For those who have not yet been acquainted with the decadent indulgence of bathing in luxury hammams in Istanbul, you’re in for a treat. A Turkish bath, or better known as a hammam, is a public bath dating back to the Ottoman Empire. It’s the Middle Eastern version of a steam bath but involves several steps to ensure that you emerge with baby smooth skin and a relaxed mind.

Before one begins the process of a hammam, you relax and prep for the bathing ritual by sipping on some tea and change out of your clothes. Next, it’s time to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the upcoming heat you’ll be experiencing. For that to happen, you’re brought to the transition room where you’re given towels before entering the hararet — the hot room.

An iconic feature of the hararet that everyone would encounter is a large and flat marble bed. This is where bathers will lie, have water poured over their body and be scrubbed senseless by the attendants. Indeed, when you experience it for yourself firsthand, the scrubbing will be the highlight of the bathing process.

Perhaps it might even be the only part you remember, as the attendant mercilessly scrubs every part of your body including places where the sun doesn’t shine. Do not be alarmed when you see long ribbons of grey emerge from the scrubbing process. It’s just dead skin cells and no matter how hygienic one can be, nothing beats having a hammam ritual to get baby smooth skin. Trust us — your skin will have never looked better.

After the vigorous skin scrubbing, depending on the hammam, one might also get an invigorating massage after. While it may be difficult to keep your eyes open throughout the process simply because of how enjoyable it is, do take in your surroundings and marvel at its architectural structure. It certainly is grand, especially when you pay a visit to one of these luxury hammams in Istanbul. Read on.