Hammams abound in Andalusia. In this region there are lots of Spa treatments and Arab baths due to the historic connection of these Southern cities. I´ve not managed to visit them all just yet. (Although I´m working on it)
Let me share my Wine experience which I enjoyed this Summer while travelling around Almeria and Cabo de Gata.
I present to you Aire de Almeria. The setting of this Hammam style bath was ideal. I haven´t been to a better one so far.
They have other locations in Barcelona, Seville and New York. Coming up soon they will open in Chicago and Paris. Each Aire de has their own offer of treatments to choose from.
Tucked away in an old square in Almeria, this is located below the Alcazaba and in the old arab quarter of the city.
The spa is actually connected to the Hotel Plaza Vieja, you dont have to be in the hotel to enjoy the treatments and baths here. It is open to non residents.
Aire de Almeria
So I arrived in plenty of time for the appointment. The reception at Aire de Almeria is subtly lit and already calming once you arrive.
The changing rooms and lockers are spacious and simple to use. Once I have left my things behind I go through to bathing area. As I wander inside I see the layout is similar to other places which I have visited on my travels. The warm bath, the cold bath and the hot bath are all close to each other. I being with these pools first.
As I am welcomed by the bath attendant, I am shown another area, up a few steps to a large saltwater pool. (This was my favourite spot for relaxing) A rectangular shaped pool filled with enough salt to allow you to float on the waters surface. There was even music underneath the water so that you could head this while you were weightless in the water. At the edge of this pool was an area for salt exfoliation too.
Usually when you visit Hammam style baths they focus on the temperature contrast of the water and the still pools. Here they have an area with jets and jacuzzis. Called the One Thousand Streams Bath, this again is another area seperate from the other parts of the Hammam. There really are lots of different areas to use inside, so the time you are inside just flies by.
After some time alternating in the different pools and trying the saltwater flotation pool I was called for myWine Experience.
Wine Experience by Esdor
The bath where the wine experience is done, is set to one side. Hidden away from other bathers. If you are alone or go along with a partner it is tucked away behind a green wine bottle wall.
The ´bath´is actually a old Venetian Well made of marble. Such an historic detail for this decadent experience. Placed underneath a 17th wooden ceiling you really are made to feel like a king. This experience includes a glass of Matarromera wine (red or white) which you are served once the bath has been filled.
The wine which fills the bath is Ribera del Duero red wine packed with antioxidants and polyphenols to nourish the skin. The alcohol is removed from this liquid to prevent the skin from drying in this treatment. So no need to worry about good wine being wasted. This Wine Bath was created for Aire de Almeria by Bodegas Matarromera one of the most renowned wine-makers in Spain.
With bodegas in Duero and Rioja regions, they really know their stuff and have several prestigious awards for innovation and sustainable wine production.
While you are soaking in the ruby red wine bath you are given a soothing head massage. Including an ultra-moisturising hair treatment this helps condition your hair and relax you even more. Once the wine has nourished your skin for some time, the wine bath is drained.
Then you are taken for a gentle body massage to end the session. You really leave there without a care in the world.
After leaving the baths and stepping outside into the quiet square of Plaza Vieja we stopped off for a few tapas in the bar next door. Sitting watching the world go by after that fabulous experience was one of the highlights of my Summertime in Almeria.
In Late September I decided to take my parents along for a treat as I couldnt wait to share this with someone else. They loved it as much as I did. I´m already looking forward to my next visit to Almeria to revisit Aire de Almeria. It really is a special place to unwind.
Discovering New Wines
Finding new wines to try can be a challenge when you depend on the local supermarket.
This Christmas I discovered this London based company who offer Wine Subscriptions
With a great range of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian wines. Savage Vines make a good gift idea for foodies. As the deliver the wine to your door each month it saves on lugging heavy bottles around too.
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