Finally got the chance to try out the Hamam room at Ten Spa this weekend and it was quite glorious. Ten Spa has recently undergone some renovations, mainly to the lobby area and changerooms, but it seems that the main areas have stayed pretty much the same. I mean this in a good way though, as the improvements were great, but my friends and I loved the lounge and treatment areas.
Anyway, my first experience with Hamam was quite good. We did the Intro to Hamam, which was a good initiation to the traditional treatment. Based on the traditional Turkish Baths, you start in a warm room with some mint tea and a sweet to ramp up your body temperature before entering the 40-50 degree treatment room.
Upon entering the steamy treatment room you have a quick shower, then start administering the exfoliating salt scrub at a warm bench. After you’ve had the opportunity to sit with that, you then get rinsed off with cool water and go to lie down on warm marble slab. From then on you get a wonderful scalp massage, then some more cooling water poured on, then onto the foot massage. I should mention that while all this is going on, you have the pleasure of sweating and staring up at a simulated starry sky (though I must say that the twinkling is currently happening a bit too quickly, slow those down Ten Spa!).
After the massage, you can then wait near the benches and sinks to cool off a bit, or have another shower. Following that, you go back to the warm room from earlier in the day, apply some lotion to keep the moisture in your skin, then it’s off to the quiet lounge to finish off with a “shot” of ayran. The shot is sort of a salty (very salty), yogurt-like drink with a cucumber alongside it. I understand the purpose of the drink being so salty in this case is probably to allow you to retain water after sweating out so much in the treatment room, but it’s still a bit nasty. My favourite part was watching Shannon try to stomach it, despite that she’s had it before. (Sorry Shannon, it was funny). Given the taste of the drink, this line in the wiki about ayran confounds me:
Ayran excluded, it was a pleasant afternoon spent at the spa. And I’d recommend the Hamam treatments to anyone looking to try them. Just try not to cough up the salty Activia.