In times gone by hammams were used by Kings and Queens of the Ottoman Empire who would host their key social engagements within these ornate bathhouses.
Today, hammams are back in fashion with many resorts adding them to their wellness offerings and treatment menus.
Also known as a Turkish bath, a hammam is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath, or a wet relative of the sauna. Although the first ones originated in Arabia, bath culture was a central part of Roman life, Turkey popularized the tradition by making hammams available to people of all statuses.
The advent of the modern spa and the convenience of baths at home have defeated this old concept. Modern-day hammams often reflect the rich design features of the original bathhouses and continue the tradition of water, air and heat-based body treatments. The treatment benefits include removing dead skin cells, deeply cleansing the skin, ridding it of impurities while stimulating blood circulation and the lymphatic system in remedial heat.
Various resorts and hotels such as The Anantara Spa group offer a number of hammams in various destinations with treatments that follow the traditional ritual procedure.
The Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Desert, houses the Royal Moroccan Hammam and offers the traditional journey in the ritual experiences – first steam which purifies the skin, followed by lying on a heated marble bed for a cleansing and polishing ritual using traditional black olive soap and a kessa mitt. The skin soaks up the natural goodness of a mineral-rich rhassoul mask, followed by a hair treatment and mini facial. After time in the heated jacuzzi and ice room, a back massage completes the ritual.
Other hammams include Banana Island Resort in Doha and the Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa close to Abu Dhabi City which offers both Turkish and Moroccan Hammam Experiences.
Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas www.anantara.com.
Absolute Sanctuary in Koh Samui is Asia’s first Fitness Wellness resort.
This new Fitness Wellness concept combines physical and mental well-being to promote long lasting health. Through its affiliation with Absolute You, Absolute Sanctuary has integrated designed exercise programs including Yoga, Pilates Reformer, Core suspend, rhythm cycling and food programs with world- class Detox programs , emotional and healing spa therapies to offer cutting edge fitness wellness programs, the benefits of which will last a life-time.
Executive Director, Claire Bostock, explains that over the last decade there has been a growing market of niche travellers looking for a holiday experience where they can immerse themselves in their passion for fitness. Absolute Sanctuary sees itself as a perfect fit for these travellers seeking a holiday to unplug from the world and reboot themselves with a getaway that promotes good energy and well-being. With our new Fitness Wellness positioning, it is also timely to revamp our look and feel to exude what we stand for – a place for people to Reconnect with themselves, Recharge their mind, body and soul, Revitalize their inner being and Re-energize their life,”
The 38-room boutique resort has launched 2 new wellness programs: Lifestyle Change and Meaningful Holidays. The lifestyle change program is a structured 30 or 60-days program for people looking to completely transform themselves and committed to achieving the best that they can be with the support of our program. The meaningful holiday is a short 3-day getaway that moves away from packaged programs to a more relaxed getaway leaving guests free to design their own dedicated wellbeing experience.
This wellness facility is located on Koh Phangan island, off the Gulf of Thailand. It’s grounds are inspired by authentic architecture, immersing guests in Thailand’s culture and providing a unifying experience with nature and inner peace.
The Sanctuary offers a therapeutic retreat for a variety of wellness therapies, from balancing mind and spirit, detox and weight loss programs.