Visiting a traditional hammam is an essential to-do in your travel to Morocco, to help you relax and revitalize for the rest of your adventure.
In the bustling medina of Marrakech, amid the colorful souks and palpable cultural heritage, are some of the best hammams in Morocco. Here, you will get to relax and rejuvenate during your exciting adventures in a foreign land.
Morocco is a top travel destination in North Africa for tourists around the world. Its diverse culture, history, and landscapes, its Roman and Islamic architecture, as well as its traditions and art, are all attractive to anyone wanting to explore a different world.
Among these draws for travelers are the traditional hammams that Moroccans visit weekly to bathe and relax. Beyond hygiene and social connection, hammams are also important for Moroccans because they are connected to water and purification, which are essential in Islam. This is especially true before performing Friday prayers.
Originating from Roman bathhouses and steam rooms, traditional Moroccan hammams have been in the country for centuries. The adopted bathing tradition became an essential ritual in Moroccans’ life.
A traditional hammam visit in Morocco includes many rituals, especially for women. They cleanse, scrub and treat their skin and hair with several traditional and natural Moroccan beauty products. These include beldi soap (Moroccan black soap), ghassoul (Moroccan clay), kess (a scrubbing glove), henna, rose water, and argan oil.
Both women and men can get a professional massage in hammams, but it will be unlike any other you’ve ever experienced. There is quite a bit of scrubbing involved, and you will leave feeling as clean as a newborn baby.
Marrakech is a great destination if you are looking for the best hammams or spas in the country. These are the top five destinations in the city for an authentic and relaxing experience.
Hammam Dar el-Bacha
The architecture of the building is traditional and antique, with star-shaped vents and minimalistic white tiles under a majestic high dome.
Popular with both Moroccans and tourists, the bathhouse is the perfect location for a fully authentic and traditional experience. In addition to being one of Marrakech’s best bathhouses, Dar el-Bacha is also the biggest traditional hammam in the city.
Going to Dar el-Bacha, like visiting any traditional hammam, it is important to bring bathing essentials such as shampoo, a hairbrush, plastic flip flops, a towel, and clean underwear. Also bring the Moroccan beldi soap, ghassoul, and kess, which you can purchase from shops in the medina souks. Finally, grab a cold water bottle to keep hydrated.
You will find a changing room where you will strip down to your underwear, and where you can take the buckets you need for water. You will leave your belongings with the changing room attendant and grab your bathing essentials and buckets before entering the steam rooms.
In the steam rooms, you will let your pores relax and open in the heat. Then you will proceed with the hammam ritual of applying the Moroccan black soap, rinsing and scrubbing with the kess glove, and you can also hire an attendant to scrub your whole body.
Located 10 minutes north of Jemaa El Fna, Hammam Dar el-Bacha follows separate admission timings, with men’s visits from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and women’s visits from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Because the hammam is popular, and to avoid any hassles getting tickets, it is advisable to book in advance.
Hammam de la Rose
Located in the street of Mouassine, in the old part of the medina, Hammam de la Rose is an elegant hammam and spa and one of the best peaceful havens for Moroccans and tourists to escape the lively streets of Marrakech.
The hammam has beautiful designs on the inside with rich colored walls, a bathing area decorated with colorful mosaic tiles, a central basin and showers, and dim lights creating the perfect relaxing atmosphere. There are also benches where professional attendants will rinse your body, apply natural products, and scrub your dead skin for a healthier, softer, and glowing complexion.
In addition to a traditional hammam experience with a basic Moroccan black soap scrub and moisturizing with rose oil, the spa offers a range of special services. You can choose from henna treatments, application of clay, hair treatments, and hydrating treatments with argan oil. You can also select one of several types of massage, such as a foot massage, scalp massage, back massage, hot stone massage, massage for pregnant women, stress-relieving massage, or ayurvedic massage.
Hammam de la Rose is also where you can get some of the best beauty treatments, with different hydrating facial treatments, hand and feet beauty treatments, waxing, and hairstyling. The experience at Hammam de la Rose is one of peace and tranquility. It is the perfect location to experience a traditional Moroccan hammam with a twist of modern treatments.
