Riad Laaroussa Hammam
An evening at the hammam; tranquil, quiet, concealed. A contrast to the outside world, the medina from which we escaped as the sunset.
The hammam, a bathing ritual, was our treat, a certain indulgence, but also an experience that we had been told we must have. Traditionally, a hammam is performed in the public bathhouses with some hours set aside for men and others for women; in contrast, we chose a private spa in a luxury hotel. While I can’t vouch for the common authenticity, I can vouch for the magic of it all.
First, there is a dark steaming sauna. Then, buckets of warm and cold water. A black soap, scrubbing. Rose cream and a mask, more steam, watching beads of water in the crevices of the domed ceiling with no sense of time. Frozen time. A shower. A non-traditional, additional massage. Jasmine argan oil, the sweetest smell.
And to end it all, mint tea, here, in this courtyard. The entire place was empty. We had it all to ourselves, as long as we wanted to stay.