Centuries ago, when Spain was under Muslim rule, Arab baths could be found in locations throughout the south. These hammams are said to have served as places of purification, hygiene and relaxation. Though few remain, you can still get a feel—in more ways than one—for what these tranquil getaways were like by experiencing the Hammam Al Andalus in Malaga.
Located in a historic building just off Martyers Square and next to an old Mudejar-towered church, this hammam—or Arab bath—features Moorish-inspired architecture. Think details such as horseshoe-shaped arches, colorful tiled walls, and ethereal lighting created by star-shaped skylights in the overhead dome.
As is tradition, the Hammam Al Andalus has cold, warm and hot baths, as well as a steam room, and rest room, where you can relax and sip on traditional mint tea. Lasting 1.5 hours, the sessions allow guests to experience the various pools when not enjoying their massage. The massages themselves can be customized to last 30 minutes (rather than 15), and to include the use of a hot stone and traditional Arabic glove (called kessa) for rubbing soap and red grape into the skin. You can also pick from a selection of essential oils aimed to relax and moisturize.
It is advised that reservations be made two to three days in advance. Note that guests must wear a bathing suit, although one can be purchased at the hammam if necessary. Other amenities will be provided, including a towel, blow dryer, toiletries and locker.