October 27, 2011
POSTED BY: Julie Blakeslee
S- We have been uber busy with fall planting season- and @ day i’m going home dirty dirty dirty. But a civilizing element to these 11 hour days is coming at bath time- i’m just obsessed with all my new Hamam inspired accoutrement of course acquired on honeymoon trip. On our last day in Marrakech, we decided to redeem our “free hamam” via our hotel at the Royal Monsour. All during our stay we heard hamam this and hamam that and the only thing we could discern about hamam was that it had something to with a bath. A bath that lasts an hour and a half. So we decided to make it end of the day after a sweaty garden visit to the gardens of La Mamounia -a grande dame hotel from the 20′s that had just undergone a 2 year renovation by Jacques Garcia. The hotel gets it’s name from the gardens in which it was built so hopes were high.
More on this later- but i love these riad gardens with out plants. It’s pretty effective. This was the only riad i saw using this fantastic color of black grey on the stucco. The lanterns had to be designed by Mr. Garcia.
So now we were good and gritty as we trudged back to our hotel for our hamam. or whatever. mama is dirty. and tired.
We were met at the door of our spa that btw looks like a giant birdcage. beautiful. but still.
um so as promised- here’s how it goes down. you go into the locker room and they give you this tee tiny bathing suit bottom that ties around your nethers. then a girl who is sporting kind of a Morman underwear thing comes and gets you and brings you to this underground lair and tells you to take your tiny bathing suit bottom off and lay on this slab of marble. and umm. there’s no one around even though there’re a few more slabs of marble stations in the room so i kind of just did it. So you lay there face down on the heated marble- which is weird but kind of nice and all the sudden she just starts pouring buckets and buckets of warm water all over you from a copper bucket. and it’s going everywhere. and she mumbles something about “this is the black soap” and starts scooping some black goo out and rubbing it all over me and then has me flip over like a greasy fish and lubes up the front. then in a few she comes back with a mitt and says “this is the scrubbing” and begins to rub me rather aggressively. then buckets and buckets and buckets of water thrown all over us again. i mean this is a desert right? where is all this water coming from even? then she kind of heaves you up- and you’re super naked and all hot and slippery and she walks you to the next little room where there is another heated slab of marble and she says “this is the mud” and it all starts over again but has a lot to do with your hair- and i must confess it’s all feeling pretty good. i’m feeling like an arabian princessa. but then after the final rinse off she mumbles something about “essence and stretching”. hmm. wha? soon she’s slathering me all up with orange blossom smelling oil and then we are both pretty lubed up and she begins to get a grip on my limbs one by one and starts pulling me around. And i’m pretty slick and skinny and bony so i’m all sliding around and thinking shit sister if you go down it’s going to look like a fucking horror scene in this white marble cell. but amazingly we both live through it. and afterwards i feel goooood. and my skin is super soft and i identify a wrinkle free visage in the dressing room. As i’m wandering back into the lobby contemplating seeing if there’s some one at home to wash me once a week i run into my completely befuddled husband emerging from his hamam experience. tee hee. Back stateside- i’m beyond enamored with all the accouterments and find this chic French Moroccan company Tadé to order the necessaries.The black soap, savon noir is made of black olives, and the oils are amazing and there are candles that are super botanical so it all smells like morocco instead of stinky boys in the office/boutique. At least for a bit.
Tadé also makes these DIVINE planter things made of old tires. chic. chic. chic. I’m feeling quelle noir- just in time for dias de los muertas. more soon- xoxojb