This is the courtyard before you go into the Hammam and Spa. Yeah, it’s as awesome as you think.
I decided to go to the Hammam for several reasons, the most pressing being my neck has been in bad shape for over a week and I was in desperate need of a massage. Massages aren’t cheap in Paris and for a smidgen more I could make a pretty great day if it. There was a list of other justifications but I won’t bore you with the details. Also, I asked Gita what she thought and she said “Do it!”. I was so smart to ask her, non? I didn’t go for the Birkin of packages, but a Prada nonetheless. All in all, I have to say, it was worth every penny!
Karima is the lovely proprietor of the Hammam. She is a gracious and welcoming host. The ladies who work there are equally lovely and talented at their jobs. It was a exquisite day!
The interior is peaceful and serene and decorated to suit the intention of the spa. Karima has integrated her homeland of Algeria’s culture and tradition of Hammam and a European spa. The décor feels calm, nurturing and relaxing. You can smell the subtle fragrance of essential oils throughout the spa. The lighting is soft and gentle and the colours are soft earth tones accented with deep jewel hues.
First you disrobe and then enter the Hammam. The steam filled room smells lovely and is relaxing. There are gorgeous silver bowls for you to splash water over your body, scooped from the ancient looking small fountain at the back. The room is tiled, with wee twinkling lights overhead. You are to stay in the Hammam as long as you can stand it, go cool off and then return, back and forth. Different from North American experiences, you are nude throughout the day, but it’s a women only establishment and to be honest, I didn’t fret about it in the least.
When your time in the Hammam is done, you are taken for your treatments. The treatments are done in a communal stone and tiled room. It’s beautiful and purposeful. You are often rinsed all over with water, which feels heavenly, and this can be done due to nature of the room. You lie on a heated stone slab, which one would think could be uncomfortable but it’s not. It’s was relaxing and the heated stone felt great. Every inch of me was exfoliated, scrubbed, buffed and polished. The water was always the perfect temperature. I almost melted into the stone, I was so relaxed.
One of the other reasons I chose O’Kari was all the products are completely natural and made in front of you. Since I tend to react to, well, anything chemical, this was fabulous. I had a facial and hair masque, both effective and soothing. After, you go to the small pool or bath. You then alternate between the cool bath the the Hammam again. This was bliss. The bath was cool but not cold. There must be minerals in the water as you can feel tiny effervescent bubbles surround your body. It was like bathing in champagne.
As you go back and forth from pool to Hammam, you’re brought delicious house made lemonade. There is softly playing Arabic music in the background as you sit back and simply float. After a time, you’re brought to another space, where you receive a wonderful massage, and lovely, lightly scented oil is rubbed into your skin, making it soft and supple. About this time, it’s entirely possible that you may drift off for a moment or two!
There is no rushing here and it’s perfect. It was an incredible and unique experience and I’m the better for for it. Thank-you to Karima and her talented staff for such a remarkable day. As I walked away, my only thought was I want to live there.