From Hammams to Hair Wraps, a Luxury Wellness Retreat the Moroccan Way

I’ve always been a bit resistant to the idea of a wellness retreat. As someone who is deeply attached to their creature comforts, the notion seemed a little too austere for my liking: conjuring images of too-pale wisp-thin women shuffling around some gloomy Alpine resort in white robes and shower slides, IV vitamin drips dangling from their arms. Basically, not my idea of fun. Still, take that concept somewhere warmer, somewhere rich with culture—somewhere like Morocco, say—and you just might be able to convince me otherwise. 

Courtesy of Royal Mansour Marrakech

The recently launched wellness retreat at the Royal Mansour in Marrakech ticks all those boxes. It’s the first of its kind in North Africa and, as such, does a good job of shaking up Eurocentric wellness cliches. If you’ve ever been to a hammam, then you’ll know that self-care has a centuries-old history in Arabic culture. Originally conceived as a preparation for prayer, the bathing tradition became popular across the region in the 1400s and remains something of a weekly ritual for many Moroccan families to this day. Part of the hotel’s newly renovated 27,000-square-foot palatial spa, the hammam at the Royal Mansour is pretty much fit for a 15th-century Moroccan princess. Or at least that’s how I felt when I visit this past spring. 

To be clear, the resort itself is basically a palace, built with all the kind of regal North African trimmings you would expect: marble floors, lace-embedded plaster, intricate wooden ceilings carved by hand (I was not surprised to discover that it took 1,200 local artists to bring to life). The property is like a very luxurious medina all of its own, with individual riads in place of the traditional hotel suite. But the spa is essentially the jewel in the crown here, tucked away in a citrus grove with a lofty, birdcage-style atrium.  

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button