Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Hammam & Gommage

One of the things I was looking for most in the Moroccan break? Relaxing. Staying in bed, lounging by the pool and spa treatments.  Although doing absolutely no research on the hotel or city before departure (so unlike me) I hoped the hotel would have a lovely traditional spa. Luckily it did not disappoint.

Pretty much as soon as our bags were dropped in the room we headed over to see the selection of treatments and book in. They had all the regulars however I was looking for something more authentic so asked the spa manager to recommend some Moroccan specialities. Also the entire spa menu was in French with no English (bad I know but my French is conversational at best, and not usually in the context of a spa...)

The hammam section stood out the most mainly because I hadn't heard of it before. Luckily this is also what was recommended as traditional. There were a number of add-ons you could apply with the price going up accordingly, unfortunately having this explained was frivolous. I just opted for third one down (two add-ons) and hoped for the best.

On heading for the treatment it became apparent the place was enormous, sort of a darkened underground cave. I was lead into a room not unlike a steam room and lay on the warm bench (which was lovely) . Having forgone my glasses it wasn't clear what was about to happen, time to hope for the best and close my eyes...

The first thing was being covered in warm water from a pan, this went on and then some cream was massaged in and a bit more relaxing on the warm slab. 'Turn' was about the only conversation managed in I did. On my front it was even harder to gauge what was going on. The pan of water was bought out again and I just about managed to close my mouth and eyes before my face/head/everything was doused in water. Thanks for that...more laying on the stone, various creams massage and drowning later a mitt came out. Now I say mitt but mean industrial sand paper. I was literally buffed within an inch of my life, front and back. Was this one of the added extras??

The next part was being covered in black mud. I was worried this was going to smell but fortunately it didn't. Yet more relaxing and being covered in goo then I had to sit up. This is where it felt a bit odd...I then had my hair washed in what felt like a combo of oil and soap. It was a bit like being a child. Also, usually at the hairdressers they take every precaution to ensure they aren't getting water in your eyes and ears...not here, I may as well have been scuba diving. Trying not to contort my face and look zen/contented was a challenge. I tried, god knows what I looked like. I then stood up and was spun around while being doused off with buckets of water.

Next I was lead to the sauna to relax, which was gorgeous. Large, comfortable, right temp and was given some green tea for even more toxin banishing. Afterwards I honestly had very soft skin that felt lovely, had a good glow and even felt tighter. It was a good treatment, however if I were to have it again I would remember to wear goggles, shower cap and take a comb.

As I said, I had done no research on the area and realised after we could have gone to a local hammam place and paid half the price, I guess that's what you get for being a captive audience in a 5* hotel, still it cost less than £25, much cheaper than you pay in London (should anywhere provide such a treatment)

I also had a full body relaxing massage, for 350 dirhams which is just over £25, for a great hour massage this again is far cheaper than you'd pay at home. Let's see how long my stress free, buffed and slightly bronzed body will last in snowy London...
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