Ahh, Arab Baths: Andalusia Spa!

March 16, 2010

arab baths andalusia, andalucia, Moorish architecture, massage, healing, family travel, healing water therapy

Soothing hot water therapy, relaxing massage, delicious tea, surrounded by traditional hammam aesthetics...yes, even family travel  means indulging yourself in magical healing rituals. This is my favorite way to celebrate my birthday and last year we loved the Arab Baths in Granada, but this year we found even a better spa or Arabic bath near Malaga.

Few things can relax and rejuvenate like an escape to a sumptuous , spectacular spa and it doesn't have to break the budget or exclude children. The slogan for the hammam in Granada is "Have a history bath" and indeed, this is a wonderful way to teach kids a history lesson first hand, as well as a romantic and healing environment for all.

Arabic baths in Andalusia, in Malaga, benalmedena, spa

The Romans knew the healing powers of water and Mozart loved bathing in the same thermal waters as Cleopatra & Julius Caesar while in Turkey and visiting an ancient organic hammam in Morocco. She learned much about the Roman Baths in Pont du Gard while in France, got  a massage in Fez and loves the thermal waters near Spain's Costa Blanca. She's loved water from birth, started swimming and baby massage at 4 days old plus went to the world famous Esalen baths often in her first 5 years, so enjoys it as much as we do. The Spanish Moor's add their own special touch to the theme.


I prefer thermal waters, so first tried to book a luxury spa  at Hotel Villa Padierna, Thermas de Carratraca, where Lord Byron use to go regularly during the height of it's popularity in the 19th century, but they were not open until April this year. Also a 5 star hotel spa near Mijas sounded good, but no one under 18 is admitted, so that ruled it out for us. Most of the Spas are in the Marbella area at 5 star hotel complexes, so probably on the more expensive end, although often one can get a package for under 100 euros for the day.

pool spa arabic baths spa in Malaga

Next, after some digging, I found a traditional hammam right in Malaga that is next to the Picasso Museum, so that sounded tempting as we could do both, but alas they did not have any soaking tubs which was a must for me this time, although we will probably check it out another time.


Remember when we wrote about the best beach restaurant on the Costa Del Sol? It is in Benalmadena Costa area near Puerto Marina just like this Arabic Bath and would be a great place to do lunch after wards. Benalmadena is touristy beach area about an hour and a half from our village, but we got so lost in our RV trying to find it that we wasted two hours going in circles once we arrived, despite having a map, GPS and asking several times. Part of our problem is it is not that easy to negotiate narrow roads in our RV and finally we paid a taxi driver to lead us to it and found it was on a very small street that was hidden away.


Perhaps that made it even more enjoyable once we arrived and it was a beautiful day so we did get to see a lot of the beach and coast in our lost phase. Children are suppose to be twelve, but I had hoped that it would not be a problem on a Monday morning and luckily it wasn't. We had the whole place to ourselves for about four hours until almost the end when a young lady from Germany arrived.


Part of the magic is the decoration that is inspired by 11th century Moorish architecture and the tranquil Andalusian music in the background. There is a hot pool, warm pool and cold pool plus steam room and massage. They provide you with towels, special flipflops and plastic bag ( for wet suit when done) as you enter and delicious tea and water are in a room next to the pools. Both Mozart and I really loved our massages in an open room near the pools  by a kind young man who only spoke Spanish.

Family travel in Spain, Malaga, Costa del sol, arab baths

It cost 25 euros for Davinci who did not get the massage, 70 euros for me because I added a 45 minute massage and 15 euros for Mozart plus an added 10 euros for her 15 minute massage that she had to have after seeing me get mine.They have nice changing rooms with showers, sinks, bathrooms and lockers. The lighting inside is enchanting, but not the best for photography, making the flash too light and the ones taken without flash too grainy, but gives some idea of our experience.


It was a divine little excursion that we highly recommend and we will be back for more! Mozart has her piano class on Monday's at 5:30 our time ( early morning for her teacher in Chicago) so we rushed a bit to get back for that ( because we hadn't planned in the lost time) but all was for naught. It seems the USA changed time over the weekend, but Spain and most of Europe doesn't "spring back" until March 28th, so we were out of sync.

tourist travel arab baths costa del sol, spain

Nevertheless, we continued with our celebration and I just adored the "pop-up" card that 9yo Ms. Mozart made for me. I thought the massage was my gift, but I even got a pretty pink scarf to add to the mix. I can't think of a more rewarding way to have spent my birthday and we are all still glowing today!




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Ahh, those look incredible! What a mystical place. Thanks for sharing!

Margaret Sch.

Awesome! The place, the smiles, everything about it! Your own piece of paradise for the day. Living like kings! And why not?!

Shannon OD

What a beautiful experience - and a great way to spend your birthday celebrations. The photos make the place look absolutely sumptuous. I've added this to my bucket list for when I'm in the region!


@AlexBerger Thanks so much! Glad that you liked it & it is quite surprising that there is so little info about these places.

Margaret- Ha! Why not, indeed! ;) Always enjoy your sweetness & take on things.

Shannon- Great thing to add to the bucket list! Like I mentioned to Alex, I've been really surprised at how little into there is about them. Monday morning is a great time to have to yourselves as we went in the evening in Granada & still special, but more crowded. So time that with your mood for solitude or company.


Happy Birthday! From what I've read on your blog, you guys have a very exciting year coming up. I guess next year at this time you'll be somewhere in Asia. Take care, and I hope your shoulder is healing.

Scott Kostolni

This looks amazing, I may have to try these when I get to the area. There are supposed to be wells like this in Ireland that I want to try too.

Thank you for sharing this I love reading about your family's travels.

Amy @ The Q Family

Happy Belated Birthday! :) Looked like you had a great birthday.

Thank you for doing all the research and now I can just use your info to check out this place. It looks amazing! I would love to soak up in the hot bath.

Melissa Read

Happy Birthday!! Wish we had known of these when we stayed in Torre del Mar- looks just like the Alhambra - what a wonderful experience! Definitely on the list if we make it back to Spain someday.

Heather on her travels

I'll be in Malaga in May and this definitely looks tempting - the one in Malaga next to the Picasso Museum will probably be more convenient, but the one you went to has the most wonderful surroundings - really atmospheric

David Kennedy

Excellent article, i live in Mijas near Malaga and have been to these pools, nice and relaxing. Hope you guys enjoyed your time in Spain.

roman baths

Very nice article.Thanks for sharing with us.


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