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My Plus Size Experience In A Moroccan Hammam by Katrina Rollins


I love visiting spas all over the world, especially those that provide an experience that I may not receive elsewhere. However, as a plus size woman, I’ve always wanted to cover up my body due to fear of judgment, and would engage in private spa sessions. 

When I heard about the unique spa experience that Morocco offers, I was intrigued yet slightly horrified. Morocco is famous for its hammams (public bath), but it requires nudity with only bottom undergarments present. Originally, I was going to skip this activity because I wasn’t sure how my body, both plus size and black, would be received in a foreign country. A group of travelers I met in Marrakech kept raving about it, though, and convinced me that it was a must-try! It offered an eye-opening insight into Moroccan daily life and they claimed their skin was glowing and smooth. Hesitantly, I decided to go and see what the hype was about.


The hammams are separated by gender, so you will not be able to do one with your travel companion of the opposite sex (unless its a private one in a hotel). I did it twice; the first time in a more public establishment and the second in a private hotel spa. The public establishment was nice and clean and consisted of a large room with maybe about 30 other women in there. As I did not speak the language, I was very confused as to what I should do, but eventually someone kind of helped me through the process. First, I changed into disposable underwear and flip flops, then sat in a steam room for about 10 minutes. Outside of the steam room was a larger room with about 5 marble slabs. Once it was my turn to lay on one of the slabs, the attendant proceeded to give me a full body scrub followed by dropping buckets of water on me to rinse it all away. This process cleanses and purifies the body and honestly is very relaxing once you get over how awkward it is. 


As a plus size woman, I did not feel embarrassed as the hammam I visited had women of all shapes and sizes. No one judged or batted an eye. I was the only woman with dark skin there, however, but still no one seemed to care and were too busy enjoying their spa experience. It was just a normal day for the women who lived there as this was something integral in their culture. I quickly realized that my fears and insecurities stemmed from being judged in America, but that Moroccans were much more accepting and unbothered. I just had a body, it was nothing to gawk at or laugh at, as I had imagined. It was serene to simply be allowed to exist without feeling ostracized. It was also a confidence boost to walk around practically naked while indulging in spa treatments.


My second hammam experience was at the spa at the Royal Mansour hotel. Not only was this spa exceptionally beautiful with a birdcage entrance, I also received one of the most heavenly massages I ever received in my life. I did this on my last day in Morocco and was definitely spoiled! This private hammam was the same in receiving a body scrub, but I was alone, so if you are nervous being around others, the private spa is the way to go. Only the therapist will see your body, so this could be a way to get the spa treatment if nudity around others concern you. You won’t really get that cultural experience, however, and it’s far more expensive than going to a public establishment.


I do highly recommend trying a public hammam at least once if you visit Morocco (the travelers I met went multiple times!). It’s authentic to the culture and will offer a unique experience than simply going to a hotel spa. 

Have you visited a public hammam before? Which country did you do it in? What other questions do you have regarding the Moroccan hammam experience?

Author Bio

Katrina is a South Florida based Certified Nurse Midwife who is addicted to travel and looking stylish while doing it. She has been to 35 countries across 6 continents and has accumulated diverse experiences from backpacking and solo travel to luxury and couple's travel. She also offers great insight when it comes to travelling with elderly family members and making the trip enjoyable for all. Katrina believes that all women regardless of size, shape, or race should be free to live the life they have always dreamed of. Her motto is: travel NOW instead of waiting to fit false societal beauty standards. 


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  1. Absolutely fantastic pictures that go along with this! Really loved your post.
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