Hammams Offer Complete Spa Experience

Turkish baths, or hammams, are rooted in the same ancient traditions as public bathing houses found in Rome, Greece, England and other early civilizations. We may consider these facilities primitive from today’s standpoint, but hammams have spread around the globe and provided superlative skin and body treatments for thousands of years.

Hammams are found throughout Turkey, Morocco and much of the Middle East, with some regional differences but following many tenets of the Islamic faith.

They are renowned for providing refreshment and personalized service from attendants who provide full-body exfoliation for skin renewal, inspiring many more spas in resort cities around the globe.

The nearest to us is the Joya Spa at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.

Like other types of spas, hammams offer many options but generally contain heated, sultry rooms where visitors enjoy being scrubbed down, cleansed and rinsed until they feel brand-new. Many Turkish and Moroccan sites offer traditional mud baths as well.

Most hammams have separate sections for men and women, though some modern ones cater to couples. Customers can wear underwear or a swimsuit while being served in hammams, but in Turkey most of the bathers will be nude.

You will change out of your clothes and step into a warm room where your job is to relax and sip some tea as you prepare for the pampering, which can last from 60 to 120 minutes. Then you step into a steamier space where you are given towels and rest while your pores open wider to speed skin detoxing and exfoliation.

Then you proceed to the “hot room” and lie on a table or bench while your attendant uses a roughly woven glove to massage you using short, powerful strokes. This could cause some irritation so don’t be shy about asking your attendant to adjust as needed.

Then you’re treated to a thick, soapy cleanse for your reward.

This is followed by rinsing off and enjoying another massage before you leave feeling thoroughly relaxed and rejuvenated while plotting your return!

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