Friday, 27 February 2015

Insiders Guide III: the Spa:s and Hamams of Marrakech

Morocco is well known for its traditions of the hamam rituals and arabic beauty secrets. Some of the best spas in the world are located in Morocco and these ancient rituals are deeply routed in the countries traditions. The spas here are based on the hamam tradition that originally has religious meaning and is performed Fridays by men and women separated to clense the mind and body for the weekend, Friday is the holy day in Islam.


These hamam rituals differ from the spa experiences we may be used to from Asia or Scandinavia but over the years they have been adapted and developed to embrace also other spa traditions. If you just do one spa treatment in Morocco, go for he traditional hamam at a spa that fits your budget. There are local hamams where you bring your own soap as well as some of the most luxurious spas on the planet.

A local hamam where the Moroccans go Fridays to be cleaned, if you have a Moroccan who can take you it can be quite an experience...

In this blog post we list our favorite spas and hamams in Marrakech, as always in this blog with a focus on high end spas rather then the local one shown in the picture above.

Royal Mansour Spa - the palace hotel and spa owned by the king and the latest addition to the super luxury scene of Marralech. The design of the spa is divine and there is a lush garden and beautiful pool. Probably the best spa in Morocco and yes, it is very expensive but well worth the money. The hamam area is beautiful and palatial. Facials by Chanel,

Le Spa at La Mamounia - the spa of the legendary Marrakech hotel is beautiful and tranquile. We like the pool area upstairs better then the dark hamam rooms downstairs. It is well worth a visit for the ambience and also give you access to the gardens and pools of La Mamounia

La Sultana Spa - amazing palace like spa in a traditional design. Very private and beautiful. Excellent treatments.

Palace Es Saadi Spa & Christian Dior Institut - this is a bigger spa with good treatments. Especially the Dior institute located here perform the best facials in existance. There is also a very good gym. 

Hamam de la Rose - more of a small, traditional hamam with a design twist. Very good traditional treatments and no extra fuss (that is no pool, no garden, no gym), you come here for the hamam.

Les Bains de Marrakech - this is the big, beautiful and well known institution. Good place and a nice environment (allthough we heard of friends being offered extra benefits of a romantic nature...)

Local secrets: if you ever stay as out guest at Riad Arabe (and are a woman) our housekeeper Rachida can take you for a Moroccan traditional experience at her local hamam. This is a hamam ritual as original as it gets, a glimpse of Moroccan life and a memory for life. The same applies if you stay att smaller guest houses, ask the staff to take you to their local favorite hamam.

Our own top 3  list of best Hamam experiences
1 La Sultana
2 Royal Mansour
3 Hamam de la Rose

Les sens de Marrakech
Do you want that luxury hamam feeling in your home? Les sens de Marrakech have the most fantastic products including soaps, shower gels, schampos, scented candels and difusers etc. Absolutley amazing products in beautiful packaging. We have les sens de Marrakech products allover the riad as well as in Stockholm. Check them out.

Les sens de Marrakech

We spent this Friday at the Royal Mansour enjoying a private lunch, a great hamam and this beautiful pool.

Hi from Royal Mansour!

We are sure you will love the hamams in Marrakech whichever one you chose. Now we are off to the Sahara desert for a while.

Take it easy, take a hamam!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Daily Life

Spring is here, the days are sunny and warm. We are into our daily routines of working out, studying a bit, doing some meetings, enjoying the city and meeting a lot of interesting people. On Friday we will attend a pop up restaurant with a celebrated star chef, on Saturday it is time for TED Talks Marrakech and next week we are off to the Sahara desert. We keep busy.

Here are some photos of our daily life in the medina:

Sunny days

Nice dinners at new and old favorite spots, i Limone

Working out with our PT at the palace 

The Atlas mountains, always visible and majestic

Lounging a lot, Riad Lotus Privilege

Discovering new parts of the medina

Having ice cream

Attending art exhibitions and cultural events

Patrick and Disco at Latitide 31
Per and Disco at Kui Zin

Night in Marrakech

Our house turtles running wild

Next week we are off to the Sahara desert and will spemd 3 days at the ERG desert luxury camp in the middle of the dunes. We will gaze at stars, ride camels, lunch in an oasis, dine under the stars and surf the sand dunes, cant wait!

ERG desert luxury camp

This is the accomodation

Our blog "A year in Marrakech" is global! These great guys from Brazil came to Marrakech because of this blog (!!!) and recognised us in a restaurant so of course we hung out and had a good time.

Now its dinner time after a day in the sun,

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Projects in the Riad

Over the three years we have owned our little riad we have done a lot of projects and developments, but no matter how much you do there are always new projects to start and fabolous interior design pieces to buy. A riad also requires constant maintainance to stay beautiful. Here are a few of the things we have done since we arrived mid January:

We got ADSL wifi installed in the riad and now the wifi works all over the house, even on the roof terrace -yay! As an addition Maroc Telecom installed also a stationary phone.

New custom built sofas in a very nice grey fabric. We made them a bit deeper to be more comfortable than the traditional Moroccan sofas normally are. The grey textile bag as well as the throw and cushion with print are all by Finnish design brand Iittala. Antique Copper trey table and Kelim carpet. Classic hand made copper lamp in the corner.

The main salon with new sofas, also a new wooden side table

New covers and cushions for the dining chairs in the salon in same fabric as the sofas (since we bought the riad three years ago we have only eaten here once, we always dine outside)

Our master bathroom lacked storage so we had this solution custom built.

Open shelves for easy display and reach

Drawers and baskets for storage

We are super happy with the wooden pergola on the roof terrace!

Dining and sunbathing areas

Curtains for shade, when needed. Turtle house to the right.

View from the lounge chairs in the pergola 

Our other tented lounge on the roof terrace

From another angle

Inside the tent lounge

Brothers Aziz and Si Mohammed. Our carpenter and textile team who have done all wood works and textiles for the riad. They are super skilled and always deliver beyond expectations.

We had the whole riad re-painted. The facade, the patio, all rooms and inner roofs got a new coat of paint. Here are the painters.

We also bought new high quality beddings in Egyptian cotton for the three bedrooms

Lamps, lamps, lamps
Oh yes, when you are in Marrakech you keep buying lamps. The expression "you can never have too many shoes" that we obeyed in Stockholm has been replaced by "you can never have too many lamps". There are so many beautiful lamps in every corner of this city and wherever you go there is magical light from these hand made art pieces. Since we moved in we have bought some 30 lamps. Except the 30 we already have we added some new ones to the collection in the last weeks. Now we have bought some 45 lamps and are still counting (and that is excluding built in spots and some lamps that came with the house). After all you can never have too many points of light in a room, right?

We custom made these corner lamps in copper for the main lounge in the same design as the rest of the lamps in that room

This is the new ceiling lamp in the master bathroom

Decorative lamp on the wall in the gold lounge

Another lamp in the gold lounge

These blue/white corner lamps were custom made for our two guest rooms.

Silver lamp in one of the stairways

Lamps in the pool area in traditional Moroccan design painted white for a more modern feeling

White lamp in the pool lounge

And finally white corner lamps for the pool side lounge

Take care, we are off to buy some more lamps!