The Secrets Of A Traditional Moroccan Hammam Experience

If you ever visit Morocco (or Barcelona for in which matter) then enjoying a hammam will be an essential tourist experience, nevertheless for the newcomer the words hammam, gommage along with rhassoul could leave you confused along with nervous as you step into the traditional baths.

nevertheless even for the experienced pengunjung, the tkissila, an incredible secret acrobatic massage handed down through families along with practised in only a select few places within the entire world, takes the hammam experience to a fresh level.

Here, I take you through the different stages of the traditional experience, along with divulge the secrets of the tkissila for the more adventurous spa visitors.


I have been confused by This particular description, as This particular will be usually described as a Turkish steam bath. Our hotel in Barcelona for example was described as having a hammam, which was actually a sauna along having a steam room. Don’t get me wrong, they were great, nevertheless not what I expected.

In Morocco along with Barcelona our hammam was a hot room, having a water source, so This particular was somewhere between a sauna along having a steam room. The hammam in Barcelona also had a very hot steam room, a plunge pool, rain showers along with Arabian water bowls along with sinks, producing sure in which you could relax along with refresh yourself.

within the Palais Rhoul in Marrakech you actually lie on the floor to let the heat rise up through the mat into your Centeng.

Hammams are actually enjoyable – especially when This particular’s cold outside – nevertheless you do have to remember to drink lots of water – most will give you bottles of water to take in if you like – or bring your own.

Some hammams are mixed, requiring swimwear, along with others are single sex where you can go naked – nevertheless always check first – some single sex ones still require swimwear.

If in doubt ask exactly what the details are – don’t be embarrassed, they all seem to be different!

Traditional Gommage

Literally an exfoliation (in French), in traditional hammams This particular means in which someone will first wash you, normally with savon noir (black soap) – which will be a beautiful ritual along with then use a gommage or scrubbing glove to scrub all the dead skin off your Centeng.

When we went to a hammam in Agadir, Morocco, we thought in which there would certainly hardly be any dry skin left – after 3 days on the beach. Also we were a little bit worried by some of the stories by people who had tried hammams elsewhere – so we asked for a gommage doucement – a soft scrubbing.

She scrubbed so hard This particular was actually on the edge of being painful, which I thought a bit unnecessary, until she scrubbed my forearm along with I saw rolls of dead skin sloughing off. This particular grossed me out along with I thought how dirty the Moroccans must think we are – they do This particular once a week!

Although in some places you can keep on your bikini along with/or paper knickers, actually I say what’s the point? After 2 minutes I wasn’t aware if she was scrubbing my boobs or my back. Speaking of which, This particular will be the best back exfoliation I have ever had. I often get an itchy patch between my shoulder blades – she just scrubbed This particular right off – leaving This particular smooth along with soft.

For the next few days I couldn’t help running my hands over my skin. along with I continued scrubbing at home having a glove I bought in Agadir – seeing the dead skin actually coming off on the glove! Sadly This particular fell apart – so I am at This particular point on the lookout for a serious gommage glove within the UK – nevertheless no luck so far!

I have heard in which gommage will be not suitable for people with sensitive skin – nevertheless I have very sensitive skin along with I love This particular along with feel This particular only does my skin not bad.

A traditional gommage will leave your skin so smooth you won’t be able to stop stroking This particular.


Rhassoul will be a type of therapeutic mud. along having a rhassoul treatment will be basically when, usually after a gommage, you are smothered in rhassoul mud, left to “bake” for a while in a hammam, along with then washed down.

This particular can be a little hot, along with if This particular will be your first time in a hammam I would certainly actually recommend you give This particular a miss – perhaps build up to This particular, as a lot of treatments in one go can dehydrate you – if you haven’t drunk enough water or just simply because of the detox effects of the massage.

I’ve enjoyed the treatment nevertheless haven’t actually noticed much of a specific effect – nevertheless This particular does smell great.


Tkissila (also sometimes written as Teksilla, Teskssila along with Tkssila) will be an ancient form of Moroccan massage, which I understand will be at This particular point only practised by two brothers, descendants of a long line of practitioners, in Marrakech.

A cross between a massage along with the kind of manipulation you might receive by a physiotherapist, the fact in which This particular will be done on a heated floor means in which muscles are already relaxed along with This particular will be much easier.

