If you're looking to take your spa treatments next level all while eliminating stress and having a luxurious experience, then what you need is to visit an Arab bath house. What's the difference between a spa and an Arab bath house, you ask? They're both under the wellness umbrella, per say, however, Arab bath houses have existed for many centuries. In the Islamic faith, ablutions, or ritual purification, are an essential component of prayer.
This involves cleaning the body thoroughly and cleaning the face, hands and feet. It's a respected ritual that is fundamental to the faith. The evolution of bath houses has crossed over many cultures and faiths and the most commonly known are the ancient Roman bath houses, the Turkish, The Victorian Turkish baths and the Islamic bath houses. The Hammam Al Andalus is a Turkish bath house in Madrid where you can step away from the hustle and bustle of Madrid center, and be transported to another time and place where silence and simplicity prevail.
Although the experience at Hammam Al Andalus is lush at its core, what makes it all so satisfying is that it's also extremely minimalist. Air and water. Hot and cold. These are the pillars of the experience. There are three pools: "The Hammam has three water rooms: a warm room at 36 °, a hot room at 40 º and a cold room at 18 º." You alternate between hot and cold.
The contrasting temperatures help to increase blood circulation, relieve anxiety and tension and soothe your muscles. Our favorite aspect was sauna. Imagine a warm room with aromatic steam and pure silence. Here, you can clear your nasal passages, deep breathe and also lower your blood pressure while you sweat out toxins and impurities.
At Hammam Al Andalus, you can get pampered! There are two different massage options: the relaxing massage or the traditional hot stone massage with salts and scrubs.
Exfoliating your skin helps to remove the dead skin and keeps you glowing and youthful! Trust us, a good scrub can change your life. Each circuit lasts about 1.30h and you can take your time in the pools of your choosing. After each circuit, the common areas are cleaned thoroughly and hygiene is of the utmost importance.
Finish your experience with a cup (or two) of traditional green tea with mint. When you walk out of those doors onto Calle Atocha again, you'll feel like you've just time-traveled to another place and time.
Here are some questions you may have before going to the Hammam:
What to bring?
Your swimsuit! There are secure changing rooms where you can leave your belongings. They also provide the essentials like q-tips, oils, lotion, perfume and deodorant, and a towel.
Is it Clean?
Of course! Every morning, they clean the facilities for hours from top to bottom. The water has a very meticulous filtration system, and the diligent staff clean the areas after each and every circuit.
Who is this for?
Honestly, anyone who needs to relax. It's be great for couples as well as small groups of friends. The ambiance is candle-lit and very chill. Is this the best place for a first date? Probably not. It'd be great for a girl's spa day or for couples! You can also go alone. It's very popular to head to the Hammam after a long, trying day at work.
If you're looking for other authentic experiences in Madrid like this one, check out our Live Like a Local Guide for Madrid!
There are over 70 pages of insider information on where to go, what to do, and of course where to eat! We touch on everything from nightlife to the best cafes with wifi!
Grab yours, and when you make it to the Hammam, tell them LMDES sent you!
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful husband. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.