no alt text

Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 21 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Mandy Sinclair

The hammam (steam bathhouse) has been an integral part of Islamic, notably Arabic, culture for centuries. Inspired by the Roman thermae, a bathhouse would include a cold room, a warm room and a hot room; in the latter, heat is produced by furnaces to supply hot water and steam.

The signature Marrakech hammam experience starts with a stint in the steam room, but then progresses to a special detoxication treatment; first, a scrub with locally-made black soap (containing olive oil) to prepare the skin for a gommage (exfoliation) with a kessa glove. After, locally-sourced rhassoul clay is applied, followed by a massage with local Argan oil.

For locals, a visit to the bathhouse is more than just a spa treatment. It serves three key purposes: one for hygiene, second for cleansing for before religious ablution before prayer, and third as a meeting place for the local community.

Don't miss

One unique highlight of spa treatments in Marrakech is the use of Argan oil, produced from the endemic argan tree. This prized elixir contains high levels of vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and is employed in cooking, medicine and cosmetics.

Also make sure your treatment includes an application of rhassoul clay. This brown clay, found only in a valley in the Atlas Mountains, has an exceptionally high content of beneficial minerals. Used as a powerful detoxifying cleanser, skin conditioner, shampoo, and facial or body mask, it acts like a magnet, withdrawing all the toxins from the skin and replacing them with minerals.



Hammam at La Maison Arabe

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Red-lit room inside of hammam (Turkish bath)

It may not be as luxurious as that at Mamounia, but with dimly-lit with oriental lanterns, tranquil plunge pools, 2 hammams and 5 treatment rooms, it’s more atmospheric and intimate. Treatments range from traditional scrubs to luxuriant wraps.

Adult price: £20

Min age 13

Best for ages 18+

Website >
More details >

Les Bains de Marrakech

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi Region , Morocco

Red and black lounge chairs in interior courtyard of Turkish Bath

Marrakech’s stand-out independent hammam, offering the authentic luxury experience; marble-clad treatment rooms, baths floating with rose petals, lattice doorways and oriental lanterns. 

Adult price: £100

Best for ages 18+

Website >
More details >

The spa at La Mamounia

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Blue-tiled indoor pool surrounded by lounge chairs

Award-winning spa with majestic marble swimming pools, ornate arches with oriental lanterns, and mosaic-tiled pillars. Signature treatments employ traditional ingredients like rose water, black soap and orange blossoms.

Adult price: £100

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

Website >
More details >


Price from: £20
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 2+ hours

Getting there & doing it

Most tourists visit the upmarket spa-like hammams, but the more intrepid will join the locals at the no-frills public hammam bathhouses. It’s certainly a more authentic experience, but be prepared for plenty of bare flesh on show.

Scrubbing can be intense and even bordering on painful. Don’t be afraid to speak up – they’ll go hard unless you dictate otherwise.

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Ornate, tiled doorway with round door

An exotic time capsule of ancient streets and souks, blending Arab culture and French colonial heritage. Soak it all up in the wonderfully evocative atmosphere of the Jemaa el-Fnaa.



Round-ups that include this experience