Traveling to Morocco is an experience. The sights, smells, foods and history; it’s a magical country with so much for a solo female traveler to discover.
But, it can also be just a tiny bit, well, overwhelming.
After all, flying here in and of itself can be tiring (hint: search Justfly for good flight deals). Add to that two or more weeks of walking through the souks of Marrakesh and riding camels through the Sahara Desert, and well, you’re probably a little bit tired.
And, if you’re anything like me, this is exactly when you’re hoping to head directly to the nearest spa.
Here’s how to visit La Mamounia, the best spa in Morocco.
How to Have a Spa Day at La Mamounia
La Mamounia is a 5-star hotel in Morocco—the only one in the country—and staying here is an experience in luxury. It’s been called the “Paris of the Sahara” by Winston Churchill and is routinely listed as one of the best properties in the world.
But staying here don’t come cheap: rooms run between $500 – 1600 per night.
However, there’s another way to visit this iconic property and its pools—by grabbing a “season’s pass.”
I’m not totally sure why they call it this when it’s good for one-day-only, BUT, a season’s pass is absolutely the best way to visit La Mamounia. For 1600 Dirhams (roughly $160), your pass will get you a 1-hour massage or hammam, access to the gym and both the indoor and outdoor pools on the property, and lunch.
Lunch is a gorgeous buffet spread that includes rows of different salads, a carving station, and dessert. Season’s passes are good from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. each day and cost 1600 dirhams Monday – Saturday and 2000 dirhams on Sunday.
Since a massage on its own is 1200 Dirhams and does not give you access to the pools (which I really wanted to see!) it made sense for me to go ahead and get the pass. And I’m so glad I did!
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your spa day at La Mamounia.
Reserve in Advance
I thought that reserving a spa treatment would mean I would get to use that iconic indoor pool that I wanted to see so badly. So I made a massage appointment, instead of getting the seasons pass.
When I checked in, however, the attendant told me that I would only be in the massage room, not in the pool areas. So I decided to upgrade to a seasons pass.
Luckily, they still had some available for the day – but that isn’t always the case.
If you want to visit La Mamounia for the day book your pass in advance by emailing the property or the spa.
Bring Extra Money for Drinks and Tips
There I was, all by myself, having lunch by the pool feeling like I’d hit the jackpot. I ordered water to accompany my meal and helped myself to a few passes at the incredible buffet.
All was well until I got my bill –100 dirhams ($10 USD) for a bottle of water! “But it comes imported from France, madam,” my waiter said when he saw my face.
Here’s the deal: La Mamounia is for celebrities. It’s expensive. The water is expensive, the views are expensive, tipping becomes expensive. But that’s part of the experience.
There is a tipping culture in Morocco and you should expect to tip as part of your services at La Mamounia. Personally, I tipped my masseuse 200 dirhams ($20 USD), my lunch staff 100 dirhams and the sweet man who worked at the indoor pool and took like 1,000 photos of me 50 dirhams.
Don’t forget that a little goes a long way here. It might not seem like much to you but it does make a difference for the locals.
La Mamounia adheres to a dress code. They can, and do, turn away tourists hoping to visit the property based on how they appear. In short, don’t come here looking like a sweaty disheveled backpacker. Take a taxi instead of walking and don’t wear shorts.
You’ll also need a cover-up for your bathing suit, as they do not allow guests to walk around the property in swimsuits.
Tips for Solo Travelers
You’re going to want to take, like, a bazillion photos. So if you’re traveling solo here and you want to be in any of these photos, either bring a tripod (for those epic shots across the pool) or ask someone to take them for you.
Luckily for me the very nice man who works at the indoor pool was happy to take like a thousand photos of me floating, sitting, swimming and acting like a queen. It was so peaceful and serene as I was the only person there – I had the whole place to myself!
But, had he not been available or interested in taking photos for me, I would’ve ended up with nada.
Lesson learned: bring a tripod (or a friend or boyfriend!).
Would you shell out $160 for a day of luxury in this beautiful spa? Have you been to La Mamounia? Let me know in the comments below!