A really lovely way to spend the evening after work, despite all my years working in the spa industry, I hadn’t actually had a hammam before, and I am so pleased I now have. If you haven’t come across a hammam, it’s basically a massive steam room with heated benches in it. Your therapists applies a series of products to your skin and in between applications you relax in the steam room and allow them to work their magic.
“The hammam prepares the skin perfectly for a massage or facial…”
A top-to-toe Moroccan cleansing experience, Dolphin Square’s take on the hammam begins with a mint leaf foot ritual which adapts your body temperature for the steam room and start the relaxation process. During this time, your therapist talks you through the treatment which uses the purest Moroccan remedies to restore a fresh complexion.
Once that bit was done, my therapist washed me down with warm water, which is a slightly strange experience but also, in itself, therapeutic. She then applied a beautiful purifying rose scented rhassoul clay scrub to face and body and let me lie down on the heated bed in the steam room for five minutes while she left me to relax.
After washing off the scrub, my therapist used a mitt to remove any remaining dead skin cells and although it didn’t feel as intense as some scrubs, it definitely did the job and was an extremely satisfying part of the experience leaving you feeling thoroughly cleansed.
Then, again the therapist applies a moisturising wash and leaves you to relax in the steam room, this time for 10 minutes, encouraging you to lather it up a little while you wait. When she returned she completed the ritual with a traditional dousing of orange blossom and rose water designed to be calming and reviving. It finished with an application of rose body oil.
“I fell into bed and had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages…”
While the hammam is a thoroughly enjoyable treatment in itself, taking around 55 minutes in total, and I would have been happy to stop there, but it also prepares the skin perfectly for a massage or facial. I opted for a massage. I was taken to the relaxation room for a drink first, and then had a 25 minute aromatherapy massage designed to relax – so while you can ask them to focus on particular areas of concern, it isn’t intended to be a deep tissue massage. Being an aromatherapy massage, you can either also continue with the rose themed products or choose an alternative – so I went for an orange blossom oil to help me sleep.
Finally, it was back to the relaxation room which was wonderfully quiet in the evening, thanks to the spa being open late. There, they prepare a Moroccan tea for you in beautiful glasses, accompanied by hummus, dates and pitta bread.
“The hammam provides time to reflect…”
By the time I got home, I fell into bed and had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages. Even more excitingly, after the treatment my skin felt as soft as a baby’s and it’s still glowing a week later making it one of the most effective treatments I’ve ever had.
This treatment is a really good example of why you should try something different when you go to a spa – it really was worth the experience. At Dolphin Square in particular however, it was a wonderful way to spend the evening whether it’s by yourself or with a friend. The hammam provides a proper amount of time to reflect without the distraction of doing something else whether it’s reading a magazine or talking (unless you have it as a dual treatment), and as the spa is open late you can opt to have it after work as a mid week treat!
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