CASA SPA IS THE PLACE TO GO FOR A HAMMAM
BY SARA DARLING
Step inside some rather attractive Riad doors, and enter the steamy, exotic, scented boudoir of Casa Spa, and prepare to get hot and naked! I can’t say I’ve done that before in the middle of the day In central London...but all in the name of investigative journalism!
However I have had a Hammam massage before. In Turkey, but the whole experience in Casa Spa was already a lot more sophisticated. I was guided to the changing rooms and told to pop on my bikini and a towel; I was then taken downstairs, to the most authentic Moroccan tiled basement I have seen outside Marrakech; Mosaics, mirrors, trinkets, as well as a pillow strewn chill out room beckoned… but I wasn’t ready to chill out just yet! I hadn’t even started…
The Moroccan Hammam has been around for centuries and is celebrated in Islamic countries for its healing, cleansing and purifying benefits, both on a spiritual and physical level. With a focus on breathing and blood circulation, I was quite looking forward to a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Wearing a bikini and towel, I was led to a private steam room, and and was smothered in a chocolate body mask. Left alone, the steam was turned up, and I enjoyed the sensation for about fifteen minutes, until my therapist came into wash me down with fresh icy water. The equivalent of a freezing shower! Then I received a thorough application of black olive soap infused with Argan oil, which was softening on the skin, and ensured that all the chocolate was removed. This was followed by the exfoliating scrub, using a black mineral clay which is fantastic for the skin. Be prepared for a gentle pummelling, but it's so worth it to rejuvenate the skin and get rid of the dead cells.
I had the option to follow this with a full body massage, but I opted for a facial. After a shower and a fresh towel, I was led to the beauty room, and dozed in and out of slumber whilst enjoying an hour long face pampering session. Consisting of a face mask, exfoliation, deep cleanse, moisturise and a mini massage, along with soothing background music, the gentle strokes of my masseuse took me to another dimension.
It’s hard to describe the sensation post Hammam, as it is an experience that affects you through to your core; But taking time out on the authentic, candle lit chillout beds, with a peppermint tea, was the icing on the cake. In fact I was relaxed I could have easily fallen asleep for a few hours in there!
Thankfully when I did motivate myself to leave, it was one of those balmy evenings in London, so my walk to the tube was more like gliding on air! Highly recommended for a treat.
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