When I chat with STELLA DE BAGNEUX, in the lush garden of the Royal Mansour Hotel in Marrakesh, it just makes sense to get an hour of real quality beauty time a week, like every Moroccan woman does.
Feeling pampered and at ease with yourself seems a great option for the stressed out mind, we think and learn much more from the former Marketing Director at Clarins who moved five years ago with her family from Paris to Marrakesh. Stella is a true pioneer in organizing the perfect spa time for you. Her ideas about the maximum effect of your treatment are endless and Royal Mansour Spa’s latest program will start in December when you can enjoy a bespoke Hamam in your private Spa suite with a plunge pool and a healthy and delicious menu at hand. A good idea to escape the grey skies and short days in Europe, don’t you think?
IRMA: What is the exact meaning of a weekly visit to a Hammam for a Moroccan woman?
STELLA DE BAGNEUX: The weekly visit to a Hammam for Moroccan women is a traditional ritual, which consists of purifying one’s body and soul. Most women in Morroco work and it is a moment of relaxation, helping them to unwind and regain energy to face the coming week. It is also a place of social gathering, where friends, family can meet up…
IRMA: What kinds of scrubs/Hamans do you offer your clients?
STELLA DE BAGNEUX: We offer 3 types of Hammams: “Hammam Evasion” 60 min; “Hammam Temps pour Soi” 90 min, which includes stretching movements within the Hammam; “Hammam Lumière sur le corps” 120 min, which includes a 60 min Hammam combined with a 60 min ceremonial massage.
The traditional hammam lies at the heart of the Spa at Le Royal Mansour Marrakech, in every sense. It is the inspiration behind the spa’s philosophy of harmonising the senses, and a veritable signature treatment, always acting as a prelude to any other given treatment. The ancient rituals have been preserved: the heated marble slab, the floral essences, the damp scrubbing glove, the gentle splashing with warm water.
Products from the excellent marocMaroc range add a degree of luxury, their exceptional ingredients sourced directly from Morocco’s royal estates. And Leonor Greyl shampoo, conditioner and intense treatment oil allow the therapist to care for each client’s hair as attentively as their body.
This ritual, so rich in symbolism, soothes the soul, regenerating and reinvigorating through the experience of profound relaxation. Scrubbed and massaged, cleansed and purified, the skin regains radiance and softness, and is ready to benefit from further treatments, such as “anti-ageing” therapies or massages. Body and spirit become one again, freed from encumbering tensions. The hammam has kept its promise to you.
IRMA: Tell me about the advantages of a daily Spa suite and the new program you will be offering from December 2017?
STELLA DE BAGNEUX: The Spa suite enables you to unwind in the utmost comfort and privacy. All three Spasuites offer a hammam, a treatment lounge, a private terrace and a plunge pool.
Two Spa suites offer the possibility to share this well-being experience with your loved-one or a friend. It is a true destination which guarantees a made-to-measure experience, whether you wish to detox, slim & firm or simply longing for some precious “me-time”. Our wellness experts will tailor make your treatment programme according to your needs and wishes.
To complete this wellness stay, the Spa has its own restaurant offering a selection of healthy, detox or energizing food to suit everyone’s wishes. Spa Lunch, afternoon tea can be served in the Spa suites allowing you to fully enjoy this private wellness break.
As from December this year, we are launching the Royal Mansour Signature Hammam, which is a bespoke Hammam of 75 min, which takes the hammam to its deep roots, by offering a totally personalized Hammam using Moroccan natural ingredients such as Argan powder, Saffron, Orange Blossom Honey or the Ghassoul… We will be having within then Spa a “Library of ingredients” showcasing 12 key ingredients coming from 3 iconic Moroccan regions, Kalaat Megouna, also known as the Rose Valley, the Atlas Mountains for the ghassoul and Taliouine for the saffron. Cleansed and purified, the skin regains radiance and softness, ready to benefit from further massages and expert Therapies using the latest technologies in treatments & fitness.
IRMA: How would you describe a perfect beauty routine in the Moroccan culture and what can Europeans learn from it?
STELLA DE BAGNEUX: There is a real tradition of taking care of one’s health and care by going to the Hammam, once a week. It is a tradition anchored in the daily life of all Moroccans. In that respect, I feel that Moroccan people are more used to taking care of themselves and more incline to learn and improve their wellness habits. They are more incline also of using natural ingredients, which they have done since ages with the black soap or the ghassoul. I think that other cultures should learn from the Moroccan culture of taking this essential one hour break during the week in the hammam to stop the hectic pace and recover.
IRMA: Which ingredient do you consider the most efficient and important in Moroccan beauty rituals?
STELLA DE BAGNEUX: In my mind, the most efficient and important ingredient in Moroccan beauty rituals is the black soap, which is the base of the Moroccan Hammam Ritual. It is made of Black olives and olive oil. It prepares the skin before the scrub and it is full of vitamin E. The purifying and softening virtues of the black soap bring an exceptional radiance and softness to the skin. Silky skin and deep sensation of pureness await you.