Glass enjoys a private hammam at the Spa Laaroussa, Fez, Morroco

Fez, Morocco’s Spa Laaroussa offers a relaxing private hammam to the sounds of acoustic Oud

THE DOOR of Riad Laaroussa’s Spa Laaroussa, a short walk from Fez’s directional mainstay Bab Boujloud, open into a series of chambers, so to speak: the first houses massage tables and sounds of acoustic oud; the second is smaller with a grand chaise lounge and a table with a dried fruits offering (golden raisins from the souk, local apricot); the third room is cave-like and long, a shower head at one end, and leads through a final door to the candlelit, cavernous steam room. In here, the hammam takes place.

Story pic 3 Riad LaaroussaRiad Laaroussa

The black ceiling is tall and conical, and the water ripples from a basin built into the sidewall reflect onto it as nebulous, dancing mirages. Water runs from a faucet filling the basin as you lie recumbent, nude on a black Carrara marble bed, listening to it rush. When the basin fills, it overflows; the faucet continues, water gently succumbing to the floor in a medley of aquatic inertia.

The hammam therapist enters the room and begins scooping the water with brass bowls from the basin, pouring the warmth over your body. Puddles rain onto you, your legs, chest and arms. The therapist rubs you down with a eucalyptus black soap scrub (which Spa Laaroussa mixes in-house with natural oils) working it into your skin, from chest to toes, with a loofa glove. Your dead skin surfaces in tendrils before being rinsed away to prepare for the next step: the rhassoul clay face and body mask. It’s massaged into you – face, eyes, chest, body – and you relax, in Savasana, in a niche sensory experience.

story pic bedroom Riad LaaroussaMassage room at Riad Laaroussa, Fez

story pic 5 Riad LaaroussaSteam room at Riad Laaroussa, Fez

Coming out of the private hammam is a sensation compared to the serenity of placid inebriation. Granted, the local public hammams are hectic, social, loud and crowded. But here, at Spa Laaroussa, you’re blinded by relaxation, both cognitively and corporeally. It is the perfect moment for your massage. After rinsing off you’re led back to the first “chamber” where a table and masseuse readily await you.

Spa Laaroussa, in sum, is the ultimate self-indulgence. It is self-care elevated to vacation-level pampering. And it doesn’t end with the spa experience itself – afterward, the staff guides you to the riad courtyard or the rooftp terrace to enjoy sweets and, as is customary, fresh mint tea.

Story pic Riad LaaroussaThe Riad Laaroussa, Fez

Spa Laaroussa and Riad Laaroussa contain the magic of Fez in their presentation and their space. Enchanting, otherworldly beautiful, and tranquil, this destination within the Old Fez medina is a top priority for any traveler seeking not just adventure and newness, but a glimpse of the local Moroccan lifestyle in a luxurious and traditional setting.

Story pic 4 Riad LaaroussaA view at the Riad Laaroussa

by Emily Rae Pellerin

Visit Spa Laaroussa online for reservation and appointment inquiries

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