Who? Anyone who is visiting Istanbul, has a few hours to spare and wants to partake in this old-fashioned bath prevalent for many centuries.
What? A Turkish Hamam or bath which is both a deep cleansing and a relaxing experience.
How? There are many Hamams all over Istanbul. Many have been raved about in books and magazines and others are less known entities. For example, Cagaloglu Hamami is listed in the book, 1000 Things to Do Before You Die. We actually had read mixed reviews about some of the more famous ones and decided to indulge in our Hamam experience at our hotel, the Hotel Levni in Istanbul.
Why? We had spent an entire day walking around the historic sights of old Istanbul and were tired. So off we went to the spa at our hotel, ready to experience a Hamam for the first time. Since there were two Hamam rooms, my daughters decided to double up and I did one one my own. My Hamam room was absolutely gorgeous and laying on a giant slab of marble in this atmosphere transported me to a world gone by. My masseuse was a Balinese woman who had been working at Hamams for a couple of years. Over my treatments of a scrub and massage, she told me about her family in Bali, her siblings, how she got to Istanbul and of course her plans for the future. It was a surreal journey, taking about the beauty and life in Bali over a Hamam treatment in Istanbul. I don’t have other benchmarks to compare this to, but the experience was very good and we all emerged feeling squeaky clean. It was one more feather in the cap for this lovely property as well.
If you are in Istanbul and want to know more about a Hamam experience, this article by Lonely Planet is a good read.