She seemed nice enough when we were introduced…rather gentle and sweet as she led me to the hammam. Her name was Nadia and she was from Morocco. Her task this morning was to introduce me to one of the treatments newly introduced to the spa at the Marbella Club – the Hammam Morjana Ritual.
As I entered the hammam she was laying towels down on the mosaic tiles and gestured for me to lie there, face down, and then began to massage my tight, locked shoulders. Her firm touch gradually eased the joints, ably abetted by the scented heat and steam. Next step was a dowsing with buckets of warm water and a thorough soaping with a rose scented product…soon I was lulled into a deep relaxation as more warm water was thrown over my body.
But then it all changed…the gentle Nadia turned into a fiend…first with a scouring glove that felt as if it would remove rust from an acient chip pan. She covered every inch of my body without an ounce of mercy…the only place where it was nearly enjoyable was on the soles of my feet. Then beckoning me to stand, she soaped me all over again and with more bowls of water removed the suds. I was grateful the scouring had stopped when she threw a bowl of ice cold water over me. The screams and yelps must have carried through to the rest of the spa, but nobody came to rescue…as she continued to hose me down with an icy cold spray. By which time I was running around the one pillar in the place trying to avoid her…before she allowed me to hose myself , which I did gingerly and half-heartedly from the feet up.
Respite came when she sat me down to shampoo my hair and cleanse my face. The relief of the warmth was almost overwhelming until…another bowl of cold water rinsed off the shampoo. By now I was ready to punch her…but too clever by half she persuaded me to lie on warm, dry towels as she performed a final massage using a rose and argan oil.
I finally forgave her as she wrapped me in warm towels and blankets and dimmed the lights in the relaxation area as I fell into a deep sleep. In truth when I woke my skin was glowing and squeaky clean. I just wish I wasn’t such a coward.
The Hammam Ritual is one of a number of new thalassotherapy treatments, programmes and cures now available at the Marbella Club. If you opt for a three or five day programme, look away as you leave the spa as the resort’s legendary buffet is laid out in all its glory just a few feet away from the spa entrance!