Africa,  Marrakech,  Morocco,  Others

Opinion on the Mouassine Hammam in Marrakech (Morocco)

After Hungary, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, I continue my world tour of public baths / hammam in Morocco 🙂

In Marrakech, there are many hotels with spa offering luxurious treatments. Looking for a more authentic experience, I find 2 or 3 addresses. My choice is the Hammam Mouassine which is located in the Medina

Apparently it is one of the oldest hammams in the city (built in 1562!) and is still heated by wood fire

The place is referenced on Google Maps but isn’t very easy to find because of the small lanes. I first fell in front of the entrance for women before finding the entrance for men

So you have understood it, this hammam is available for both men and women with two separate entrances. It also offers wide opening hours: it is open every day from 5 am to midnight!

When you arrive, you immediately understand that you aren’t at the spa of the Hilton hotel, the entrance is used as a checkroom 🙂

The owner welcomes me and shows me the menu. This is where we see the limit of the traditional hammam: the menu is available in English, French and Spanish 🙂

For men, there is only one formula. This one costs 150 dh with soaping, scrubbing and rhassoul wrap

In addition to the formula, I choose to take a 30 minute massage for an additional 100 dh

The boss hands me single-use underwear, a towel and flip-flops and a basket. I understand then that I have to undress on the spot. So I shouldn’t be too modest but after the completely naked public baths in Japan, that’s not what frightens me 🙂 There are no secure lockers, so avoid taking too many valuables

A person comes to pick me up, we arrive in a room where several people are already at work. She rinses me, puts some black soap on me and leaves me lying down for about ten minutes. All this is done on the floor on a small mat like a gym mat

After the 10 minutes, my companion gives me a very energetic scrub all over my body, face included. I am surprised by the amount of dead skin, even though my last hammam was only two weeks ago

After the exfoliation, we go to another similar room and the masseur applies a product to me. I guess it’s rhassoul but I was expecting a different texture. After 5 / 10 minutes of waiting, the person rinses me and starts the oil massage

This one is very pleasant even if it would be more comfortable on a massage table than on the floor but that’s what living a traditional experience is all about 🙂 The massage is much less virile than a Turkish massage but it’s not worse

After the massage, I get a shampoo and then a rinse with warm water. I am then asked to stand up. The masseur arrives with a large bucket of water and says “watch out!”. Before I even understand what to watch out for, I am sprayed with very cold water

I like the hot / cold transitions, but this one is surprising 😀

After that it’s over, I go back to the entrance, dry myself and get dressed. I am offered a tea before leaving

In conclusion, a good traditional experience for my first hammam in Morocco

The exfoliation and the massage were very good. Although the room was warm, I still found the temperature a bit too low. Not that I was cold, but I like to sweat in the hammams, so that wasn’t too much of a problem

Another criticism is that there is neither time nor space to relax quietly

I have read on Tripadvisor some opinions criticizing cleanliness, I have no reproach to make on this aspect. I understand that it might be surprising to be washed on the floor, but that’s how they’ve been doing it for centuries

In comparison, I prefer Turkish hammams for the moment, the masseurs are more meticulous (even if this one was very good) and there is usually a space to relax / perspire while staying almost as long as you want

Let’s wait and see if my next Moroccan hammams will make me change my mind



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