This piece is part of the momondo experiences series where momondo challenged me to go to a hammam in Marrakech.I had heard it could be a brutal experience, but the offer of a massage afterwards led me to accept he challenge. Yes, it was a bit brutal, but also invigorating, and an experience that left my skin tingling for days. Thank you momondo for organizing the experience!
I lay on a hot marble slab, a slab that was so hot, I was arching my back to avoid as much skin contact as possible. I had just been scrubbed so violently by a gloved women, that I was pretty sure that all of my skin was now gone. The glove was so rough that I would not have used it to scour a BBQ grill. I had been slathered in a paste made with black olives that smelled of eucalyptus (called savon noir), before being scubbed. I had watched in fascination as layers of skin came off my body, much as it does during a pedicure. Now, I was struggling to breathe in the steamy, humid room, my body covered in clay to hydrate my skin.
They say it takes seven years to replace all the cells in your body with new ones. I am pretty sure mine were just replaced all in the space of ten minutes. I ventured to touch my body and was not only relieved to find that not only was my skin still there, but it felt soft. Silky soft, maybe even softer than the day I was born. And oddly enough, after the rough scrubbing, I had just endured, I felt more alive than I had felt in a very long time. I could feel my blood circulating through my body, finding new paths that before had been blocked. I felt good. Ok, I could have endured without the rough hair washing, my head rubbed so hard, I was sure all of my hair was going to disappear with my skin. And, I could have done without the cold shot of water that got sprayed right into my face and up my nose. (Funny, I don’t remember drowning being on the spa menu). But, really, I felt good.
What Is A Hammam?
I was having a hammam experience in Marrakech, Morocco at Heritage Spa. A hammam room is heated by wood fires that are underground and is a huge part of the culture of Morocco. The water comes through the faucets of the room and creates a beautiful steam which purifies the body. There are many public hammams that are very inexpensive, as it is believed that the hammams should be available to all social classes. A hammam is meant for both cleansing and for one to reflect upon their life. This ritual is very important to Morocco culture, and Moroccans visit the hammam weekly. If you go to a public hammam, you are expected to bring your own toiletries and scrubbing glove. You will have the option of hiring an attendant who will scrub you or you can choose to scrub yourself. If you go to a private hammam or spa, everything will be provided for you.
Pampered In Luxury
I absolutely enjoyed my Heritage Signature treatment at Heritage Spa, as it left me feeling pampered down to the bone. After the hammam, I enjoyed a facial, one of the best massages of my life, and then a pedicure. It was absolutely luxurious, and I loved the pillowed room where I got to relax and sip mint tea after my hammam.
I am really glad that I got to experience this special ritual that is such a part of Islāmic life. I left feeling purified, invigorated, relaxed, and enjoying the way this culture gives such care to their own bodies.
I am always looking for the perfect escape, the perfect paradise, the kind of place that tosses your cares into the sea. Fortunately, I have discovered many! I created this site to show you where to go and how to get there. My goal is to show you that Paradise is only a plane ticket (or boat ride) away. I have inspired many others to travel and to create a better life. I am available for inspirational speaking, coaching, writing, travel planning, and photography.
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