Designer Files: the globally-inspired decor at the Miraj Hammam Spa

"Inspired by spaces and encounters that feel treasured and well-loved, I style the world to tell a story… welcome to the NARRATIVE - my gathering place for what's inspiring me creatively for all things beautiful living."
                                                   - XX, JENN


Great service is essential, but nothing compares to a full service experience.

When I first featured the Miraj Hammam Spa as part of my Valentines Day Five Finds for their Couples Special, I couldn’t resist checking out what other services they offer. I booked an appointment to discover the traditional practice of Hammam & Gommage and from my first steps into the spa, I knew this would be unlike anything else in the city. While the actual Hammam was one of the most relaxing, invigorating treatments I’ve had, it was the design of the space that was the true indulgence.

What struck me initially was the beautifully intimate ambiance; I was immediately greeted with intricate tile work, the inviting aromas of essential oils, and seating adorned with globally-inspired textiles. The overhead lighting was carefully selected to offer soft light with ornate detailing, and even the design of the reception desk added to the overall feel.

I was inspired by my discussion with spa owner, Surinder Bains-Kassour, who sat down with me post-treatment to share the origins and story behind the curated interior décor. When Miraj Hammam opened in 2000, the first of its kind in Canada, it was designed to reflect the the essence of La Mosquee in Paris in the 5 Arrondissement.

“We custom built our space to [emulate] the culture and architecture of North Africa, specifically Morocco,” says Bains-Kassour.

Global treasures adorn the waiting area amongst the custom made essential oil blends, aromatherapy burners and infamous Moroccan black soaps, offering a taste of the experience ahead. Small wall hangings, carvings and brass urns and vases collected over world travels create the essence of a global setting. One of the most notable pieces I saw was an intricate tea set; this Syrian collection was a gift to Bains-Kassour from author Barbara Hodgson, who wrote No Place for a Lady.

My favourite part of the spa was the Sultana Lounge, the quiet room of reflection where guests unwind and partake in traditional teas and sweet cakes. The lounge offers elaborate beds to stretch out it, layered with stunning textiles, pillows and overhead curtains to create the intimate vibe. A warm, inviting palette enhances the feel, with deep reds, purples and golds. Within the lounge, there is a beautiful water feature inspired by the Alhambra in Grenada, Spain.

From a designer’s perspective, this was one of the most unique, eclectic spaces I’ve seen – one that I didn’t know I could find in Vancouver. For anyone looking for a complete global experience, combined with an incredible relaxation, the Miraj Hammam should be at the top of your list of must-see places.

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