Hamam 101: Hanging at Fort Garry’s Ten Spa

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My body officially feels like a giant bowl of really great smelling-and-feeling jelly. I am also floating on air. The last time I felt this way, I think I was just starting to fall in love again or wait. No, I was on another assignment covering a new spa treatment.  During that experience, I was soaking in a tub full of red wine in an imported Egyptian marble tub.  Honestly!

Today, however, I was in Winnipeg at the Fort Garry Hotel’s uber-luxurious Ten Spa for a hamam Turkish spa treatment.  I’m not sure where the feel-good sensations started, but it could’ve possibly been the moment my masseur, “John,” (his real identity is protected for many reasons…) said hello, wearing a tiny robe called the pastemal. The fringe cotton cloth covers just enough to be discreet with your parts, and if you’re not careful, it can leave little to the imagination (as I discovered).

Pastemals now sorted, mint tea sipped and a Turkish Delight snack later, I was lying down in a dark, steamy and very warm communal bath area, the floors made of imported marble.  The marble was heated so my entire body was warm, and John was “washing” me with cycles of lukewarm and then cold water, which he poured over my head.  The sensations kind of reminded me of my toes thawing out after skiing, but better. After the head and foot massage (ah!) came the best part, an hour body-only massage.  Now this is my kind of therapy!

Lying on a warm and spongy massage table (and now pastemal-free), John took a warm bowl of sudsy olive oil soap water called sabun, and scrubbed my body from head-to-toe.  Then he massaged me with a water-filled pillow case; the entire experience felt like I was swimming in bath bubbles.  Ecstasy!

More massage, more bubbles and a mind-numbing (and very sensual) hair-washing experience later, I was ready to pack my bags and move to Turkey. (Carolyne told me that this treatment is a common Friday night activity in Turkey and that everyone does it.)  Until that move, I’m coming back to Winnipeg and hanging out here.  This treatment is a 10/10.

To share your own Canadian luxury spa experiences, upload them to Locals Know.

For a related video tour of the Temple Garden Mineral Spa – Saskatchewan view here:

While I’m a contributor to We Blog the World, the below blog post  is the copyright of the Canadian Tourism Commission.  Please link back and credit all content used to Canada is a Big Place.  You can also check us out on Flickr and @biglaceblog.

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