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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gone to Heaven

As a treat to myself, I booked an appointment with Hammam Spa in Bangsar today. The reviews have been encouraging but I was not prepared for how good it was.

As you walked through the low double doors, your eyes take a couple of seconds to adjust to the dim lighting. The dimly lit indoor courtyard is rectangular and surrounded by romanesque columns. A multitude of Moroccan lamps hang from the ceiling while smaller ones are tucked within the arches of the columns. Overall effect was hynotic and I was instantly relaxed.

Four large lounge chairs face the quintessential water fountain and it is here I sat waiting for instructions.

About 10 years ago when I visited Egypt, I had the hammam and gommage experience and while it was a totally bizarre, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope that this would also be something to write home about.

You are asked to change into paper panties and a paper tube top and then led into a tiled hot room. In the sauna, there is another fountain with even more elaborate and beautiful mosaic tiles. She starts by bathing you with a black soap that has been blended with crystals, a receipe that begins the first level of detoxing.

You sit in the warmed room afterwards for 10 minutes and the scrubbing begins. Another tiled room adjacent to the baths has two stone beds where you lay and get a thorough exfoliation. A special glove worn by her literally takes off a layer of skin and dirt and by the time I turned around, The bed was littered with matchstick like black debris. Gross beyond words but liberating nonetheless. Better out than in yes? Or in this case, better off than on.

Step 3 was a moorish body polish and then an hour long massage. The massage was one of the best I've had. Helen has the most harmonious massage techniques I've ever come across and at some point of the long strokes applied on my back, she made me feel like I want to spring out and do charity work or sing musicals. It was that uplifting.

I bought two more sessions with them and can't wait to go back in a few months. Maybe next time I would do a pedicure, just to sit in this adorable alcove.

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