As fashion editors and street style stars board the long hauls back to the Middle East from Paris Fashion Week, there is no better time to prep for a regroup and a health-kick in a luxury hammam. Aside from providing you with impossibly fresh, polished skin, the traditional bathing and cleansing ritual has plenty of healing benefits, boasting hot, humid temperatures that can boost circulation, soothe muscle pain, reduce inflammation and aid in expelling toxins. Vogue Arabia rounds up eight of the best hammam experiences, from Abu Dhabi to Amman, that the region has to offer.
If you’re seeking full-scale relaxation, schedule a trip to the Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa. The hammam is located on its own dedicated floor, and features private treatment suites, relaxation areas and a decadent marble-tiled interior. Opt for the Anantara Signature Hammam; the six-step bathing ritual begins in a steam room and ends with a soothing full body massage.
Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa
For a more social experience, visit the Hammamat Ma’in––breathtaking hot springs located below sea level. Here, a series of waterfalls pour down an undulating hillside and collect into a number of piping hot thermal pools, meant for communal bathing. The hot springs feature designated areas for women, men, families and mixed groups, all overlooking the Dead Sea Valley.
Ma’in Hot Springs Resort & Spa
For a muscle-melting pampering session, head over to the One & Only Royal Mirage Spa. With a lineup of candles, fresh rose petals scattered throughout, a calming soundtrack of running water, the Traditional Oriental Hammam is the ultimate hammam venue in Dubai (with a price tag to match). The bathing ritual is performed on a heated marble slab by a professional team of experts from Morocco, who slather and scrub your limbs to perfection. For an extra touch of luxury, towels are traded in favor of pashminas and guests are sent to the resting room to enjoy a steamy cup of Arabic tea and dates.
One & Only Royal Mirage
If you’re looking for seclusion, schedule a visit to the Marsa Malaz Kempinski. Located on its own private island, The Pearl in the heart of Doha, Marsa Malaz Kempinski is a favorite among locals looking for an ultimate escape. The decadent resort features a Spa by Clarins that includes 23 treatment rooms, an indoor pool, beauty salons and a wide range of treatments including their signature hammams. Try the Luxury Indulgent Hammam, a complete head-to-toe bathing ritual that includes a full body exfoliation, mud wrap, and a facial scrub for impossibly glowing skin.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl
Those in search of an authentic Turkish hammam can plan a trip to the AyaSofya Hürem Sultan Hamami in Istanbul. The majestic hammam is literally fit for a queen: Commissioned by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century for his wife Roxelana, the decades-old venue stands between Turkey’s glorious Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. Opt for the Ab-I Hayat, a 110-minute-long hammam experience that includes a moisturizing body clay mask and a facial mask finished off with an Aromatherapy massage. Make sure to plan extra time afterwards to enjoy its relaxation room, where tea, fresh fruits and authentic Turkish delights complete the experience.
Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı
There is no shortage of hammam venues to visit in Marrakech. Eschew the communal spas and visit La Maison Arabe for something more intimate. The hotel, which first opened in 1998, has a mere seven rooms surrounded by flower-filled courtyards in which to hide, in addition to two private hammam suites lit with candles and ornate lanterns. Try the Royal Hammam Treatment—30 minutes of exfoliation followed by a 60-minute full-body massage with your choice of argan or lavender oil.
La Maison Arabe
Those attending Fashion Week can schedule the ultimate pampering session at the magnificent Al Bustan Palace in Muscat. A five-minute walk from the luxurious venue, the Six Senses Spa is perched atop the Hajjar mountains, overlooking the picturesque valley. The menu features facials, massages and fitness treatments that would best be completed with a soothing hammam ritual. Opt for the Royal Hammam––80 minutes of pure, uninterrupted bliss. The steamy bathing experience includes a hair wash, a foaming body mask and a relaxing back massage.
Al Bustan Palace
If you’re in search of the absolute cream of the crop, grab your best female friends and plan a trip to the Al Faisaliah Spa, located in the heart of Riyadh. Designed by Her Highness Princess Al Anoud Bint Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Saud, the luxurious venue comprises four floors of sanctuary, with 13 treatment rooms that offer a wide range of pampering experiences. Here, the traditional hammam is performed in a steamy, tiled-enclave and includes a scalp massage.
Al Faisaliah Hotel
Here, the most luxurious bathing rituals in the Middle East.