How do you decide between a Moroccan or Turkish hammam spa experience? Which one is better? The good news is they both share the same extraordinary health and beauty benefits. They equally renew the skin, making it softer and smoother; increase circulation, boost the immune system and rejuvenate the senses. Overall, Moroccan and Turkish hammam treatments make you feel alive and refreshed, ready to face the world with renewed strength!
Here’s a guide to help you better understand what’s involved with Moroccan and Turkish hammam spa experiences. There are not huge differences between the two, but knowing more about what to expect will allow you to make an informed decision based on your skincare needs and pampering preferences. Whichever you choose your body will thank you for it!
Hammam is an ancient saying for ‘hot bath’, yet hammam is no ordinary bath time.
Both Turkish and Moroccan modern hammam spa treatments are rooted in ancient history. Back in the really old days (think of the Roman Empire) people would gather at public bathhouses to purify the body and soul, as cleanliness was strongly associated with spirituality and religion. Social in nature, bathing rituals were also tied to celebrations such as births, weddings and other important life events.
What’s more, these ‘hot bath’ devotees were well aware that hammam therapies supported healing and good health. In our modern age it should come as no surprise that sweating, deep cleansing, scrubbing, and massage are still fundamental hammam elements that are widely acknowledged to support wellness and self-care goals.
In some parts of the world, like Morocco and Turkey, going to a hammam is common practice, but in other places this unique spa experience may be thought of as mysterious and new.
Below is a mashup of a Moroccan/Turkish spa treatment — think of this example like a movie trailer, kinda like a plot reveal.
Roll clip! A woman (or man) sits in a hot room wearing a towel, they sweat from the heat, they then lay semi-naked on a warm marble block while a bath attendant scrubs away at every inch of skin. Next our lionheart is baked in therapeutic clay, followed by a full body massage. At the end of their extraordinary hammam experience they relax with a glass of Turkish tea. Okay, that was a bit of a dramatisation, but you get the idea!
Whether you opt for a Turkish or Moroccan hammam you will be embarking on a unique body beautiful bathing experience! That said there are subtle differences between a Turkish and Moroccan hammam bath. Let’s explore some of those differences now!
Turkish vs. Moroccan Hammam. With both Turkish and Moroccan hammam the treatment areas are designed to churn out consistent heat (it will feel wetter than a sauna) which is necessary to induce sweating, relax muscles, and open the skin’s pores in preparation for deep cleansing and effective massage
Hot & Steamy. In general, Turkish hammams will have steam rooms with high humidity; Moroccan baths will have rooms that are heated through the walls and floor as well as through the water pipes, creating a more subtle steam experience. If you tend to feel claustrophobic in a room dense with hovering white steam then maybe Moroccan is the way to go, but if you like the idea of zero visibility and the feeling of sitting in the middle of a cloud then Turkish might be your choice. Maybe you will just have to try them both!
Ancient Remedies. Moroccan hammams typically use thick black soap (savon beldi) during the body washing phase of the spa treatment. The soap originates from Morocco and is traditionally made from olive oil and softened black olive hulls; applied to the skin it exfoliates and purifies. You are meant to relax in a heated room with this soap all over your body until it is scrubbed off with a natural fibre kese mitt. Depending on the hammam you attend this process might be repeated twice.
Another uniquely Moroccan spa treatment is the application of rhassoul clay all over the body. The natural mineral clay originates from Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. Like savon beldi, rhassoul clay exfoliates and purifies the skin. The clay body mask is meant to be kept on for 30 minutes or longer, something to consider when booking your Moroccan hammam service.
Turkish hammams use a light soapy lather made from olive oil to wash the body. Expect to be totally cocooned in soft bubbles — it’s really a delightful sensory experience! The soap foam might feel ticklish to some people, others may find it soothing. It’s also fun to watch the spa attendant prepare the bubble bag (torba) full with foam before they spread a generous layer across the body like a giant bubble blanket.
The Naked Truth. In both Moroccan and Turkish hammam spas exposing large areas of the skin’s surface is unavoidable. Most first-timers are naturally curious to know if they must be fully naked or not. Rest assured, being totally nude is not a hammam prerequisite. For more information on preserving your modesty please read our Hammam Beginner’s Guide here.
Moroccan and Turkish hammam spa treatments both end in a similar fashion. Once a treatment is complete, and you are warm and dry, you’ll be gently guided to a relaxation area to cool down and enjoy a drink and a snack; perhaps have a Turkish tea, lemon water, a small plate of dried fruit and nuts, and if you are lucky, a treat of Turkish delight and baklava.
So you see, either way you will have a fabulous, original experience. Both Moroccan and Turkish hammam spa treatments deliver a multitude of body beautiful benefits. The deep exfoliation removes dry skin and works to fight acne; the washing and massaging helps to rehydrate the skin’s surface and reduce stress. From head to toe a hammam bath will transform your whole body for the better.
Located on Hagley Road, the new Este Spa & Hammam will be situated in the prestigious neighbourhood of Edgbaston, Birmingham. Designed and managed by Este Medical Group, world renowned for first-class expertise in skincare and hair, the new spa and hammam will be one of the largest spas in the country.
Este Spa & Hammam will feature Moroccan and Turkish hammam treatments rich in ancient tradition while being exceptionally modern.
Este has an irresistible menu of skincare treatments — from Moroccan and Turkish hammam, classic Swedish, Shiatsu and Thai massage to hot stone, aroma and deep tissue therapies — plus so many more! For the full list of Este Spa & Hammam services see our spa menu.
Soon you will get to experience the beautiful benefits of hammam in a thoroughly chic setting using the most innovative technology and advanced skincare products available from Este Medical Group. More Este Spa & Hammam updates coming soon.
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Este Spa & Hammam coming soon.