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Four Seasons Marrakech

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Av. de la Ménara
Marrakech
Morocco
212524359200

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Le Spa

Reviewed by Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe

Becoming a man in Marrakech was not something I figured would be tied to my spa experience at the Four Seasons, but apparently I was wrong…

The Four Seasons hotel and spa is situated in the heart of Marrakech and as we have come to expect of the chain, the grounds were stunning, the pools were breathtaking to look at, and the spa was distinctly of the Four Seasons caliber we are accustomed too.

I was traveling with Sara Jones for the Global Spa and Wellness Summit and the Four Seasons had invited her to review the Hammam experience at Le Spa, being the opportunist that I am, I asked her to add one more to the invite, Le Spa obliged and so I was set for my first Hammam!

My day started in a very traditional manner to a point; still adjusting to a new time zone I was awake quite early and heard the first call to prayer as the sun broke on the horizon, not being a religious man, but being a very spiritual man, I was in awe of the power and beauty of the Muslim faith. What I heard after the call to prayer was simply astounding. I couldn’t at first figure out what the distant noise was and then I realized I was literally hearing the power of prayer; it was all of Marrakech in prayer, at the Temples, in Souk at their homes, all praying and chanting in unison. I was blown away by this commitment to the Muslim faith and I was ready more than ever to get on with the day and have my first Hammam!

We arrived at Le Spa mid morning and we were greeted by the very attentive staff, polite, courteous and professional, as it should be. The shower and change areas were well appointed and all of the grooming amenities were readily available. After a lovely cup of herbal tea, I was greeted by my therapist and lead to the treatment room. The centerpiece of wellness at Le Spa as you might imagine is the Hammam treatment and steam area; a place to relieve tensions, detoxify and prepare your body for the luxurious results from the Hammam ritual.

As my therapist explained to me the Hammam ritual, I shared with him my religious experience from the morning and how powerful I had felt it was. Hammam as it turns out is tied very closely to the Muslim faith. Hammam, meaning “ritualistic bath” is built upon the ancient philosophy of the traditional Turkish baths. However, Islamic Hammam’s, particularly in the Moroccan case, evolved from their Roman roots to adapt to the needs of ritual purification according to Islam. For example, in most Roman-style Hammam’s, one finds a cold pool for full submergence of the body. However this style of bathing is less desirable in the Islamic faith and instead bathing under running water without being fully submerged is more appropriate.

We began with the traditional ‘warm’ room. This is where you acclimate to the heat and the therapist prepares buckets filled with water – one cold and one hot. Once I was accustomed to the heat, we moved into the second ‘hot’ room where the pores are meant open and breathe. We then moved back to the warm room, which also has a shower, a nice touch indeed. This is where my cleanse began, first I was coated the oily Black Savon-Noir a traditional, 100 percent natural soap made purely from olive oil. Once properly coated my therapist expertly began the ritualistic scraping of the body using the Hammam glove vigorously, several layers of my dead skin came off – truly an amazing and revitalizing sensation!

Next was the purifying Ghassoul clay that was smothered all over my body at this stage along with a gommage (scrub) expertly completed by my therapist, not once did I have to say ‘shwiya afak’ (gently, please), which is good to know if the going gets to rough! The final stage was the rinsing with the cold water, yes I completed my ice-bucket challenge in a Hammam spa at the Four Seasons Marrakech in Morocco – so take that ice bucketers!

At the end of it all, you’ll look like and feel as good as a shiny newborn baby and I was also informed by my therapist that I was now officially a “Moroccan man”! This treatment is an amazing experience, a religious experience for many and way of life for the Muslim faith with treatments occurring as often as three times a week, maybe a bit much for the rest of us though. The Four Season’s Hammam is not to be missed if you find yourself in Morocco, take the time to enjoy a little opulence and tradition in a truly tranquil setting in Marrakech.

Greg Cosway,
Associated Editor & World Traveller


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