One of the things you can´t miss whilst you are in Marrakesh is to go to a hammam, we were really looking forward to it.
There are two types of hammam, I´m going to label them as:
- The traditional: it was used before as a place to wash yourself, they were mainly used as a bathroom as not every house had running water. Typically they have two entrances and two separate sections inside, one for men and one for women, or they assigned certain days for men and other days for women. You just pay the entrance and then you scrub and exfoliate yourself in there.
- The posh: more modern and more similar to what we are used to see in Europe, and spa.
We were looking for something in between traditional and posh also because our budget didn´t allow us to afford the posh ones (the cheapest we could find was 450MAD) but we wanted to avoid the DIY in the traditional, I mean we can have a normal bath at home, right?
Whilst wandering we passed in front of one of the post modern hammam Les Bains the Marrakech. It looked really nice but the price put us off. Now I can say that perhaps I would’ve paid for it.
So, how did we find our spa? We went to visit the Palais de la Bahia and it started raining. On our way out we were discussing that perhaps it was the perfect time to look for a hammam and spend the rest of the afternoon spoiling ourselves when the man who was selling the tickets approached us. He told us that he knew a really nice place and affordable very close to the Palace, he could help us to find the place. We thought “Why not? We have nothing to lose and if we don´t like it we just can leave”. So we followed him to the place called AABla Spa. We arrived there and there was a woman who showed us the place, we went on a tour inside the hammam so we could see what it looked like a primitive hamman but good enough to decide to give it a go. She offered us 1h hammam and 1h massage for 300MAD per person, well to be completely accurate she said that we were lucky because that week if we wanted 1h massage, the hammam was free of cost: a package. So we said “Ok! Let´s do it!”
Please please please! Definitely DON´T go there. Our experience ended up being not very pleasant and it was a fraud.
As I said, they offered us 1h hammam and 1h massage for 300MAD per person however the massage only lasted 20 minutes. This is one of the reasons why I would not recommend you to go there but there were more.
The room was not nice with a lack of decoration unless you consider a shelf full of towels as decoration. It was also cold and not cosy at all, something that you don´t expect for a spa or a hammam or any type of place where they offer relaxation treatments.
There was no chill out music, well there was not music at all. Where on Earth will you find a spa where there is no background music? Go to AABla Spa…
The staff was not professional at all. They kept talking to each other from room to room in between the massage (as I said not professional at all).
However the worst part of it was that I could hear weird noises coming from the room next to mine (it seemed that someone bought a happy ending package). I was so shocked and couldn´t believe it, “What is that?! Someone is having fun there. At least he´s got what he was paying for” I thought, although not sure about the quality because if it was like our massage I promise you that I wouldn´t have been a “happy”-ending customer.
So, as you can imagine, it wasn´t relaxing at all and not quite what we were looking for. At least not for us, perhaps it was for the man in the room next to mine, who knows because I couldn´t ask him.
How did it end? We were extremely disappointed after the 20 minutes massage that was sold as 1h. So we went to reception and we claimed part of the money back. Surprisingly enough they said “No, it is the price as you can see here in our brochure”. We said “Yes, we are not blind. However the woman who was here before said that this week there was an offer and the hammam was free and we just only had to pay for 1h massage. Our massage lasted only 20 minutes so we want to pay for what we have received”. The woman who sold us the package was apparently not reachable, not even by phone, how inconvenient ah!
In a nutshell, after a hard back and forth, and when I say hard I mean really hard (more than 30 minutes discussing about it in French, English and Spanish), they refunded us 100MAD per person. Yet, we left very disappointed as we really wanted to enjoy our 1h massage.
We have learned that sometimes you have to look for information and reviews, thing that, to be honest, we didn´t do because we decided on the spot, it was completely spontaneous, the spur of the moment. However, it is one of the moments I´m going to remember the most about our trip to Marrakech because travel is also about experiences and this definitely was one to remember.
How about you? Have you ever had a spa story to remember? Please feel free to share your thoughts.
Hope to see you soon witties!
PS: if you are planning to go to Marrakech, don’t miss out my post Marrakech in 4 days.