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Take a look at some Sevilla Arab baths pictures. Thermal baths were popular for centuries, first during the Roman times as shown by the large number of ruins all over the former Roman Empire, and then among Byzantines whose legacy was inherited by Arabs. Hammams or Arab baths were then spread everywhere.
The romantic Seville was no exception, but by the 16th century the baths had vanished when Christians ruled Spain after centuries of Moorish invasion. Luckily for Sevillanos, you and me, Aire de Sevilla has restored some luxurious baths located in an original 16th century mansion. The restful bath experience takes up to 2 hours and you can also book a relaxing massage.
The bathhouse is a combination of Arab and Roman beauty, and is as much a historical treasure as a personal indulgence. The management and staff requires quiet voices and calm behavior at all times to maximize your intimacy and serenity. Enter this piece of paradise and leave feeling like the pampered prince(ss) of Andalucía…
Be sure to book your treatment in advance to ensure there is space available during your stay in Seville. Save time, and avoid the hassle of last minute decisions.
The salt pool is located in the underground floor, at the fully restored old Arab bath. The brick vault combined with candles and lanterns create an incredibly soothing atmosphere. In addition to this, the high salt concentrations in water are excellent for your skin.
This picture needed to be the first because it is my favorite pool, and I would even say spot, of the Arab baths. What I felt floating freely in this pool, and doing so completely alone, is hard to describe. It’s best discovering it on your own…
The old palace where the Arab baths are located has the typical structure of a Sevillian house owned by a noble family. This type of mansions are called casa palacio, small palaces that noble and rich families built for themselves during the 16th and 17th centuries. Their welth was generally related to trading with the Indian colonies (the Americas).
The 3-story building has a classical structure in which all the rooms surround a large patio, and have high ceilings. The patio’s main function is to provide natural light to the house and some fresh air to prevent the summer heat. The ground floor has the main rooms, the first one has the bedrooms and the last one a beautiful rooftop terrace.
The ground and first floors are connected by a big and sumptuous staircase. The whole house is decorated with Arab elements and has preserved most of its original structure. This melting pot of Roman, Arab and Colonial styles is what makes the Sevilla Arab baths such a unique place.
You are usually requested to wait for your shift to start at the first floor so that you can enter right into the dressing room. But nothing stops you from seating at the ground floor comfortable chairs and benches after your treatment. The the water floating at the small fountains will sound like music to your ears.
The warm pool occupies the most impressive room of the casa palacio. The dark red painted walls contrast with the welcoming candle-lightning. There are also a couple of Moroccan-style crystal and copper lanterns providing additional light.
As soon as you enter the pool you travel back in time, to a period in which Arabs used to frequent the public baths to purify their body and socialize with their peers. But contrary to them, the surrounding silence and the exclusivity of this place allows you to enjoy it almost on your own. Live a magic moment.
The relaxing area links the warm pool, the massages room with the hammam and the hydromassage pool. It’s a crossroads where you can spend a few minutes laying down while sipping a cup of hot or cold tea (both are regularly available at the tables). Take a break and decide in which pool you are going to dip next.
Removed from the outside world, the baths are tucked down a narrow street in the Santa Cruz neighborhood. Actually, they are so well hidden that it can be a bit hard to find. Ask for directions at your hotel’s reception and carry a map with you so that you can ask people in the street.
Seville’s city center is an entangled maze and it is extremely easy to get lost. However, there is nothing to worry about, even I get lost after living here so many years. The city is very safe and you won’t have any trouble finding your way, locals are always happy to help you.
Some of the ceilings are vaults, other are domes with stars representing the sky and the constellations. These typical Arab architectural elements and decorations are part of the amazing atmosphere you feel as soon as you enter the premises. It’s a complete change of scene from what you see anywhere else in Seville although it could remind you the Alcazar…
Actually Seville was, along with Granada and Cordoba, one of the main cities during the Moorish invasion. Did you know that it last almost 8 centuries (711-1492)? Thus, Arabs left us an incredibly rich legacy in several fields such as architecture, mathematics, arts and even some modern Spanish words have an Arab origin.
Should you decide to book a massage along with your treatment, you are handed a waterproof bracelet that you must wear until you are called. The massage is always within your 2-hour window and the staff calls you at a certain point during your pool circuit. You will be led to one of the massage rooms in the main bath area where your therapists awaits for you.
The massage is generally a gentle-rub aromatherapy massage rather than a deep tissue one but it is very enjoyable. Bathing is a multisensory experience and completing it with a massage is an excellent choice.
Once your treatment is over, which is usually a particularly hard and sad moment, you can always continue the experience staying upstairs and entering the tea room. There, you can continue to rest sitting at a comfortable sofa propped up with colorful cushions and indulge yourself with some Moroccan sweet delicacies.
Chill out with your partner or the rest of your group while drinking a delicious hot mint tea and discuss the highlights of your treatment. After 2 hours being quiet you surely have plenty of subjects to talk about!
The palace has one unknown feature that I love: an incredibly beautiful and big rooftop terrace!
Unfortunately, the terrace is only used for private events and it is rarely opened to the public. It’s a real shame because the views of the Cathedral, the Giralda and the roofs of Seville are incredible. But you can always go to the Setas instead.
Disclosure: The owners kindly invited me to experience a complete thermal bath treatment and a relaxing massage so the following paragraphs are a full review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.