After work destress taken to new level.
Meeting friends at the local pub for a drink or two after work before heading home is the usual for many, but what about meeting friends at the hamam after a long day at the office to shed the stress followed by wine and nibbles?
Hamam Omerye in Nicosia has taken after work drinks to another level with Sarap, a special package for two or four that includes use of the hamam bath followed by a selection of wine and nibbles in the garden or one of its cabins.
So late on a Thursday afternoon I met a good friend at the Hamam Omerye, located in Tylliria Square in old Nicosia, to try it our.
Walking into the Ottoman-era steam bath complex, cool tea with ginger is offered to all, who may then sit and enjoy it around the octagonal cistern which now serves as a tea bar, located in the centre of the main room. The main room also serves as the cold room, where clients can sit around the bar and relax after their shower or massage and drink herbal tea, eat a traditional lokum and chat or read the magazines on offer.
Alternatively, the elevated cubicles that circle the cold room, decorated with pillows and drapes, can be rented by individuals or groups who wish for more privacy.
Having sipped the ginger tea, which was sweet enough to please the senses, it was time to make a decision between the wealth of options available -- body scrubs, massages, facials. The Tarcin body scrub it was.
Before all treatments it is into the hot room for detoxification of the body and for the skin's pores to open. The hot room is dominated by the large marble top where customers can lie down and relax in the steamy atmosphere. Water lines the floor's perimeter in tiny open drains, while fuel heats the room from below. Around the hot room there are smaller rooms, used for treatments.
The Tarcin, Turkish for cinnamon, is a 25-minute anti-cellulite full body scrub. Cinnamon is reported to be one of the most effective cellulite removers, since it is rich in antioxidants and at the same time energises the cells to burn calories faster.
And the scrub is great for cinnamon lovers as while the masseuse rubs the grainy scrub on the skin, the sweet and tantalising smell of the spice infuses the humid air. Lying on a white marble table top in one of the smaller chambers of the hot room, and looking up at the starry shaped skylights of the room's tiny cupola everything else seemed so insignificant. The week's stresses were carried away with the water running down the drain.
After a vigorous scrub, the cinnamon based cream is removed when the body is washed with water, which felt cool and silky. By the time the scrub was over, the hot room was surprisingly busy. Two women were being given massages in the central room, while in all the smaller rooms treatments were in process.
A woman from Greece said she had booked a Kara Sapun, a body scrub with black Eucalyptus soap that gives a refreshing cooling sensation. She was on holiday to visit her son who treated her to the body scrub two days ago and she loved it so much she booked another appointment before she returned back home!
Following a cool shower, and a return to the cold room, we decided to put off the wine in favour of a 25-minute Ayak foot massage, where reflexology and point pressure techniques are used to release trapped energy.
With super soft glowing skin, light and invigorated feet and feeling utterly pampered and relaxed, we sat outside in the small cosy atmosphere of the hamam's garden to enjoy our wine and snacks.
To use just the hamam costs e1/430 for one person which includes a towel, soap and a scrubbing loofah as well as complementary tea and lokum. The Sarap package for two costs e1/445 and e1/480 for four and includes the use of the hamam bath and garden or cabin relaxation with a bottle of wine and bites. Kara Sapun Body Scrub (Eucalyptus Black Soap Cooing Body Scrub) 25' for 1 e1/435/for 2 e1/455; Tarcin Body Scrub (Cellulite Body Scrub With Cinammon In The Hamam Bath) 25' e1/435; Ayak Foot Massage 25' e1/430. The hamam is closed on Mondays and there are separate days for men and women as well as couple days. For information: 22 460006 or visit www.hamamomerye.com
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