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My Day at a Paris Hammam: Les Bains du Marais


Story and Photos by Richard Nahem, Eye Prefer Paris Correspondent

I received a generous gift certificate from my friends to Les Bains du Marais for the hammam, a massage, and manicure. Looking forward to some R & R, if only for a few hours, I made my appointment on Friday afternoon just in time to unwind from a long and hectic week.Located on rue des Blancs Manteaux, I walked into the reception area with its handsome dark wood kiosk and wall cases lined with enticing beauty products in seductive packaging. The gentle receptionist said to go and change, relax in the hammam for a while and then the masseuse would come and get me for my massage. I changed into a plush, oversized white terry bathrobe and rubber slippers and went to the café first. I ordered a mint tea and it was kind of decadent hanging out in a bathrobe in the middle of the day and also funny being surrounded by other men wearing the same. The men all seemed to know each other and I concluded this s was probably a weekly ritual.

hamman-in-parisI went into the large hammam lined with beautiful tiles and I chilled out for a while, inhaling the intoxicating steam. About 30 minutes later, the masseuse called me and laid me on a table, vigorously scrubbing me first with delicious smelling black soap body gel with olive oil. The deep cleansing gel with orange nectar and hibiscus scent is a traditional hammam cleanser used for thousands of years. She then rinsed me with warm water and proceeded to strenuously massage me and the whole treatment took about 20 minutes. A far cry from the slow, relaxing 1-hour Asian massages I was used to, nonetheless, I felt energized.

Next was my manicure, and the manicurist did a bang up job on my cut-up cuticles, which hadn’t seen the likes of her in many years.

I walked out of Les Bains du Marais invigorated and can’t wait to return to this relaxing urban oasis soon.

Les Bains du Marais
31-33 rue des Blancs Manteaux, 75004
Tel. 01 44 61 02 02
Metro: Hotel de Ville
Note: Certain days are men and/or women only, other days are mixed
Below is the schedule
Women: Mon-11AM- 8PM, Tues. 11AM- 11PM, Wed. 11AM-7PM
Men: Thursday 11AM- 11PM, Fri. 11AM-8PM
Men & Women: Wed. 7PM-11PM, Sat. 10AM-8PM, Sunday 11AM-11PM

Les Bains du Marais offers a variety of services, from massage to gommage to hair and nails, and even a delightful restaurant.





Richard Nahem is a native New Yorker who now lives in Paris. A successful New York City event planner and producer of cultural events, he has worked with many celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, Whitney Houston, and Joan Rivers. After a teenage trip to Paris made him an instant Francophile, he visited the city frequently until he made it his home (in 2005).

With 25 years of rave reviews from friends and colleagues, Richard decided to take his own private tours of “his” Paris public. His goal for Eye Prefer Paris Tours is to provide fun, adventurous, and exciting tours of Paris for the independent-spirited traveler.



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