FEELING REENERGISED

With Ramadan starting this month, there is nothing better than to enjoy a therapeutic Moroccan Bath. OHLALA’s editor went to Dar Wafa for an authentic experience.

Morocco is a country that is part of my bucket list; I really wish to visit it one day. While I wait for this trip to happen, there is no better place to feel the country’s vibes and indulge in authentic spa experiences than Dar Wafa. This magical spa and salon is located in Adliya, and its charming terracotta building with bright blue doors is easy to spot. It is a delightful destination to get your beauty treatments done or enjoy some pampering time in the company of your girlfriends while having a great time by the lovely pool and terrace area.

The place is so unique that even if you visit it many times, there is always a new piece of décor to be uncovered. The lighting, the smell of incense, books, a classical piano and art on the walls transport you to a very personal universe – Ouafa Moussi’s world. She is the founder and owner of this piece of Marrakesh in Bahrain. By entering the blue, wooden door, you are invited to embrace and experience authentic treatments in an ambience full of happiness, Moroccan music and vibrant colours. There is laughter from staff members and guests, transforming the place into an inviting environment where you can fully relax. Your senses awaken with so much vibrancy and your mind unwinds, making you forget your worries.

Press week is always filled with stress and deadline pressure, so starting my week by visiting Dar Wafa was a gift made in heaven. I have done a few Hammams (this type of therapy usually involves washing, steaming and scrubbing), but Dar Wafa’s Moroccan Bath cleans both the outside (body) and the inside (mind). They use traditional products such as Blue Nila Sahraouia and Aker Fassi that have been used in Morocco for generations. The experience is not only enjoyable but comes with a myriad of health benefits. It increases circulation, helps your body reduce water retention, serves as a detoxifyer, helps your blood flow and, of course, leaves your skin soft and glowing.

I was welcomed by smiley and lovely Jane, who introduced me to my fantastic therapist, Raquel. She is tiny but feisty with magical small hands. She gave me my basket with all the necessary amenities: two types of flip flops (one to wear in the wet areas and a soft, comfy pair for post-bath), a robe, two towels (a small one for your hair and a bigger one for your body) and disposable underwear. The changing room is adorable, with positive messages and colourful walls.

Dar Wafa has three uniquely designed Hammam chambers with distinct colourful tiles, reminding you of Marrakesh architecture. The rooms are dimly lit, have a platform with a cushion by the wall where you lie down, two sinks near the floor with two buckets (the Hammam protocol at Dar Wafa was made by Ouafa’s mum and follows the authenticity of the ritual as it is done in Morocco), and there are no worries about getting everything wet. Raquel chose one of them and started the therapy by cleaning my skin with just water. She then applied traditional olive-based black soap, a rich paste that helps detoxify the skin and prepare it for exfoliation, over my entire body. It was then time for the steam. Raquel left the room and turned the vapour on for 15 minutes (I am a bit claustrophobic, so I requested it not to be too long).

This time, I actually felt excellent with the steam and could have stayed longer, but I guess it was enough. She came back and washed the soap away and the treatment continued to the most well-known part: the scrubbing and rubbing. My therapist wore a kessa glove (made with unique crepe fabric) that gently removes dead skin, impurities and excess oil to reveal a healthy, vibrant complexion. Her touch was firm and vigorous but comfortable, which I super appreciated. During this part of the process, you can see a lot of dead skin rolling away from your body; it’s amazing. Another wash and then a light body polish made with brown sugar (Nila) is pressed against the clean skin for a closing touch that mosturises the skin further, stimulating blood flow and lymphatic circulation, promoting tissue renewal. Mineral-rich ghassoul clay from Morocco’s Atlas mountains was used as a face mask to leave the skin purified and toned. After a final rinse, I was ready for my massage.

My skin felt absolutely incredible, smooth and with a natural radiance. I think I am starting to enjoy these baths, mainly when done well, as they do at Dar Wafa. I was carrying a lot of tension in my back and shoulders, so a massage was the perfect end for a reviving spa day. Raquel and her spot-on touch worked on all my knots, and she actually revealed that not only were my back and shoulders tense, but my calves and arms had points of stiffness. It was painful at times but, as she said, first the pain and then the relief – and she was absolutely right. Not only did she work wonders on my tight points, she also applied hot stones, which are known as a great way to treat chronic pain. What I liked most was that I could feel that she knew what she was doing. The massage ended with a Dar Wafa signature: hot towels. The warm cloth gave extra solace to my legs and back – I felt reborn at that moment.

I went back to my clothes, added some make-up and got my hair dried. Modest, the hairdresser, styled my hair and I was more than ready to kick-start the week. I can tell you that at Dar Wafa, you find authentic Moroccan treatments, a vibrant ambience, delicious tea and biscuits and a relaxing meeting with yourself. But if you are looking for a place to celebrate your birthday or a get-together with your girlfriends, the ladies-only spa offers wonderful packages.

For more information or to make a booking, please call Dar Wafa on 3222 9925.
@darwafaspa

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