Sometimes you need that extra bit of scrubbing and that’s why I booked the Moroccan Herbal Hammam at Saray Spa, an oasis of calm in the bustling JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The age-old ritual is known to cleanse and relax the body and trying it out was the only way to find out.
Saray Spa, located on the third floor, boasts a massive reception area with a water fountain and Arabian elements to its decor - Mashrabiya panels and hanging lamps. I am asked to fill in a consent form before I am shown my locker, equipped with a bath robe, slippers and beauty amenities. I skip the Jacuzzi for a few minutes in the relaxation room on the most comfortable spa recliner - a wave-shaped hot stone structure - before my therapist leads me to the hammam room.
The private treatment room (though there’s a group one if you’d like to go with your BFF) offers a luxury version of the humble hammam. The therapist rinses my body before rubbing it with eucalyptus black soap to help open the pores. I am then taken to the steam room (I already love this one because it has a bench and bed) where I spend the next 15 minutes lying on the marble slab, allowing the steam to do its job.
After a second rinse, the therapist starts scrubbing my body with kessa gloves. At this point I can tell, though Indonesian, she’s strong on her hammam game. She uses long and circular strokes for an extensive exfoliation (proof: the dead skin that’s rolling off). This is followed by another rinse and the application of a mint mask (cool enough to send sporadic chills down my spine). After the final rinse, I am led to the massage room.
My body is slathered with lemongrass oil and the therapist uses the pressure of her palms and forearms to knead my muscles, sending me into a power nap. Once the treatment is over, I head back to the relaxation room for a cup of herbal tea.
Feeding a reminder on my calendar for another session in a few months is testament to its success (in ensuring I sparkle). I leave labelling it ‘the best 105 minutes of my day’. The hammam costs Dhs 860. Call 04-4146754 to book an appointment.