Riad Laarousse is where I went for my first hammam (I opted for a private one- mostly because I wanted more individualized attention) and it was heavenly. You are asked to strip to your underwear (no bra) and then taken to a steam room with dark blue plaster and slight window openings up high where you lie on a hot (but not unreasonably so) marble bench and can either relax or watch the steam curl up and around in the light that filters through. Your body relaxes, you feel the tension leave you with the dewy sweat forming on your skin, and you lose sense of time. The woman returns and fills a small sink/tub with water. Using a cup she splashes the water over you and then places a black soap on your body which is also rinsed. She then takes a loofah (which you will receive later- much to my delight) and scrubs you, showing you how much exfoliation the loofah achieves. (I had no idea I needed to shed so much skin but the feeling afterwards is glorious!). After further rinsing, you are escorted to a rain shower and can wash your body and hair with incredible smelling soap and shampoo. From there, you go for a massage- I chose the jasmine oil- and for the next hour you simply melt into the table. I took another shower after that and was escorted back to Dar Roumana where I was staying (as heavenly as the hammam!) feeling like a new person, both literally and figuratively. On my return next year, this is where I will be for my next hammam and massage!
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