For an authentic Hammam experience, set in one of Marrakech's most iconic hotels, you must make time to visit the Spa at La Sultana and indulge in their services.
While in Marrakesh there are several things you have to do. One of them is eat Tagine, the other is haggle with hawkers and the best… get fully scrubbed and bathed by a complete stranger. Yes I am talking about partaking in a Hammam treatment! Now your options for a Hammam treatment can be; entering the public Hammam, or for a more luxurious experience, you can visit one of the award winning spas throughout the area.
If you’re into ambiance as much as you are into world-class treatments then you must visit the spa at La Sultana. La Sultana is a premier hotel in Marrakesh and has some of the most stunning Moroccan design details we’ve come across. Lavish Moroccan lamps hang on the ceilings above, exotic furniture adorn the different public spaces and extremely detailed carvings line the walls. La Sultana is not only a beautiful space to take in Moroccan design, it’s probably the best place to get fully bathed.
The Royal Hammam Experience
Standing in our private small Hammam, Chris wearing black disposable boxers and me wearing a g string (that was “g” in both the front and back) the smell of exotic oils filled the air and the steam was quickly making us sweat. Before we even had the chance to take in our surroundings a women dressed in all black came in, took off our bathrobes and motioned for us to sit on the warm marble. The process then began…
Bucket after bucket of warm water was poured over us, making sure all our parts were wet and ready to be soaped up. She then took the black soap, which is a sticky substance made from olives, with a texture somewhere between tar and honey and began to rub it all over our bodies. She lifted up our arms, got under our pits, rubbed each and every jelly roll on my belly and even made sure to get my belly button.
At first it was a tad bit uncomfortable…I mean I barely let my husband pinch my rolls…but that insecurity only lasted about 10 seconds before I just gave in. I let this complete stranger lather and rub every inch of my body and it was heaven. I have never felt so relaxed and so appreciative. I kind of felt like Eddie Murphy in Coming to America (remember that bath scene?) only without the bevy of women and the sexiness part to it.
After our initial cleanse, our spa therapist left us for about 15 minutes in the steam, to allow our pores to open and to relax. We were then lead into another small marble room, with an identical low sink area and design, where we were instructed to lay face down…and then the real work began. Our therapist and her colleague proceeded to scrub away our dead skin. Using an exfoliating mitt they both meticulously began exfoliating our skin. Little tiny rolls of dead skin began to peel off as they made sure not miss all our bits. The exfoliation was both painful and pleasurableand we were left with raw yet amazingly smooth skin. A quick shampooing and other soapy rinse, we were then wrapped in our robes and warm towels and lead to a resting area to relax.
Once we were fully relaxed, we were whisked off to the couples massage room, where our next treatment began. Soothing music played in the background as we were motioned to lay down for the start of our massage. For the next 50 minutes, we fell in and out of sleep as our masseuse’s got to work on our bodies, with a mixture of gentle and hard kneads. If you’re looking for a therapeutic yet relaxing massage during your trip to Marrakech, this is definitely worth a visit!
Recreate the Hammam Experience at Home
Even if you don’t have a marble bathing room at home, you can still attempt to get smooth skin with a few small purchases. The basic tools for a great scrub is black soap, a high quality scrub, an exfoliating glove and a pumice stone. When you leave La Sultana you’ll be gifted with the stone and glove and the rest can be purchased at the hotel or at a number of stalls in the souk. This can be a great gift idea or a fantastic little memento of your trip in Marrakech!
We’ve had our fair share of exotic spa experiences, but nothing has come quite close to being completely naked while having a total stranger clean me, naughty bits and all. My words won’t do this experience justice, but hopefully you’ll get an bit of insight into this Moroccan tradition and indulge during your visit.
About La Sultana
Tucked away in the heart of the Medina, off a small alley way is this beautifully restored La Sultana Hotel. Consisting of 5 Moroccan style riads, that hotel offers 28 rooms and suites set throughout the various riads. As part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Great Hotels of the World, you can expect 5 star service, design and amenities.
Whether you’re visiting for the day or staying at the property make sure to head to the rooftop to get amazing views of the bustling medina below. You’ll be transported to a time of elegance and splendor, yet with all the modern necessities.
For more information about La Sultana make sure to visit their website: