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Position:Lifestyle: healthy living by girlfriend guide
 
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One of the trendiest and most indulgent rejuvenation rituals in modern spas was originally developed in the 14th century Ottoman Empire for a different purpose. Based on ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantium examples, hammams (Turkish baths) became important in Ottoman culture, because the Koran named cleansing an integral part of Islam in preparing the body for worship. The ritual soon became central to every village, with a hammam annexed to each mosque.

The word 'hammam' literally means 'spreader of warmth' and the process gradually warms and then cools the body in a series of rooms of different temperatures. Traditionally, the rooms were domed and intricately decorated with embroidery. The concept has now expanded well beyond the borders of Turkey and other countries have put their own stamp on hammams. In the 1990s, the Migros empire built the first of many in Switzerland and Girlfriend Guide is delighted to take you on a tour of the variety our country now offers.

Weekend paradise

The Schweizerhof Lenzerheide hotel perches high above Chur. Since 1904, the four-star property has delighted guests with its spectacular alpine-chic decor and exceptional culinary offerings. Now, it also offers guests complimentary access to its 450 square-metre hammam, which is the largest in the Swiss Alps. Spacious and modern in design, attention is taken to protect the privacy of modest guests. Visit with a group of girlfriends. Alternatively, the property is family-friendly and complete with childcare facilities that provide busy parents with an escape.

Architectural delight

Housed in an octagonal building on the monument protection list that dates back to the 19th century, the Hammam Spa Oktogon Bern is Switzerland's most unique hammam. It has an intricate interior layout across three levels beginning with the cleansing stages of the tour and ending with the Camekan dry zone and relaxation room under the stars. Its bistro cafe, serving Mediterranean and oriental food, is sandwiched in between. Maintaining a traditional decor, this hammam is as close to the origins in Istanbul as our Swiss tour will take you.

City escape

Celebrating ten years, the Migros Fitnesspark Munstergasse is the oldest hammam in Zurich. It is worth taking out a fitness membership in order to benefit from the CHF 5 cost per visit. Migros have set the standard for hammams in Switzerland with a modern layout, semi-private massage pedestals and a focus on the...

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