Miraj Hammam Spa – A Vancouver Oasis

17 May

Since moving to Vancouver I have always wanted to try the Miraj Hammam Spa, but for some reason it just never happened. So finally when I opened my email from MyDealBag and saw that they had an offer on Dealathons for a Hammam and Gommage I figured I had to buy it.

Miraj Hammam Spa

Right now most of you have the raised eyebrow: Hammam? Gommage? What is she talking about? Well, according to their website, “This is a steam and exfoliation treatment in the authentic traditions of the Middle East.” And it is quite the experience.

This is not a treatment I would recommend for someone who is shy, and it’s also the reason you won’t find many pictures in this post—this is a sans clothing treatment, although they do have disposable undies if your are not one for being in the buff.

When my therapist, Katherine, was ready, I was guided to a change room where I was given a locker and left to undress. I was also asked to wet down in the shower and cover myself with the provided sarong. I was asked to follow her into the Hammam. The Hammam is a beautiful marble steam room, and looks like something you would see in an ancient bathhouse. The entire room is made out of beautifully detailed marble with built in benches. Katherine guided me to a glass-enclosed corner of the room where I would have my steam. She was very careful to explain everything very thoroughly as the steam is very thick and can make people quite nervous. She told me to lie out my sarong on the marble bench and get comfortable, as I would be there for about 12 minutes. She showed me where I could turn the steam off if it became too much for me to handle. We decided to keep the door of the glassed-off area open as I was a little nervous that with it closed I might get panicked. She brought me some ice-cold water and left me by myself.

During my 12-minute steam, two things became abundantly clear to me. One, I simply cannot relax. What is one supposed to do for 12 minutes without a phone or anyone to talk to? Two, I watch way too many horror films. I was convinced that something or someone was going to emerge from the thick steam and murder me. (This cannot be a normal thought.)

The steam is hot and thick and smells of eucalyptus and lemon. I was told that it’s normal to cough when you breathe it in, but I felt fine. But, as mentioned, it’s hot! I was a tiny bit nervous that I might faint…because, really, that’s what I do. But, surprisingly, I actually felt great. Katherine informed me that she always tells people it’s best to move slowly as the heat suppresses your nervous system and fainting can sometimes occur—perhaps I’m not alone in the world!

I grabbed my sarong and walked out of the glassed area headed to another marble bench where, again, I laid my sarong down. This time I lay down as well. Katherine covered me with a thick black soap that contains eucalyptus. She then put on some exfoliating mitts and proceeded to scrub me down. She did both the back and front and was very thorough. I’m usually disappointed with scrubs—I find therapists just don’t put in the effort—but Katherine did a truly excellent job. She even took the time to rinse me off.

I was then shown back into the change room where there are all the little things you may need to freshen up and get back into the world.

My only disappointment was of my own doing: I wish I had bought an add-on massage to my treatment. The receptionist (who, by the way, is just lovely) informed me that the massages are amazing, and, that when you do the whole package, you get tea and sweet bread in the lounge.

Miraj is unlike anything I have experienced. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy the steam, and, yet, I loved it. And the scrub is very exfoliating. When I left my skin was glowing and I felt amazing. This is certainly something I would suggest for those winter months in Vancouver when you need a pick-me-up.

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One Response to “Miraj Hammam Spa – A Vancouver Oasis”

  1. kingkabuz May 21, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    A girl rubbing me down front and back, and rinses me off afterwards. This sounds very good to me too. hmmm. I bet that massage would have been unreal, sounds like you had a great one without it though. :)

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