A Moroccan Hammam spa experience is like no other.
A bucket and sloshes of water. Countless scrubs, buffs and polishes. A dark and steamy room, full of deep, inviting scents. This is your chance to be reborn.
Accept it with both hands, for an experience at the Moroccan hammam spa at Maison MK is your ticket to enter another world.
Maison MK Marrakech
Disclosure: My experience was gifted.
What is a Hammam?
A hammam might be a word you’ve never come across, let alone experienced. It’s basically the ritual of bathing in Morocco.
One riad owner delighted in telling me that you really have to be selective about where you experience a hammam.
It’s a social occasion for Moroccans and the culture is very different to back home. He explained that even as a Moroccan, he avoids the public hammams at all costs.
He attributed it to not favouring a group of strangers stroking and massaging his body. Like allll over his body. I can’t blame the guy, really.
Recommended Reading: The Best Time to Visit Marrakech (And Why You Should Go!)
A Private Hammam in Marrakech
Maison Mk is your safe solution for a Moroccan hammam spa experience. It’s authentic, private and oh so indulgently luxurious. Pure pamper heaven, but pleasantly different to the regular spas back home.
Unsure what to expect, I opted for the couples East West package. It’s a 45 minute hammam session combined with a 45 minute relaxation massage. Whilst I sampled the hammam, a dubious Mr Taylor received a massage. Half way through our ninety minutes, we swapped.
Even as we sat in the cute seating area sipping mint tea and listening to Roukia explain what would happen, I knew he was wary of what was to come. He had only ever received one massage (which ended in back pain for two days), let alone stepped inside a spa.
We sat in the complimentary fluffy hooded robes and slippers, and picked our massage oils.
What Happens in the Hammam?
I strolled into the tiled, dark room with Fatiha. She wore a huge grin and spoke just enough English to tell you when to turn and sit up. She told me to lose the robe and then my bikini top. I thought I might feel embarrassed, but to be honest her motherly nature put me totally at ease. If anything, I was more embarrassed about my petit Francais. I thank my GCSEs for ‘Je ne comprends pas’.
Recommended Reading: Things to do in Marrakech
If the temperature really did reach 70 degrees, it certainly didn’t feel like it. I lay on the hot stoned bed enjoying the warmth. Fatiha set about washing my body with warm water from a shiny brass bucket and a black soap (a healthy paste made from black olives, eucalyptus and mint).
Once she was satisfied I was clean, she started scrubbing my entire body with a kessa (an exfoliating glove). Clean wasn’t going to cut it. She wanted my skin pure and soft like a baby. The scrubbing ended with with a fair few buckets of warm water.
Recommended Reading: Belly Dancing and Dinner in Marrakech
The Moroccan Clay Part
Rhassoul (a Moroccan clay) was then applied all over, even in my hair and on my face. I then heard the door open and close. I was alone and near naked in the hammam. It was dark and warm, and strangely comforting. No sooner had I started to drift off, Fatiha and her bucket were back.
I lost count of the number of times she splashed the rhassoul off, particularly when the water was sloshed in my face. I think she quite enjoyed my panic stricken expression when she caught me off-guard.
Ritual over, robe back on, I floated out to the seats. I knew any worries had been rubbed away when I saw the look of pure bliss etched across Mr Taylor’s face. He was in spa delight.
I simply sat in disbelief. Not because of his zen-like appearance, but because I couldn’t get over how soft my skin felt. I use a lot of thick moisturisers on a day-to-day basis, but the hammam effect beats all of them hands down and then some. It literally makes you want to stroke your skin all day long.
Recommended Reading: Shopping in Morocco and How to Survive the Souks
Roukia’s English is a lot better, but thankfully she kept quiet in the massage, allowing me to relax and really zone out. The treatment took place in the dark room. With someone massaging your aches and pains away, you don’t really need much encouragement to unwind, but the dark room really does give you a good nudge to absolute peace and tranquillity. The 45 minutes whizzed past and I really could have stayed in there forever.
The Best Time for a Hammam
Another round of mint tea was served before I mustered any energy to get dressed. It’s best to keep the oils on for at least two hours, so although you may feel a little slippery, try to resist hopping into the shower.
I’d also thoroughly recommend that you experience your hammam and/or massage in the late afternoon. Although you’ll feel like an angelic, silky goddess (or god), it’s maybe not the best look. Well, it certainly wasn’t for me.
Yeah, it’s good, healthy grease in your hair, but it isn’t the sexiest. My bare-faced, doe-eyed reflection also startled me a little too. I would have loved to have just crept into bed for a little snooze and to let the oils do their wonders. Instead, I had to leave the paradise at maison mk, back into the dusty bustle of the medina.
Recommended Reading: Trekking in Morocco in the High Atlas
You’ll be giving your kessa to take home with you, as well as a small terracotta scrubbing tool for your feet. They are amazing, so make sure you pack them safely. If you fancy an extra treat, you can even buy some of the outstanding products for your own wannabe hammam.
Rooftop views at Maison MK
I suggest that you go for a drink up on the roof terrace before your treatment. The views are beautiful and they do a delicious mojito. Jamie Oliver even filmed his cooking show up on this very terrace, so it’s a great claim to fame. That said, the terrace does look rather stunning at night too.
Recommended Reading: Is Jardin Majorelle Marrakech Worth Visiting?
The hammam experience at the spa in maison mk is an absolutely must if you visit Marrakech. Make sure you book early. I’m already pining to go back.
Finding Maison MK
Maison Mk , 14 Derb Sebaai , l’ksour, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco
Tip: Maison MK is currently up for sale, but it is said the services will continue with the new buyer.
Pin this post on the best Moroccan hammam spa in Marrakech…
I was a guest of the maison mk in 2013. All images are courtesy of Maison Mk (with their permission). It’s pretty hard to take photos whilst you’re being massaged and scrubbed!