Visitors to Swiss™tel Ankara, Turkey, can now experience an authentic Turkish hamam and an array of pampering treatments that feature local ingredients at the new 32,000-plus square foot (3000 square meter) Amrita Spa and WellnessTurkish baths, or “hamams” have been an integral part of Turkish culture for centuries. The Hamam takes place in a large heated domed room with washing basins (kurna). A large and heated marble platform (gobektasi) is located in the middle of the room, with private bathing cubicles are along the perimeter. These domed marble rooms served an important function in the daily social lives of the Ottomans as primary places of entertainment and business.
“We want to provide guests to Swiss™tel Ankara with a first-class spa and wellness experience that combines the best of western spa knowledge with traditional eastern therapies,” states Amrita Spa & Wellness Director, Shirley Meerson.
The full-service spa for men and women, which encompasses an entire floor of the 150-guest-room hotel, provides visitors with several signature luxury spa treatments including:
The Turkish Hamam Experience- Using a kese, (a coarse mitt made from natural fibres that is traditionally used in Turkish bath treatments), dead skin cells are scrubbed away from the body, improving circulation and skin tone. Following the kese treatment is a soap massage using 100% olive oil soap made from olives found on the shores of the Aegean Sea.
The Amrita Signature Massage- Amrita’s spa therapists use an aromatic blend of grape seed oil combined with light fresh fragrances such as orange, lemon, jasmine, mint, and tea to leave the skin soft and silky. The treatment begins with refreshing warm towel wraps for tired to melt away stress and tension, culminating with a calming face massage.
Raki Massage- Raki (similar to Ouzo), the national drink of Turkey, is mixed with warm oil to penetrate sore muscles for a more invigorating massage. Raki’s natural properties help with muscular aches and its fresh aroma awakens the senses.
Sea Crystal Polish- Amrita’s spa therapists give tired skin a wake-up call using sea salts that are naturally infused with minerals including magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride, and sodium from Turkey’s Tuz Gölü (Salt Lake), one of the biggest salt lakes in the world.
In addition to these signature treatments, guests can enjoy a caviar facial, imperial head massage, a milk mouse bath, hot stone massage, sports massage, manicures, pedicures, and facials.
The Amrita Spa & Wellness features two unique spaces—The Breathing Space, with classes in pilates, morning Chi, meditation, and yoga, and The Sweat Shop, which hosts high-energy classes including spinning in the Schwinn Cycling Centre and Latin dancing.
The Amrita Spa & Wellness also boasts state-of-the-art fitness equipment, including treadmills, elliptical cross-trainers, recline bicycles, upright bicycles, a step machine, strength machines, wellness ball, and free weights, and a half-Olympic-size pool. Amrita facilities include a solarium, sauna, Jacuzzi and steam bath. The Energia Café offers healthy food and drinks.
The Amrita Boutique features an array of health, beauty, and souvenir items such as natural olive oil soaps, pestemals (Turkish woven towels), samples of traditional Iznik ceramics, music CDs with traditional Turkish spiritual music, and Oltu tasi (jet) jewellery from Erzurum, one of the best examples of these semi-precious stones in the world. All Amrita Spa & Wellness facilities are complimentary to Swiss™tel guests; spa treatments are available for an additional cost.
Amrita Spa is an exclusive luxury wellness concept focusing on providing a haven of relaxation and nurturing to members and guests, while providing complete care of the skin, body and soul - all supported by a team of highly skilled therapists. The Amrita name is derived from the ancient Sanskrit legend where “Amrita” was an elixir that promised eternal youth.
More Amrita Spa & Wellness areas will open soon at Swiss™tel The Bosphorus in Istanbul (Turkey) in winter 2006/2007, at the Swiss™tel Grand Efes in Izmir (Turkey) and at Swiss™tel Tallinn (Estonia) in summer 2007.