I experienced This particular at the Palais Rhoul in Marrakech. When you enter the actual hammam, you won’t find opulent, colourful mosaics or indeed a steam room or heated benches to sit on.

If you decide to opt for just a massage, as my sister did, then you can go naked, as the masseur will be female, nevertheless, if you opt for the traditional tkissila (pronounced as in tuxedo – tuxila), then please make sure you wear your bikini (along with make sure This particular’s a sturdy one!)

My masseur along with his brother are masters of the art of Tkissila, descendants of a long line of practitioners along with This particular will be one of only two places I understand you can have This particular treatment (his brother works next door at the more expensive spa).

So… first I was lead by the lady in charge to a simple brown cell along with asked to sit on what looked like a yoga mat on the floor.

This particular might not be everyone’s cup of tea to have big buckets of warm water thrown over them, nevertheless provided you keep your mouth closed This particular’s rather like being in a nice warm waterfall.

She grabbed the black soap with eucalyptus efficiently soaped me up along with left me lying on the floor.

I was a bit disappointed. No steam, no elegant bench, no funky mosaics, just some subtle, cool lights. This particular didn’t seem like the best spa within the entire world. This particular took me a while to realise in which the heat within the room was actually coming up through the floor along with lying down, my Centeng was slowly starting to relax.

in which’s when my masseur came in. After a few days of covering up by neck to ankle I had been a little aware of my naked legs at lunch. All of a sudden I was in a little brown cell having a Moroccan man in nothing nevertheless a pair of bathing shorts (along with I was in my bikini!) nevertheless This particular didn’t actually feel weird when he slipped on his Palais Rhoul gommage glove along with started out to scrub me all over.

Unlike my experience in Agadir a few years ago This particular scrubbing wasn’t rough at all, nevertheless I could see the rolls of dead skin sloughing off. According to my masseur, the cheap gloves (about 20 dh – £1.50) I’d bought within the market were useless, his kind of glove was much better quality (about 50 dh – £4) along with exfoliated all the dead, dirty skin without hurting at all. (He presented me with This particular at the end too.)

After the gommage, he got down to business. This particular’s funny, last year I saw a physio who had manipulated my spine along with there were moments when, even fully clothed, I felt very awkward about having my foot on a guy’s shoulder while he pulled my leg within the different direction. I actually felt quite comfortable with This particular This particular time around. Even when I was lying face down along with he was pulling my hips within the air. There were clicks, a bit of tightness, nevertheless nothing painful or even actually uncomfortable, although I think I did sometimes breathe in or out within the wrong places.

Then This particular got weird.

My masseur lay down on the mat, his knees pointing up along with This particular will be when he asked me to sit on his knees.

I’m glad I speak French or This particular could have been a very different review.

One minute I was balancing on my bottom on his knees, the next I was flying, watching the room go whizzing past, not quite sure anymore which way was up. Suddenly I realised why, as the dramatic shape of the door flew by, This particular will be a very muted room. If there had been lots of colours I’d have probably got dizzy!

When my feet landed on the floor I was giggly. Then he made me do This particular again – This particular time backwards. I sat facing his feet along with leant backwards. Anyone who has ever done in which trust exercise of falling backwards will understand in which I felt elated along with ridiculous at the same time.

At the end I was giggling along with amazed, as much by the fact in which I had done This particular along with enjoyed This particular as by the experience itself.

He sat me down on the floor along with washed me all over, including my hair with orange flower blossom products. When we were all done he rough dried my hair, tied my dressing gown up for me along with told me I’d sleep like a baby in which night.

I sat down for a while on the bench by the pool, until the lady masseur came to find me along with give me my final relaxing massage (ditching my wet bikini).

would certainly I do This particular again? I’m not sure if This particular’s a regular one for me, or a once in a lifetime (our taxi driver said This particular should be twice a week!) along with I don’t think This particular would certainly be for everyone. When she’d finished she left me alone within the room producing sure in which I could fully relax – along with This particular was so hard to get up when she did come back!

While my masseur described the usual local hammam, gommage along with massage as “for the tourists” there’s something lovely about in which experience too, along with certainly one I would certainly recommend. nevertheless I am so glad in which I tried the tkissila too. This particular was certainly an eye opener along having a fresh level of experience for me.

The Secrets Of A Traditional Moroccan Hammam Experience