My Moroccan Bath Experience

Monday, February 13, 2017

After living in the Middle East for almost 8 years (it'll be 8 years tomorrow actually), I'm surprised it has taken me this long to book myself in for a Moroccan Bath (also known as a Hamam Maghrabi).  Well, actually no.  The thought of someone else bathing you sounds rather awkward and uncomfortable.  

But when a dear friend of mine (she's a seasoned pro when it comes to Moroccan baths) shared her experience and recommended the Centro Belezza Salon & Spa in Salmiya, I had to take the plunge.  They often have special offers on and decided to take advantage of one of their Moroccan bath and relax massage packages.  I promptly bought the coupon and then uncertainty hit again.  Believe me when I say that it took me quite a while to muster up the courage to book my appointment, i.e., before my coupon expired.  

Having bought my coupon off a website, I was just expecting a mediocre experience if I'm being completely honest.  But it was nothing like I'd imagined.

So for those who have never had the experience of a Moroccan bath, here's my story:

Location: The building was a little hard to find.  Google maps directed me to the right building, but the sign board of the salon is blocked by the parking shades so you can't see it from inside the car as you drive past.  It was only after parking and walking back that I saw the sign.  They're on the same line as the Toni & Guy in Salmiya and are pretty much opposite the Jeans Grill on the Gulf Road.  Click here for the location.  

What to bring: The Salon is on the 1st floor and after making my way up, I was greeted by the receptionist who after confirming my name, asked me for my coupon (take along a print of the email you receive).  If you have a loofah (its called a kessa glove) bring it along with you, else you can purchase one from the salon for 1 KD.  I also brought along my own jandals, towel, shampoo, conditioner and extra underwear (I'm uptight about these things), but the salon will provide you with everything you need including disposable underwear.  

The Jacuzzi: I was lead into the bathroom which was dark save for a few candles, thank goodness for that as I was asked to strip down to my knickers and then helped into the Jacuzzi.  The staff  then squirted some liquid from a Higreen hand wash container into the Jacuzzi.  I'm hoping for my sake that the container had been filled with bubble bath and that I hadn't been soaking for those 15 or so minutes in hand wash!  The jets were turned on and so it should have been a relaxing experience but I kept fretting about the hand wash bubble bath.

The black soap:  The assistant then helped me out of the Jacuzzi and soaped me all over with a special black olive oil soap.  The soap felt really slippery and moisturizing against my skin and I need to find out where I can get one for myself.  It was lovely!

Steamed alive:  Next, I was asked to sit on a seat in what looked like a portable sauna.  Its basically a tent with a hole for your head.  I'd seen one of the characters in 2 Broke Girls use this once so you can imagine how hard it was for me to not chuckle out loud.  I could feel sweat dripping within a few minutes and I'm hoping the steam melted off some fat as well.  Haha, high hopes!  Time stood still so I'm not sure how long I was kept steaming inside, but possibly 10-15 minutes later, I was taken out and rinsed off.

Let the sandpapering begin: I was then asked to lie on a slab in the bathroom (its comfortable as you're lying on a foam layer with a raised section to rest your head).  Then the sandpapering began.  I'm not exaggerating one bit.  I was literally scrubbed with the kessa glove to within an inch of my life.  This is definitely the cleanest I've ever been!  Funnily enough, it was my legs that couldn't handle the rough scrubbing and the rest of my body was fine.  After rinsing me off, I was scrubbed one again with a mint and strawberry scrub which was much more gentle.  This was applied on my face as well.  After rinsing off, I had a quick shower and got a chance to shampoo and condition my hair.

50 minutes of bliss: As I'd taken the Moroccan bath and massage package, I was then handed a bath robe and taken to another room which had a proper massage bed.  You know, those beds with the hole for your face?  Now I'm impressed!  Doesn't take much does it?  The massage therapist (a different staff) was amazing and thorough as she concentrated on each part of my body.  I was pressed, kneaded and slapped for 50 or so minutes with a lavender infused oil.  The neck and head massage was probably my favourite and once she announced that she was done, I didn't want to get up!  I felt so relaxed that I literally floated out of the salon and into my car.

Now, the question is, can you do it yourself?  Probably.  A colleague gives herself a Moroccan bath once a month and so I guess you could, but there is no way in hell that you would take the scrubbing out that far on yourself.  It sounds harsh, but I have to tell you, the results are amazing.  I have visibly softer and smoother skin and I'm glowing (if I do say so myself), though that's probably because I am now minus a few layers of skin.

Book yourself in for a Moroccan bath.  Its an experience you shouldn't miss out on!  

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  1. Gauthami MuralidharanWednesday, February 15, 2017

    You never fail to amaze me every week and help me plan for the weekend in Kuwait :D Thank you for covering even teeny-weeny detail. One among the best posts on your blog. Expecting posts more frequently :)

    1. Hi Gauthami! This is literally the most sweetest comment anyone has left on one of my posts. Thank you for that! Really means a lot to hear from my few readers. Yes, I should post more. I've been in hibernation for far too long! Have you had a Moroccan bath before? I think I'm going to make this a once in a quarter thing. Just loved it!

    2. Gauthami MuralidharanWednesday, February 15, 2017

      Good to hear from you, Mimi. And, nope. Haven't had yet. But I'm sure I'm gonna book one due to the temptation your words have created in me :D

  2. Oh this was a good read. Thanks for the detailed post Mimi. I did have one a while ago but i guess it was a little different from your experience. Am looking to try it out in other places and this post couldn't have come at a better time. May i ask how much they usually charge for this?

    I keep checking your blog to see if there is anything new. Please keep this going :) Also, i hope you had a fabulous Valentine's day!

    1. Hi Sonia, I had a great Valentine's day. Thanks! Hope yours was amazing too! They (Centro Bellezza) normally charge KD 15 for the massage and KD 12 for the Moroccan bath so that's KD 27 in total, however my coupon from was just KD 10 if you can believe it. Now, that's a steal!

      Where did you go for yours? Can you recommend any other great places?

  3. I did mine at Bloom beauty salon in Shaab. I am looking to try this at Odel next as i have been there for other services and like the place.

    Centro is a little hard to find. I had booked an appointment with them and landed up getting there 45 mins late as the board was not visible.

    Wow, 10 KD is definitely a steal. I feel sometimes the staff does not do justice to the service if they are aware of us using a coupon. Glad your experience was good. Will keep this in mind.

    1. I had the same worry and thought they'd skimp a little because of the voucher but surprisingly not at all! The whole package took almost 2 hours which was how it was supposed to be (50 minute bath and a 50 minute massage) and it was exactly as my "pro" friend had described it would be. Which is great!

      Yes, I agree about the salon's sign board! I was really unsure and was actually comparing the way the balconies were built on each of the buildings to a photo of the salon on google! Ha.

      A friend had tried the Moroccan bath at Odel just before her wedding and she had loved it. I need her to go to Centro Bellezza next so that she can give me a comparison between the two. :D