Located in the Mouassine district in Marrakech, Hammam Mouassine is one of the best and most popular traditional hammams amongst locals and tourists who want an authentic experience. It is also the oldest hammam in Marrakech—Sultan Abdellah Al Ghalib built it in 1572, in the Saadian era.
Running since the 16th century, the hammam has a relaxing intimate atmosphere with traditional hammam architecture. Its domed steam rooms feature beautiful ceramic tiles and vary in temperature. You will find taps for both hot and cold water plastered inside the hammam walls, where you fill your buckets.
Just like Hammam Dar el-Bacha, going to Hammam Mouassine you should bring your own bathing essentials including a plastic mat to sit on. However, the hammam also provides some of these essentials for free, such as a glove to scrub, natural black soap, and natural ghassoul. In the hammam, you can also benefit from professional treatments of scrubbing with black soap, ghassoul, henna, and green or white facial clay masks, plus massages with essential oils or argan oil.
The traditional hammam is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with visitors spending approximately one to two hours in its friendly and welcoming environment. The bathhouse entry costs MAD 10 ($1) and the treatments, including scrubbing and product application, can vary from MAD 150 to MAD 200 ($16 to $22).
La Mamounia hammam and spa is more on the posh and opulent side of the spectrum of Morocco’s best hammams, in one of the most famous five-star hotels, of the same name, in Marrakech. The spa is also famous for the amazing hospitality visitors receive the moment they walk in.
The spa has an intimate hammam with orange and red mosaic tiles and warm-colored walls. This gives it a marvelous, relaxing, and soothing atmosphere that helps you unwind and loosen up for your hammam ritual.
With outstanding Arab-Andalusian and Amazigh-inspired architecture, colorful zellige tiles, and beautiful handmade lanterns, the hotel hammam spa has a large turquoise pool surrounded by relaxation corners.
And if you feel like spoiling yourself even more with ultimate luxury, you also have the option of reserving a mini spa for yourself. It comes with a private changing room, treatment rooms with two tables, a shower, an intimate hammam with dim relaxing lights, a jacuzzi, and professional attendants.
The spa offers various treatments, including a wide range of massages, body wraps, body scrubs, and facials. You can also visit their beauty salon where you can benefit from different self-care services such as hairstyling, manicures, pedicures, and make-up applications, among others.
The spa hammam is open to non-guests of the hotel and opens at 9 a.m. with the last appointment at 8 p.m. The spa also provides you with bathrobes, slippers, and disposable underwear, and the costs can vary from MAD 1,200 ($130) to MAD 2,000 ($217). It is also advisable to book your appointments before to avoid any occupancy issues.
Heritage Spa is another luxurious hammam spa in Marrakech, favored as one of the city’s best by tourists and located in the famous Bab Doukkala district. Just like other hammams, Heritage Spa has an intimate and relaxing atmosphere with beautiful traditional architecture, gorgeous zellige tilework, and splendid design.
It offers traditional and modern hammam packages that vary from the one with beldi soap, the sea salt exfoliation and ghassoul cleansing, and the essential oils beldi soap exfoliation with the seven plant ghassoul cleansing. The spa offers a wide range of different treatments all with 100% Moroccan natural organic products.
The spa also has its own special heritage packages that vary from traditional relaxing massages to facial care. The massage treatments include a relaxing massage, stimulating massage, hot stone massage, hot herbal bags massage, as well as feet massage. In the relaxing retreat, you can also benefit from different waxing offers and hand and feet treatments.
The soothing hammam spa opens from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, while the costs of the treatments can vary from MAD 290 ($31) to MAD 1,700 ($184). Like other luxurious hammams and spas, prior booking is advisable to guarantee your spot.
From the most affordable Moroccan hammams to the top luxurious and grand hammam spas, Marrakech is where to go for the best authentic experience that will help you unwind from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. These hammams and hammam spas will allow you to relish a relaxing atmosphere, mesmerizing designs, and natural organic treatments before you set off on the next step of your adventure.