Turkish Hammans are known for their wonderful detoxifying effects. The Eastern Mangroves Hotel in Abu Dhabi has brought this ancient Turkish traditional to the UAE capital for the first time. This Turkish bathing ritual exfoliates the skin, helping it to breathe more easily thus providing an increased amount of oxygen to the body. Frequent hamman visits are also great for preventing or tackling already existing cellulite. Gurus of the hamman say that it can actually lengthen and improve the quality of one’s life. Enough said. We decided to try it out for ourselves.
Decked out in rich marble with clear Ottoman design influences, the hamman area is a delight for the eye. Before my treatment I was led to the steam room and made to sit there for around 10 minutes. The steam moistens the skin and prepares it for the process of exfoliation. Afterwards, I was guided by my therapist to the opulent hamman room that I had previously got a glimpse of. There I was made to lie on the göbek tası, the heated central pedestal, which is made of marble and heated. There warm water was poured over my body until I was pleasantly relaxed. The next part involved scribbing with the kese, a rough bath mitt that removes dead skin and grime. This is followed by a foam massage to rinse off the excess. My therapist told me how the foam was made: Turkish olive soap, a pot filled with water and a simple muslin sown on three sides that resembles a pillow case. I was then rinsed with warm water and guided to the shower.
The last part of the ritual involves rest in the relaxation area. Traditionally, this would be called the ılıklık, or area for warmness. According to the custom, I was served ayran, a Turkish variation of laban – a yogurt drink with salt said to help restore the salts that one has lost in the bath as well as normalize blood pressure.
Calmed and feeling very cleaned, after the ritual it’s hard not to be tempted to make the Turkish hamman part of your regular beauty treatments and especially within such a glorious ambiance as the Anantara Spa.
Anantara Spa is located at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Tel: +971 26561000