Thalasso and body care in Morocco
Thalasso and body care in Morocco: Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and Mauritania to the south, Morocco is an unmissable destination for an authentic luxury thalasso getaway. A thalasso holiday in Morocco will satisfy your every whim, combining well-being, discovery and the awakening of the senses. A land of color and light, Morocco will delight you with the benefits of thalassotherapy, delivered in the traditional oriental way. Let us guide you in your choice of destination, and before you leave, discover some of the basic treatments offered by the country’s top-quality establishments.
Hamman in Morocco
A veritable social phenomenon in Morocco, the Hammam is frequented by all categories of society, and refers to both the place and the wet steam bath.
The hammam often consists of three or four rooms, the first at room temperature, the second a little warmer… Lie down on a stone bench and discover the sumptuous tiles with oriental motifs that line the hammam rooms from floor to ceiling. The hammam is the ideal place to clear your mind and take time to breathe. You’ll be freed from the muscular tension and toxins that plague your body.
Cleansing the mind and the skin, this is the treatment par excellence that you’ll find in every spa and thalasso hotel in Morocco, and of course in every corner of the country’s smallest city.
The different types of treatment
Black soap scrub
Scrubbing with black soap has been practiced in Morocco for thousands of years. It’s a very dark-colored soap that provides an exceptional cleansing, softening and purifying treatment. It is traditionally made from a mixture of oil and black olives, crushed and macerated in salt and potash. A natural, fragrance-free product, rich in vitamin E, it is suitable for all skin types. With its softening and exfoliating properties, it prepares the skin for exfoliation with the traditional Kassa, a granular cloth glove. The result is breathtaking: the skin, freed of toxins and dead cells, regains softness and lightness.
Thalasso and body care in Morocco: Rassoul treatments
Rassoul (or ghassoul) treatments are also an integral part of Hammam culture, but are made differently from black soap. Is a natural mineral clay used by Oriental women for hair and body care, and its only known deposits in the world are on the edge of the Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco. When mixed with water, rassoul swells into a soft paste that absorbs impurities and grease like a blotter. These are then rinsed away. Ultra-gentle and 100% ecological, it is particularly recommended for sensitive and allergic skin.
Traditional Moroccan massage
Massages with essential oils and, of course, Argan oil will leave you feeling completely relaxed. Argan oil enjoys an ancestral reputation in Morocco. An invaluable natural treasure, Argan oil is used without waste both internally and externally, and is a legitimate success today. It moisturizes, revitalizes and softens the skin, while preventing it from drying out. A genuine youth treatment, it reduces wrinkles and leaves the skin radiant. It’s the “flagship” product of every good thalasso in Morocco, and you’ll find it on every street corner during your cultural escapades. So don’t deprive yourself, but buy organic, especially as its local price is much lower than in Paris, for the moment…
The use of henna
Henna is used on a daily basis in Morocco, and thalassotherapy treatments include it in their treatments. It conditions, strengthens and beautifies hair by coating the scales. It adds tone and volume to limp, fine hair, while regulating the sebum content of oilier hair. Henna tattoos are a veritable jewel on the skin, and are a common practice in Morocco. Leave your hands in the hands of a professional and offer an ephemeral souvenir of your thalasso holiday in Morocco.
Moroccan gastronomy: care for body and soul
Last but not least, Moroccan cuisine is a real therapy for the daily “junk food”. It’s full of flavors and spices, and will awaken your senses in the same way as all the body treatments in the world. Pastillas, tajines, couscous, let yourself be tempted by this balanced cuisine rich in vegetables and fruit.
Thalasso and body care in Morocco: Morocco travel tip
Don’t hesitate to go out into town to eat, as the quality of the cuisine is not necessarily equal to that of the hotel thalasso treatments.
Where to go for a thalasso in Morocco?
A multitude of destinations are possible. Some, however, are richer in discoveries and offer a more exotic setting.
Fascinating Marrakech offers the perfect setting to relax while admiring the splendour of its monuments. As the country’s tourist capital, it attracts travellers from all over the world and boasts one of the country’s most prestigious hotels: the Hotel Hivernage. The city also boasts a number of luxury riads dedicated to thalassotherapy: Riad Isis and Riad Dal Elma will seduce you with their authenticity and good taste.
