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No, it’s not, and more than that, it’s a treatment that challenges your sense of personal space.
But let’s start at the beginning. During our recent trip to Istanbul this year, it seemed that it would almost be a crime to not have a Turkish hamam in Turkey. So we headed to the Amrita Spa at the five-star Swissotel The Bosphorus hotel.
With a health club and indoor pool attached, we knew that this spa was a good choice because it was filled with locals as well as tourists. There was already a good vibe at the check-in counter, where you could see a dimly-lit pool within the inner sanctum of the spa. With our escort, we walked deeper inside until we reached the changing room with all its many amenities: showers, sauna, private rooms, etc. Once we were wrapped in our towels for modesty’s sake and ushered into the hamam, our coverings were removed and modesty was now forever damned. This was the exact point when the hamam experience became interesting.
Swissôtels are elusive properties. It's hard to believe that though the chain has a slew of hotels around Europe, they have only one in the US (the Swissôtel Chicago) and, now, only one resort in Asia: the newly debuted Swissôtel Resort Phuket, Thailand.
Although it's not a new buildit used to be the Courtyard by Marriott at Kamala Beachthis Swissôtel is sticking to the business formula, positioning itself as a resort for businesspeople who need a getaway. Of course it helps that the resort is only 30 minutes south of Phuket International Airport and has a conference center for 150.