What is Hammam?
The hammam bathing experience is unlike any other. At Hammam Retreat & Spa, you’ll start in the sauna, where you’ll put on your swimsuit or disposable undergarments and being relaxing.
You then go to the harraret where you’ll be greeted by your personal masseuse who will scrub you and wash you from head to foot. It’s deliberately hot in the harraret to open your pores, and the scrubbing process is repeated twice – your skin will feel unbelievably fresh!
Moroccan Hammam – 60 minutes – $169
Moroccan Hammam in Calgary focuses on getting rid of dead skin cells and enhancing good blood flow that enables you to acquire visibly smoother and vibrant looking skin. The Moroccan Hammam, also known as the “Hammam Maghrabi” is an ancient cleansing tradition, still popular due to its anti-aging and amazing skin-healing properties.
The cleansing process begins in our sauna. The body is prepared with a luxurious black Moroccan soap by laying on a heated marble slab for exfoliation using high-quality Kese gloves. Followed by gently applying Moroccan clay called Rhassoul, which has a unique ability to absorb excess dirt and oil, as well as extract impurities from the skin to detoxify. After a warm rinse, organic argan oil is applied that will leave the skin soft and hydrated.
After the treatment, what better way to top off the experience than to relax in our traditional, softly-lit tent enjoying tea & snacks!
Turkish Hammam – 60 minutes – $169
The processes of a Turkish bath or Turkish Hammam is much like Moroccan Hammam, the only difference is in the oils and scrubs that are used. Instead of black Moroccan soap, clay and argon oil, Turkish Hammam uses Turkish coffee scrub, coconut oil blend and nourishing soap enriched with vitamins and minerals to hydrate the skin, followed by foam being placed on the body to help rejuvenate.
Friendly Reminder for Hammam experience:
- Please bring a swimsuit if you are able. If you’re unable to bring a swimsuit, we will provide disposable undergarments instead! Upon arriving, you will be provided with a robe, a wrap and a pair of slippers. During the treatment, your body will be fully draped except for the area being worked for modesty purposes.
- Do not bring valuables or jewelry, Hammam Retreat & Spa is not responsible for any lost or misplaced items.
A Brief History of Hammam
If you’ve ever traveled to Morocco, you’ll have seen signs for hammam baths in all the major cities. The hammam is widely thought to be the oldest bathing tradition in the world, and has its roots in Turkish and Roman culture, before spreading to Morocco and other North African countries.
The word “hammam” itself is a Turkish word meaning “the spreader of warmth”, which is quite apt given how hot and humid the hammam bathing experience can make you! The Ottomans believed that bathing was a purification ritual before you went to pray, which is why you’ll often find hammam baths near mosques in Morocco. They saw the Romans bathing in one stagnant bath as dirty (which makes sense when you stop and think of it!) and so created a bathing experience based on running water so that no one sat in their own filth.
The cold room at the end of a hammam experience was also related to the Ottoman purifying ritual; for believers, this final step represented a recovery of the spirit before prayer after the cleansing of the skin.
As with most ancient traditions, Moroccan hammams were initially the preserve of men; a place to talk and do business away from prying eyes. However, the influences of religion and Western cultural influences have made them into a social center for all people – though you’ll still find that men and women will have separate washing spaces, with only the sogukluk as a co-ed space.