Essaouira, by the sea, also boasts a number of thalassotherapy establishments, including the Océan Vagabond and the Hôtel Thalasso. Situated between the beaches and the city’s historic center, Essaouira is a first-rate thalassotherapy destination.
In Casablanca, consider the Hôtel des Arts Golden Tulip, the city’s luxury spa dedicated to the five senses. On the roof, a panoramic swimming pool offers dreamlike views of the city and surrounding countryside. You’ll also find a wide choice of Thalassotherapy centers in Agadir, but the city lacks the charm of the aforementioned and is overcrowded, less idyllic for a relaxing break. The Atlantic Palace is nonetheless a luxury hotel offering top-quality and renowned thalassotherapy, so it’s up to you…
Staying in Marrakech: Must-sees
Morocco’s most sought-after city, Marrakech amazes with its cultural and historical encounters, mesmerizing architecture and mountain backdrop. Nicknamed “The Pearl of the South”, it also got a makeover for COP 22, the international climate conference, in 2016.
Spend the evening in Jemaa El Fna square
It’s a must-do during your stay in Marrakech: if there was only one thing to see in Marrakech, it would be the Jemaa El Fna square in the center of the city. Real window on Moroccan culture, with its snake charmers, storytellers, dancers, baboons… The perfect place to immerse yourself in the soul of the country and its history, while marvelling at all the entertainment. The square has been recognized as an intangible cultural heritage site by UNESCO since 2008, for its ongoing cultural richness.
You can also take the opportunity to visit the souk, where you’ll find souvenirs and clothing, as well as more traditional stalls selling henna tattoos, healing plants and predictions. It’s a place where the music and arts of many of Morocco’s peoples come together. A veritable open-air museum, the square comes alive even more in the early evening.
Jemaa El Fna Square has been at the heart of Marrakech since the 11th century: first known as a place of justice, where executions were carried out, it later became a place of commerce before becoming the great cultural square we know today.
Visit the red city and its historic buildings
Marrakech is also known as the “red city”, a nod to its many ochre-colored historic buildings, which shine even brighter under the Maghreb sun. A visit to Marrakech’s Medina, or old town, is a must. Here you’ll find the famous Koutoubia Mosque, built in the 12th century. Its 77-meter minaret has become the symbol of Marrakech. The entrance is reserved for worshippers, but you can admire its architecture from the intact exterior of the mosque. The Medina is also home to numerous palaces, riads and other historic monuments, such as the Medersa Ben Youssef, a renowned Koranic school built in 1570. Take a tour of the fortified walls of the Medina and discover its various gates, notably the Bab Agnaou to the south, which served as the royal entrance.
Stroll through Marrakech’s gardens
If you’re looking for a little peace and quiet during your stay in the big city, there’s nothing better than enjoying its gardens, each more charming than the last. The Majorelle garden is surely Marrakech’s best-known. Created by French painter Jacques Majorelle in 1922 and restored by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, it is now a must-see attraction in Marrakech. The garden consists of a labyrinth of paths alternating modern blue decorations with exotic plants from the four corners of the globe. When Yves Saint Laurent discovered this place, which he saved from destruction, he called the Majorelle garden “an inexhaustible source of inspiration”. You can also take advantage of your stroll through the garden to visit the Berber Museum and experience the creativity of this people.
Another of Marrakech’s beautiful gardens, the Palmerie, offers an unforgettable moment of calm and relaxation. This garden, which today boasts over 100,000 palm trees, was founded in the 11th century as an oasis in the Moroccan desert, irrigated by underground pipes. You can discover this exotic place on foot, in a horse-drawn carriage, on camelback or at the controls of a quad bike: the choice is yours!
Finally, don’t hesitate to leave the city for a hike in the Atlas Mountains, visit the superb Ouzod waterfalls or cross the desert on camelback.
