As I write this, I’m sipping tea on a rooftop bar overlooking Jerez’s stunning cathedral in a state of near-perfect relaxation. Over the last two and a half hours, I’ve had the best spa experience of my life — hot pools, a body scrub, a massage, mint tea… It was brilliant.
On our very first day in Jerez, a friend of ours recommended we visit the Hammam Andalusí. We didn’t quite manage to visit that same day — in fact it’s taken us two months to get here. But it was certainly worth the wait.
We did the last, one of four or five similar packages with minor differences — you could choose a chocolate scrub, or a treatment with a Dead Sea theme. Ours was the Baño Andalusí, not only the most appropriate given hamman’s Andalusian location but also the personal recommendation of Virginia, one of the owners.
We started in the pools — a quick soak in the tepid one then alternating between hot and very very cold. The complex was quiet, since it was a weekday afternoon in winter, and just one other couple joined us in the hot pool after emerging from the treatment rooms.
After an hour or so, two attendants in matching bathing suits ushered us through an archway and into a well-equipped, beautiful treatment room, where they covered us with warm oils, scrubbed us with soap and exfoliating gloves, and left us to relax for quarter of an hour with masks on. As they washed our hair and sluiced us off with warm water, I was reminded of being washed by my mother as a young child — it was completely relaxing and I didn’t have to do anything.
We were shown out of the treatment room and into an antechamber where tea was ready for us. It was hot, sweet and delicious, and we each had about six tiny cupfuls. The last step was a half-hour full-body massage, which was a great end to a wonderful afternoon.
Duration: 90 minutes, 2.5 hours for full treatment.
Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am-midnight. Sessions every two hours.
Address: Calle Salvador 6, Jerez.
More info: hammamandalusi.com
Of course, the Hammam isn’t for everyone. The treatments aren’t cheap — prices start at €24 for 90 minutes in the pools, and top out at €175 for a four-hour experience, including a meal. But it’s good value for what you get: top-quality facilities and excellent treatments. We loved the decoration — stone walls and metal lanterns with lots of tealight candles that lit the complex with a soft light. We also appreciated that the bathrooms were well-equipped with lockers, benches, hairdryers, and other small details like cotton pads for removing makeup. And although not all the staff speak perfect English, the attendants certainly know enough to take you through a spa treatment.
The Hammam also offers other services that can be combined with a spa treatment or taken separately: the two conference rooms upstairs are good for parties or just dinner (you have to book in advance for that though), and the upstairs terrace is a perfect place to end the afternoon with a beer or a cup of tea. We’re here in winter but it would be even better on a scorching Andalusian summer day — looks like we might just have to come back.