LA MAMOUNIA - MARRAKESH - AN EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE
For all of you wanting the ultimate Hamman experience then you should try the La Mamounia, in Marrakesh Morocco. This is the quintessential elegance of Morocco and has been the place to go for over 50 years for presidents, celebrities and the like from the world over. But, I digress...lets read what the British Telegraph reporter found on her visit to their luxurious Spa Hammam:
"The spa The weary winter traveller to La Mamounia finds an oasis, not just a spa. The famous hotel, Winston Churchill’s favourite retreat, is an opulent Arabian Nights palace where marble fountains tinkle in inner courtyards and carved wooden archways conceal velvet-seated nooks. The hotel has just had a major facelift, and the newly extended spa (2,500sq m) boasts a large indoor pool and candlelit chambers, delightfully perfumed by the hotel’s signature scent, created especially by Olivia Giacobetti, one of the world’s great “noses”.
The symptoms After an important work contract had fallen through, and elderly parents had been diagnosed with different but serious conditions, Spy was suffering from professional and emotional burnout.
The prescription The therapist recommended a one-hour deep tissue relaxing massage (£68) on the first day, and on the following day a hammam, the Moroccan equivalent of a Turkish bath. A day pass costs £38.
The procedure The massage, carried out by a young man, was blissful, but left Spy totally unprepared for the exotic rigours of the hammam. This is not for the faint-hearted. First, Spy was left gently to broil in a sauna to open her pores. Then, semi-naked, she was showered like a baby by her masseuse, who then proceeded to rub her with a grainy, all-natural exfoliator, and finally apply cream to her body using an argan oil mixture. This procedure was repeated twice – and by round two, Spy felt raw, if very much alive.
The verdict The massage left Spy feeling pampered and – for the first time in virtually a year – relaxed. The hammam, instead, after the initial tingly sensation, left her feeling invigorated and ready for battle. Her skin was silky to the touch and her face glowed. The treatment had an additional benefit: Spy slept deeply and uninterrupted for 10 hours each night.
The medical opinion “Massage is much the most effective physical method of inducing sleep,” writes Dr James Le Fanu, “activating the parasympathetic nervous system to cause the body to relax. Several scientific papers have confirmed its restorative powers for those suffering from chronic exhaustion – as well as relieving tension headache and lower back pain.”
The feelgood factor A revitalising experience in luxurious surroundings has transformed this burnt-out case into a bright-eyed action woman. A good thing too, as the delights of the nearby souk and Marrakesh’s old city are worth leaving even La Mamounia for. For more information visit http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/spaspy/8274078/Spa-Spy-La-Mamounia-Morocco.html.
Of course, if you want to try an at home Hammam experience without the young man visit www.zakiasmorocco.com for all you Moroccan beauty needs.