My Hammam Experience


Just before Christmas, I attended a sneak peak of Calgary's first hammam. (You can read all about the event here.) Over the weekend, I indulged a little and treated myself to the hammam experience.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with hammam, it is a Turkish style spa treatment using both hot and cold elements. The treatment takes place in a warm room on a heated marble bed.

I don't often indulge in treatments like massages, manicures, pedicures or facials; however, when the opportunity arises, I'll take it! And any time I can support a local business and a friend, I will. I love small business. I love the stories behind entrepreneurship. And I think the brilliant mind behind Soma is, well, brilliant. With a beautiful heart.

I just wanted to take you through my experience in the hammam and hopefully convince you that this is a must-do-asap treatment.

Soma offers two hammam experiences: an introductory hammam and a grande hamman. Both begin with a cleansing ritual or "kese". In the grande hammam, the cleansing ritual includes a scalp massage and hair wash. Both experiences involve a salt scrub and finish off with a massage.

I opted for the introductory hammam. This was my experience.

Upon entering the hammam, the registered massage therapist (RMT) gave me some information about the heated marble, offered me tea and left me to get ready for the treatment.

A few minutes later, I'm lying face down enjoying the warmth of the marble. It was like a warm hug, especially nice on a windy, chilly day. My RMT came back into the hammam to begin the treatment.

We started the cleansing ritual with a foaming wash, which was very lovely and refreshing. Once finished, my RMT gave me a salt scrub to self administer and leaves the room to grab my chai tea.

The scrub smelled like citrus and the rough salt exfoliation made my skin so soft. Like if my skin was a fabric in that moment, it would be cashmere. Soooo soft!

When my RMT came back into the room, she was carrying a steaming cup of chai. I was finished with the sea salt scrub, so we moved on to the massage treatment.

First, I enjoyed an invigorating rinse to remove the excess salt. Then, I had a few moments to dry off and enjoy a couple sips of tea.

Back on the marble. I was so ready for this massage. I couldn't wait for the entire month of January to melt away. Instead of oils, the RMT used all-natural body butter.

She indulged me with story of the product. The producer developed this line of products because his daughter wasn't able to tolerate many of the commercial products. I love the commitment to using natural ingredients. No one likes harmful chemicals on their skin.

The butter was made with cocoa butter, but it had a very nutty smell. I literally smelled like coconuts and peanut butter afterwards. I have never smelled so good - haha!

I could tell where there was tension due to lifting weights because we spent a good deal of time targeting my arm muscles.

I got to know my RMT during the massage, which doesn't happen often. I like to talk and get to know other people's stories, so I truly appreciated that she was open to do that. So we swapped stories and ideas about nutrition and bakeries.

After the massage, I was given time to drink some more tea, get dressed and finish up my appointment.

My favorite part of the whole treatment was the massage. It wasn't an ordinary massage, though. The heated marble elevated the whole experience. And, I ended up smelling like peanut butter, which is one of my favorite smells (it's up there with coffee and coconuts).

So is it worth it? Uh, yeah.

The whole experience left me feeling relaxed, refreshed, and reinvigorated. My skin felt like cashmere. The tension in my muscles was gone. The stress from this month melted away. It was everything I expected in a massage and more. This is the first of its kind in Calgary, so if you want to be one of the cool kids, you should probably book your appointment now (teehee ;))!

Soma Spa & Hammam is located in the Marriott Residence Inn in Seton. Hammam is Soma's signature experience; however, they offer regular massage therapies, manicures and pedicures, and facials. If aesthetics are more your thing, visit Soma Aesthetics.

Treatment menus, locations, hours and contact information are all available on Soma's website:

Also, connect with them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

XO | britt