While it was the gigantic photo of Harvey Keitel in a bathrobe that drew us in, it was the experience of being scrubbed, sloughed, soaped and steamed into oblivion that made us rave.
There's no shortage of hammams, so it's just a matter of narrowing down your options and perhaps doing a little research online to find the right one for you.
We were looking for something traditional, not too glitzy and fairly cheap. After wandering blindly around the medina we stumbled straight into Hammam Ziani (with its picture of Harvey Keitel on the front desk!) and the decision was made!
Getting down to business
We chose the full package which included the steamroom (or "vaporarium"), gommage (scrub), massage and shower.
We were ushered into the changing area by a tiny woman who spoke no English. Each change room was taken up entirely by a large chair, and my mate and I giggled as we puzzled over how to pull the curtain across. Do we unchange while squatting on the chair? Is the whole thing to be done sitting down?
Once we'd got that sorted, we popped our clothes into a locker. The key was attached to an elastic band around our wrist, so it all felt very secure. As we exited the change room, we twirled around in our cute little robes. But after about 30 seconds a lady instructed us to lift up our arms and they were whipped straight back off.
So there we were, a couple of pale-skinned gals standing in a Morrocan bathhouse wearing nothing but a pair of disposable undies and a smile. It was shortly after this my friend discovered she had hers on backwards. But there was no time to despair, as we were too busy trying not to slip over on the ridiculously slippery floors. You've been warned!
All steamed up
In our tiny knickers and plastic sandals, we were led into the steamroom where we started lathering ourselves up with black soap. This is a traditional soap made from olive oil, and it basically melts into your skin leaving you nice and moisturised. We gossiped away like a couple of old ladies, letting the steam cleanse our pores and forgetting all about the fact we were basically nude and surrounded by people who couldn't understand a word we were staying.
Next it was off to the gommage room, where we perched ourselves on a big marble slab and were rinsed with cold water. We felt like little kids being lathered up by our mums - but that's where the coddling stopped. The force of these tiny women is extraordinary, as each wielded a loofah with what can only be described as glee. It's an indescribable feeling, as they scrub every inch of your body, laughing and chatting among themselves as layers of dead skin pile up around you. We squealed and laughed as they clamped our ticklish feet down and scrubbed places that had never felt the touch of a loofah before.
We gasped in a mix of horror and delight as saw all the dead skin that was being sloughed away. The marbles slabs were covered in what appeared to be shavings from an eraser, except it was actually our own skin. Good riddance!
Then it's off to the massage room, where's no point being shy because these ladies have seen it all before. So just relax and allow them to do their job, letting the argan oil soak in and energise you for another day at the souks near the Djemaa El-Fna.
The whole process finishes up with a shower and a shampoo, then once you've changed into your own clothes you can sit in the cosy lounge and enjoy a cup of mint tea, marvelling over the incredible smoothness of your squeaky clean skin.
The nitty gritty
The entire package cost us 270 Moroccan dirhams, which is about AUD$27. Not bad when you consider the price of a massage alone here in Australia!
We left it until the last day of our trip, because we knew our tired feet would appreciate it after all the walking around. But if you're looking to get a nice (safe!) tan from the Moroccan sun, it's also a good idea to go at the start so your skin is all prepared to soak up the rays (this doesn't mean you can skimp on the sunscreen of course!).
If you want to rid yourself of unwanted skin, take a look at all our trips to Morocco. There's bound to be something that grabs your eye! You can order a FREE brochure or read one online. Then sign up to our monthly eNews for deals, discounts, competitions and news.
(Main photo from epimetheus by CC License)