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After months of gazing at turquoise riads, palm trees and the white-washed walls of Marrakesh on Instagram, I’ve been itching to visit – even in spite of every other fashion blogger’s feed plastered with the city. Whilst I still find myself in London, the best alternative is the Marocmaroc spa on the top floor of Harrods. Invited to experience their Rose Festival, the Urban Retreat hammam treatment centered around the celebrated flower of Morocco, I was booked in on a Friday evening to prep my mind and body for the weekend.
The Rose Hammam Ritual begins as their signature experience does, with a wind-down in a warm relaxation room before the kessala (treatment therapist) greets you and brings you into the treatment room. If you’ve never been to a hammam, picture it like this: a completely marble, minimalist space that feels like a sauna. It’s so calming with the sound of gushing water and the kind of warmth that makes you feel as if you’re sinking into a deep sleep. It’s so relaxing that the thought of having your body washed by someone else really isn’t as daunting as you’d think.
The therapist cleanses using a natural black soap made from olives. Once washed, the kessa glove is used over the entire damp body to buff away dead skin. When the skin is prepped and flushed with water, a fragrant, rich exfoliating scrub made from ground roses, Argan oil and almonds that has the texture of peanut butter (no, really) is applied. Between the steps, the air is spritzed with a sweet and refreshing aromatic rose water spray that is gentle enough to be used on the face. Speaking of, the complexion does not go unattended. As part of the bathing ritual, I was spoilt with a gentle facial exfoliator that also acts as a nourishing mask. And before my kessala left me to soak in the moisture from all the products (sourced from the best suppliers in Morrocco), I was topped off with perhaps the most luxurious and ‘extra’ item of them all – dehydrated rose buds.
When you are lying naked on wet, warm marble and surrounded by flowers, there are a number of things that can pop into the forefront of consciousness. One of these was, ‘how weird would a photo of me like this be?‘ and by the time I had entertained myself with American Beauty visuals (I definitely did not look like Mena Suvari in her bath of rose petals by the way), my kessala had returned. Oddly, one of the highlights of this hammam was the last part – cleaning the skin and closing its pores with an incredibly luxurious white soap. Living in a country with hard water, the presence of fine, multitudinous suds is a rare one. The creamy softness of the body soap was one of the best I’ve ever tried. And you know that’s saying something if amidst the nude scrubbing and light stretching in rose-scented air, the finishing lather made such an impact.
Running until the 31st of August, the Rose Hammam Ritual is £150 for 60 minutes, at The Moroccan Spa.