Visit to the Hassan II Mosque
The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca (Morocco) was built on the site of the former municipal swimming pool. A masterpiece of Arab architecture, it was founded in 1987 and took six years to complete. On August 30, 1993, the mosque was inaugurated for the first time. The building is unique in its size and traditional yet modern architecture. Part of the mosque faces the sea, and can be seen from a distance by ships sailing on the ocean. Covering an area of nine hectares, the Hassan II Mosque is a gigantic cultural complex comprising a prayer hall, ablution room, baths, Koranic school (medersa), library and museum.
Hassan II Mosque
The mosque can accommodate a total of 105,000 worshippers, making it the tallest religious building in the world. Its minaret rises to a height of 200 metres, and with a 30-kilometre laser beam pointing towards Mecca, visitors can’t fail to admire the famous mosque, day and night.
King Hassan II oversaw the construction work, and was determined that the religious edifice should be built close to the water, in reference to the Qur’anic verse: “The throne of God was on the water”. The plans for the mosque were drawn up by French architects Michelle Pinseau. Nearly 2,500 Moroccan laborers worked on the construction of the monument over a period of six years, corresponding to thousands of man-hours. The building is made entirely of Moroccan materials. It took 300,000 cubic meters of concrete, 40,000 tons of steel, 250,000 square meters of granite marble, 10,000 square meters of tiles, 53,000 square meters of cedar wood, 67,000 square meters of plaster, 10,000 square meters of Zellige and 10,000 square meters of tadelakt to build the monument.
Thalasso and body care in Morocco: The Mosque
The two-hectare prayer hall is built on two levels, with the first floor divided into three symmetrical naves. This space is reserved for men, and can accommodate 20,000 people. The mezzanines are reserved for women, and each floor is 3,500 meters long, with a capacity of 2,500.
The entire hall is equipped with an underfloor heating system, and nearly 50 chandeliers illuminate the entire space. There are 18 titanium and brass doors. The hall’s opening roof weighs 1100 tons, but can be opened quickly thanks to a highly sophisticated automatic system.
The Hassan II Mosque is a skilful blend of technology and artistic creation. The ceiling is covered with carved and painted cedar. The granite columns on either side of the central nave contain inscriptions engraved in gold letters, tracing the family tree of King Hassan II.
The mihrab, made of white marble, zellige and plaster, is located in the eastern part of the prayer hall. The Imam uses it to perform the five prayers of the day. The mahogany minbar, decorated with ivory, is also found in this section, and is used as a prayer pulpit on Fridays.
The ablution room is where the faithful purify themselves. They begin by washing their hands, mouth, nose, face, head, ears and feet. The hall covers an area of 4,800 square meters. There are 41 fountains, including three large ones. They represent lotus flowers. The copper chandeliers that light the room were made in Fez.
The Hamman comprises three rooms: a warm room, a hot room and a very hot room, where the temperature can reach 47°C! It also features magnificent tadelakt and zellige. The Steam Hamman features a heated swimming pool, with water temperatures reaching a maximum of 38°C.
The Koranic school, known as the Medersa, is located on the eastern side of the Mosque. In the square opposite the religious edifice, two identical buildings face each other on opposite sides of the mosque: the library and the museum.
Thalasso and body care in Morocco: Visiting the Hassan II Mosque
Visits are possible every day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., except on Fridays when advance reservations are required.
Certain rules must be observed before visiting the Hassan II Mosque. As it is a place of worship, visitors are required to wear decent clothing. If this is not the case, the guide may refuse to take you in his group. Cigarettes and food are not permitted during the visit. Before entering the prayer hall, you must remove your shoes. In order to respect the worshippers, silence is required during the visit. Barriers have been erected around the Seguia, so please do not cross them for safety reasons. Please note that cameras, cell phones and other devices are prohibited during the visit.
The Hassan II Mosque is a recent monument, respecting the traditional construction methods of Arab-Muslim mosques, while including some novelties, such as the beam of light projecting towards Mecca at night. The extraordinary height of the minaret makes this monument unique in the world. The interior of the building has been tastefully decorated, and the materials used, all from Morocco, pay homage to the natural riches of this beautiful country.
Morocco travel tip
After visiting the sumptuous Hassan II Mosque, take a stroll through the Arab League Park in the heart of the city center. You’ll be intoxicated by the oriental scents and admire the flora that is so typical of Casablanca.