Hamam Turkish Bath
Go Luxe or Budget?
The best feeling in the world
When in Turkey a Hamam or Turkish bath IS. A. MUST!! No trip to Turkey is complete without one. One of the best feelings in the world and very inexpensive for what you will receive. Since Turkey was visited during my birthday tour (along with Egypt), a spa treatment was definitely in the equation. A Turkish hamam (or a Turkish Bath) is a form of public bathing whose origins dates back the Ottoman Empire. It is a combination of relaxation and cleansing. Many spas have taken their aesthetic from Turkish hamam’s with an atmosphere of luxury and peace. During my time in Turkey I decided to try two different hamam’s and I sure did get two different experiences. When I was in the village of Goreme in Cappadocia I tried a luxury hamam and when I was in Istanbul I tried budget hamam. Check out my experiences below.
Service & Price
The service vary from just a bath, to the FULL ELITE experience with massage and facial.
I was picked up in a vintage Mercendez- Benz sprinter with leather and interior and curtains. When I arrived at Heybe Spa I started with some apple tea of course then reviewed my options. I selected the biggest package because I really wanted a facial and this was the only package that included a facial. This included sauna, steam, bath, massage and facial. Every package includes sauna, steam room, Turkish bath, and the price varies depending on massage. The prices varied from 30 - 60 Euros. This package I had was was 80 Euros
I was picked up in a small car. When I arrived at Safi Hamam I started off with apple tea and selected my package. They advertise 20 Euro massages so that’s what I got, though they offered extra services at an extra charge. This included Their sauna, Turkish bath, and massage.
Next I was led into their locker room by a young lady. It was a big spacious clean room with different lockers with keys. There was a towel and comfy slippers for me. I stripped down completely naked. You can wear a bikini if you don’t feel comfortable being naked.
This hamam had the more traditional look where there are different changing rooms. I was told to go into the changing room by a man that works there. The changing room had a bench where I left my things and and a key. The towel I received had a hole seems like it was a gazillion times. The slippers I received was like the plastic Chinese slippers. Again, I didn’t wear anything under my towel
I was led into the sauna room, it is important to detoxify and relax f before your bath. I was in here for 15 minutes by myself. The sauna room was wooden with rocks and felt like a traditional sauna complete with rocks.
This is when it got different. Their steam room was in their big marble room and it was shared. I was in their with 3 other females who were wearing bikini’s, I had the option of wearing my towel or being naked. I chose to be naked because I am around other women, we all have the same stuff ya know. We all laid on our backs and relaxed. I even fell asleep. The elderly lady who worked there spoke no English, she came a wrapped me in two towels and then men later entered the room. I did not have a problem as everyone is minding their business trying to relax. I was in here for about 30 minutes.
After the sauna I went to the steam room and this is where I got really sweaty and my pores really opened up. The young lady really cranked the steam up but it wasn’t unbearable and it was only for 15 minutes
There was no steam option available.
Bath…The Fun Part!
I was sooo excited to go in and get my foamy bath. I was led into the grand marble room that I saw so often online. I was told to lay down. First I was drenched from head to toe with warm water then massaged and scrubbed with a hand knit cloth. Then I was soaped up and massaged and scrubbed thoroughly all over my bed. Ending with a cool wash down. The feeling was super amazing and I felt squeaky clean. The raves are real, my skin did feel brand new.
The same elderly lady led me into a room with a smooth bench and a pip with a bucket. When I realized this was the women who was going to bathe me I knew it was going to with love and care like a grandmother would. It was nothing short of that. This lady didn’t speak English so there wasn’t much talking but that didn’t interfere with her bathing skills. My skin felt beautiful after. It was the same procedure as previously.
After a beautiful bath the same masseuse took me into their massage room. Peaceful music zen music was playing. My massage was E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!! I feel as though good oils are essential for massages. The oils used were smooth and glided all over my body.
After my bath I was led upstairs where there are a series of massage rooms. Another lady gave me a massage my massage was great but not as good as my previous one. It goes back to the oil that was used, it wasn’t as lubricated. Nonetheless it felt amazing.
After my massage, my masseuse finished up with a nice clay mask that was left on for about 15 minutes. It defintiely had my skin feeling smooth after.
This was not included.
So should you go luxe or budget? I honestly enjoyed both hamam’s and the luxe was definitely a better experience, as it should be with the price. I think if you have the extra money or want something more intimate then you should go definitely go luxe for sure but it is not completely necessary.It is still a great experience for ONLY 20 euros ($22), there no where in NY that you’re getting that experience for such a low price. Whether you go luxe or budget as long as you try one out! I highly recommend putting this high on your to-do list. If you are in a big city like Istanbul, check Groupon for deals. Here is additional information:
The masseuse and scrubber will be of the same sex as you are, if it weren’t this way that would be totally unacceptable.
Hamam’s are open from as early as 6 a.m. till somewhere around midnight. I did both of my hamam’s a night around 8.
If you have sensitive skin or are allergic to some products, bring your own soap. The soaps were fine on my skin.
They do not touch your private parts, as for me they touched my breasts and I did not feel uncomfortable. If you would have an issue with this then I suggest wearing a bikini.
Your face will get wet. So ladies y’all might wanna take it off first. Bring necessary toiletries that you think you would need.
Bring a change of clothes.
Have you ever tried or would you try a Turkish Bath?