THE REVIEW: Luxury Hammam Spa & Afternoon Tea, Maison MK, Marrakech
Paradise does exist, and it is in the form of the Maison MK boutique hotel and Spa, says Assif Majid.
Maison MK is one of Marrakech’s most coveted boutique hotels. The luxury Moroccan hotel is home to the Spa MK, which offers a traditional Hammam spa experience with a British twist.
Hidden away in a one of the city’s back streets, the luxury Marrakech Spa is a haven for Moroccan rituals created in the most luxurious and opulent oasis.
Located in the El Ksour district of the Medina, 15 minutes from the airport by taxi, and only a two-minute stroll from square Djemaa el Fna with its fire-eaters, snake charmers and Berber storytellers. The luxury Marrakech hotel has been featured on Channel 4’s Jamie Does Marrakech and various international publications such as Vogue, Sunday Times and the Guardian.
The Spa MK boasts an impressive menu of treatment facilities, which you should make full use of. I have to confess I am a spa addict and when I was told rejuvenation comes at the magic hands of a tallak (traditional Moroccan washerwoman, of people not clothing) and a talented masseuse, I could hardly hold my excitement.
The luxury Marrakech hotel employs two full-time members of staff in the spa. The spa is fully equipped with a traditional Hammam, while the charcoal-polished darkroom ensures that massages carried out in the dark provide optimum absorption and relaxation.
I had opted for the Afternoon Tea Package, which included a Hammam, and massage combination, followed by a full English afternoon tea on the rooftop terrace.
I was greeted by my tallak who explained the treatment and advised me that after my Hammam a masseuse would see me. I was then ushered into the changing room, which was rather small but fit-for-purpose. I was given a disposable G-string like panty to wear, which seems to be the norm in spas these days, a thick fluffy robe and some trendy Havaianas flip-flops – they even had my size, a UK 10.
The private Hammam is heated to about 70’C (158’F). The steam of the Hammam allows pores to dilate, allowing a deep cleansing of the skin. I was lead into the Hamam in only my swimwear (if you can call it that!) and asked to lie down on the slab of marble. The hot water and steam stimulate the energy points and relax the muscles.
I was first washed down with buckets of luke warm water. Next luxury savoir noir (black soap) made from a base of black olives with eucalyptus and mint was applied all over my body. Once I was fully soaped I was left for 10 minutes to relax and breath the lovely smell of eucalyptus and mint in the steamy Hammam.
A few moments later the tellak returned and gave me another wash with buckets of water. And then the exfoliating begins.
Loofa-like gloves called a Kessa were used to clean my sweaty skin of the entire residue I had accumulated from the dusty souks. Every inch of my body was thoroughly scrubbed before billowing suds washed me squeaky clean. The next stage was the application of Rhassoul, clay specific to Morocco (you can only find this in the Middle Atlas). I was then left to relax for a further five or 10 minutes, while the mask took effect.
The next stage of my luxury Marrakech spa treatment was the sugar and Argan oil rub. The tellak covered me in the stuff, it had a real intense sweet but wonderful aroma. This ensures the final remaining roughness is removed and hydrates the skin at the same time. Once again I was doused from top to toe with pails of water, and then I was left to relax some more.
After my Hammam treatment I was given some ice-cold bottled water, while I waited for the next stage in my spa experience. The masseuse asked what oil I would like for the massage, I picked Argan Oil, ubiquitous in the region, I then took my place face down on an indoor bed in a candle-lit darkroom. The massage was one of the best I’ve had. I’ve had massages that claim to work wonders from head to toe, but this was something else. It felt like I had been in there for hours, it was so relaxing and ultra-soothing; I could feel the massage had worked wonders into my muscle tissue.
Once the massage was over I was given a shot of fresh mango juice accompanied with some freshly cut fruit and raspberry coulis. As a souvenir I get to keep the Kessa glove and pumice stone used in my treatment.
After getting changed I made my way to the rooftop terrace where afternoon tea was served. The terrace comes with panoramic views of Marrakech and the snowcapped Atlas Mountains. I was offered a choice of fair trade teas by Forte – I opted for Earl Grey – before being presented with three tiers of exquisite pastries, cakes, sandwiches and chocolate & orange macaroons. The scones were fresh and staff kept topping up our tea. It was clear that presentation was important at Maison MK.
The afternoon package is one of many packages available at Maison MK, and is at an affordable price too. It would make a marvelous treat as a birthday, anniversary, or any other celebration gift. The staff at the luxury Marrakech hotel is fantastic – professional, approachable and very attentive. The Spa MK is a delight, a truly luxurious and soothing experience. Perfect for couple looking for a luxury but affordable romantic getaway.
For reservations or for more information visit Maison MK.