by side – wash, scrub, very short massage, steam. We showered together (okay that part we enjoyed), then had some mint tea before dressing. We didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much as our other one – kind of felt “assembly line” and rushed. (Our other Hamman experience was at Hammam Ziani - wonderful!)
In case you're a little (or a lot modest) when doing a couples wash/scrub/massage, there is a female working on the female guest and a male working on the male guest in the same room at the same time. (They did ask beforehand if we were comfortable with that.)
I just had a great experience at Les Bains de Kabira, website below. It's a new hammam in the Marrakech medina, a good alternative to Les Bains de Marrakech which almost always requires advance booking of a couple of days.
Visiting hammam is one of the highlights in Morocco or any other (arab) countries which have such facilities. During my stay in Marakesh, I visited three hammans. The experiences are completely different as they are targeted to different users.
See this link for details: Hamman - Spa