with my wife wondering in the maze of Medina in Marrakesh, discovering its authenticity
and the never-ending beauty of an ancient city in its narrow and winding
passages. It is easy to get lost in Medina and sometimes it can lead to further
discovery such as finding a modern hammam in the medieval setting. Let me
briefly explain what a Moroccan hammam is. Similar
to a Turkish bath, these hammams are part of many Moroccans' daily life. They are a
public steam room where people go to clean themselves. This is usually a
weekly ritual and is considered a social activity in villages and towns, with
men, women, and children all participating.
walking deep inside Medina when I arrived in Quartier Riad Zitoun Jdid where I
found myself in the narrow cul-de-sac of Derb
El Arsa. The style of the door at number 35 grabbed my attention. I was busy taking pictures of the ornamental
door, when a woman dressed in a red outfit opened the door. She invited us to
enter what turned out to be a spa centre to learn about the services of ‘Hammam
We were offered
Moroccan mint tea and biscuits while we listened to a brief description of the
various treatment options. We found the place very clean and bright for relaxation
and getting a healing experience. We joined a tour of the venue in three floors
and learned that there were 8 treatment rooms, 4 traditional hammam rooms (very
warm wet steam rooms) plus a jacuzzi on the top terrace. This modern spa in the
heart of Medina offers the same feeling of a traditional hammam. The venue is
managed with 24 staff in a converted Moroccan house with a centre courtyard
surrounded by Arabian style seating couches under arches.
The spa is open 7 days
a week from 9am until 11pm and offers their wide range of health services to individuals,
couples and groups. We found the centre truly worth of a visit for a healthy
rejuvenation. After the tour, we agreed to come back the next day for a body
We returned as agreed after
spending a long day walking in Medina. I choose to use one of the spacious
hammams privately and my wife decided to go for a one- hour body massage to be
pampered. She negotiated with a young lady masseuse and combined this with a
facial treatment. At the end of sessions, we were both happy and refreshed. I
spent enough time under steam and my wife was delighted with the good quality
treatment in the hands of her qualified individual. We were pleased that there
was no rush and we were not hurried despite being late at night.
The staff in the spa were
caring and friendly. A warm Moroccan mint tea poured into small colourful
glasses was the best purification after a long day. We were also asked to have
a homemade dinner in the spa, but we had to go back to our Riad, as we had
We would love to go
back to Hammam
Rosa Bonheur to be indulged within their pleasant environment and certainly would
Reza flew to Morocco on a direct Air Arabia Airlines flight from London Gatwick to Marrakesh.
For more info about Morocco visit www.muchmorocco.com.
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To see more of Reza’s images of Morocco go to www.amirinia.com/morocco.
Images and story © Mohammed Reza Amirinia
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