spa - Art Palace Suites & Spa, Casablanca
Written by Jessica Baldwin
Amidst Casablanca's lively markets and mosques hides a spa hotel with a difference. With every room inspired by a celebrity, the Art Palace Suites & Spa makes a fun crash pad in Moroccos cultural capital.
From the circular leather bed in Marilyn Monroe's boudoir to Elvis Presley's rock-and-roll room, this boutique hotel has been created with the fun-loving modern traveller in mind.
However, it is Asia that has inspired the hotel's spa; from the teak wooden interior to the Thai treatment menu. With many of their masseuses trained in Bangkok, the O-Zen spa takes its massage seriously and prides itself on being an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Their twin treatment room is the perfect place for a romantic couples massage, and guests can spend hours unwinding in their traditional hammam. The spa is also equipped with a sauna, a spa bath, and a dramatic indoor pool complete with a stone waterfall.
Services include Thai massage, hydrotherapy, facials, body scrubs, and body wraps. Don't miss their rhassoul mud wrap; deriving from the Arabic word rassala, meaning washing, the silken clay is combined with water to thoroughly cleanse the skin. Found deep below Morocco's Atlas mountain range it has been used for its nourishing properties since its discovery in the 8th century. Packed with goodness, it literally eliminates toxins from the skin and replaces them with essential minerals – ideal for a detox.
Casablanca is often overlooked by tourists, yet this fascinating historical city is bursting with architectural and artistic delights.
Once a French colony, today it is home to an intoxicating mix of French colonial and traditional Moorish architecture. Ornate tiling, shaded Moorish archways, and wrought-iron balconies line its ancient cobbled streets, all watched over by the breathtaking Hassan II Mosque – the third largest in the world.
By night, partygoers should head towards the seafront and enjoy an al fresco dinner at one of the many international restaurants as the mosque's towering minaret beams out lasers towards Mecca overhead.