We’ve never felt so clean: A family Hammam in Marrakech

We’ve never felt so clean: A family Hammam in Marrakech

With Richard working away so frequently recently and leaving me alone with the kids, I was really eager for us to have an experience as a family. After hearing about Hammams (a traditional Moroccan bath) I knew we had to try one… but how?

hammam
ISIS spa

A Moroccan Hammam

Not many hammams are keen on children and with gender segregation it would be a girls vs boys experience. I wanted us to enjoy it together like we did in the thermal baths of Hungary.

Just by chance we walked down a side street in the Medina and saw a sign advertising “ISIS, a spa dedicated to families”.

How perfect for us!

hammam
ISIS SPA; dedicated to families.

Walking in off the street

Whilst in Marrakech, we took to wearing our most dirtiest clothes and walking boots at all times so when Richard suggested we just walk in to see what it was like, I did balk a little! Couldn’t we just ring and make a good impression on the phone?

Following the signs and meandering the back alleys of Marrakech, we found the spa and walked in.  What a haven of cleanliness and beauty in comparison to where we’d been walking!

The young man on the reception made us feel very welcome, even if I did feel like the dirtiest and messiest thing there!

The streets around the spa are a warren of dirty alleyways.
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The entrance door to ISIS spa

Choosing our package

We were invited to sit in the seating area with a steaming glass of delicious mint tea whilst we considered the menu.

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The seating area

We chose the family package which comprises a steam hammam with a chocolate & mint soap scrub and a rassoul body mask, followed by an oriental massage, mint tea and a jacuzzi.

We put down a cash deposit and booked our slot.  We were under no pressure to purchase a package which was refreshingly different to everything we’d experienced in Morocco.

hammam
The reception area of ISIS Spa.

The changing rooms

We arrived back two days later, greatly anticipating the next few hours.

We were provided with a family changing room but I’m sure if you were to ask, you could have separate rooms. You’re provided with two lockers with locks and keys, white bath robes and some very attractive rubber shoes.

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The changing rooms at ISIS Sp in Marrakech.
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All robed up in the family room waiting for the hammam.

What should you wear for your hammam?

In the hammam you’ll be stripped down topless so it’s best to either wear your knickers/pants or bikini bottoms for women and for men, budgie smugglers or tighter shorts.

Rich wore board shorts but they were cumbersome and became very wet – obviously – and dripped everywhere.

Ladies: there is no way to avoid removing your top half, so if you’re shy this might not be the best package for you. Also if you have a teenage daughter, it would be best to prepare them.  We weren’t prepared for this and it did cause some embarrassment although it was easily rectified.

What to expect in your hammam

The hammam is warm and steamy but nothing as intense as the steam rooms in Hungary. The tiles are heated which makes the padded seats warm and welcoming.

We had three hammam ladies for our family session and they were all wonderful, friendly and multi-lingual.

Firstly we were washed with hot water – well, I say washed but more like we had buckets of water thrown over our heads!

Steamy GoPro 3+ video

Lying face down on the padded mats we were massaged with a chocolate and mint body scrub before being turned over and massaged again.

GoPro Hero 3+

After everyone was massaged, we were roughly but nicely showered with a hot shower from the roof.

GoPro Hero 3+

and then scrubbed with rassoul body scrub before being sprayed with orange flower serum. My skin has never felt so soft!

Whilst the experience wasn’t relaxing per se it was therapeutic. The lights were dimmed, and we lay there listening to the sound of running water and being enveloped by the heat of the steam and the aroma of chocolate.

The heat from the steam and the massage left us feeling drowsy and I’ve never felt so clean. Our skin was unbelievably soft and we smelled really good. The kids and Richard said they lost a lot of hair from their legs. I’m guessing this is because their hair is light and fluffy!

oriental massage

Bundled up in our gowns and towels on our head, we were taken downstairs to the massage rooms. Here we were separated into groups of two’s with one left over.  It was our teenage daughter who was left alone and I was incredibly worried about her but I needn’t have bothered. She had a great time.

The massage lasted about forty minutes in darkened rooms with light music.  Our son fell asleep TWICE during the massage which made our two massage ladies giggle.

Mint tea

We were taken downstairs to chill out in the family sofa room whilst we drank little glasses of mint tea. Our son would have easily gone back to sleep if we’d let him but he was bribed with a glass of tea and the promise of a jacuzzi.

The room is small and warm and has black and red decor. The sofas are low lying and the smell of burning oil provides are gently.

Video taken with GoPro Hero 3+.

Jacuzzi

For our kids this was the most exciting part of the day. Sure, they loved the hammam and the massage but all those jacuzzi bubbles are enough to send a kid wild lol,

The jacuzzi was in a darkened room with oil burning. Of course it was supposed to be mildly therapeutic but who are we kidding!! Two kids giggling, splashing and squirming is not exactly what we had in mind.

Can you hear our ‘SHHHhhhhh’s’? I think the jacuzzi is designed for four people but of course we’re five that meant we had one person floating around. Thankfully the jacuzzi is pretty big and could accommodate us all.

We were most worried about our kids making so much noise they’d ruin the spa experience for other people there but we needn’t have worried. They were very well behaved and ISIS is a spa dedicated to families 🙂

Our experience

We had such a fabulous time and we cannot thank the staff there enough for their time and skills. We would 100% recommend ISIS spa and hammam – even if you don’t book this package, you’d still have a great time here.

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