Embracing Marrakech

Tea and pastries at a Berber house during camel riding

After experiencing such a rollercoaster of a first day, we dedicated our second to embracing the best of Marrakech.

Best may be subjective though, as a hammam—whether a traditional one at a public bathhouse or a “royal” one at a hotel—may be a bit shocking.

A hammam is not a massage, but you could get one for an extra 200 dirhams after your 500-dirham “royal” hammam. I put royal in quotes because this didn’t feel that royal. Essentially, a hammam gets you a bath and hair washed, whether for a euro at a public one or 50 bucks at a hotel by two ladies who hardly speak English but just shout “OFF!” with your clothes (L-O-L) as they gesture you into a small room where you lie down naked for them to scrub you down and pour buckets of water over you. #royalty

The funny thing is, we did experience a taste of royalty trying to get to this place, where we had our scheduled hammams and baking class. Our bad accents apparently translated to Royal Monsour, where prices start at about $752 per night, compared to about $144 at our intended Riad Monceau. So we got our of our taxis and walked into what looked (and smelled) like heaven.

A ridiculously well-composed employee greeted us after we made our way around the amazingly beautiful courtyard into the aromatic reception. He led us to what I like to call #TreatYoself Headquarters, because this spa center actually looked like heaven with its unique white, lace-like walls and ample sunlight. Shortly, we realized we were in the wrong place. Of course. How could a place with hand-tiled walls and delightful floral aromas permeating throughout this expansive mansion be the place of our relatively cheap 500-dirham hammams and baking class? Oh, any hammam here starts at around 1000 dirhams, according to the literally pearl-like finish of the cardstock menu of services we were given in a white letter-size envelope. But all those were booked that day. Not sure if I believe that still. Anyway, we gave it the briefest thought to just get our hammams here or any service, but in the end, we wanted to embrace Marrakech. So hammam at Riad Monceau it was.

But because of this beautiful, BEAUTIFUL mistake, we arrived a bit late to our 11 a.m. appointment. We ended up enjoying a brief brunch at the rooftop terrace before getting our hammams. Yeah…not much else to say about this bath experience other than “OFF!”

Again, would highly recommend booking cooking or baking classes when you travel. We don’t cook or bake but we always find ourselves having a great time. #somuchsugar #diabetes

And because traveling often doesn’t make sense, we went on a sweaty sunset camel ride through the famous palm tree oasis in Marrakech after our baths and pastry class.

What a much better day…