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“Massage meets time travel”
Review of Cemberlitas Hamami

Cemberlitas Hamami
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$56.79*
and up
Full-Day City Tour of Istanbul with Lunch
Ranked #5 of 132 Spas & Wellness in Istanbul
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of several Turkish baths in the city, the same architect responsible for the Blue Mosque designed this one.
Sutton England
Level Contributor
419 reviews
175 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
“Massage meets time travel”
Reviewed February 9, 2013

Although there are many to choose from we went here because of the history, its 550 years old. It opens at 6am for men, 7.30 for ladies and is single sex. You can choose from plain sauna for 35TL, soap massage and sauna for 65TL or take the sauna, soap and oil massage package for 117TL. Its wonderfully atmospheric, laying on the marble slab and the treatmenst are very invigorating. After I had my oil massage I was allowed back for another sauna but the ladies are not. The heat can make you feel a bit squiffy so be careful, I forgot to wash the conditioner out my hair and nearly confused the towel lift for a funky urinal. The male staff recommended tips for towel service and massage but the ladies didnt mention that to my wife. There is a little cafe bit in the foyer where you can get a cup of Cay (tea) for 1TL before you brave the outside world. We did really enjoy it and price proably compares with spa treatments back home.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Leigh-Harrington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
79 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Part of Touristy Turkey”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Was greeted by a sully faced lady and took the bath + massage package. The rest is standard operating procedure as per other reviews. My scrub and bath felt quicker and less elaborate than those before me as I had the privilege to watching the process before hand while lying on the marble slab. Massage was just ok.

Before you parting with my bather to go for the massage, he had explicitly told me to tip him before leaving so it left a bad taste.

There is no doubt there is a lot of history and the architecture left me in awe but service and the general atitude towards the customers can be better improved. I think this is the same with all establishment that caters to tourist in Turkey in particular the historical area of Istanbul. Everyone goes through the motion and expects a tip. Turkey is a great country but poor service, cheating taxi drivers, scammers, etc is giving the country a bad name. Would hate to see this country go down the wrong path.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank feibeesi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“a little confusing, but you have to do it once”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Men and Women bathe separately and it would appear get a different service. I (the woman) was given a small pack containing a loofah mit and bikini briefs (I thought they were optional, but apparently not) and led to a change area - you are given a locker for your belongings.

Like a lost lamb, you walk out once changed and one of the attendants will claim you.
You are then taken to the steam area, sluiced down and left to sweat. It is a beautiful room and despite the echoes of lots of other women and languages being spoken, quite peaceful. After a time your attendant will return and soap you up - can't quite rid myself of the suspicion that it was with dishwashing liquid....

You are then taken to wait for your massage - I was led upwards away from this area and was given a very nice massage - then shown some showers where you could clean up after the oils etc. I think that was meant to be the end, but I took myself back to the hot room and blissed out for a bit longer. The womens' section has a spa bath there, so I soaked a bit longer there as well.

It was a very nice experience, but I have to say that I had no idea most of the time what was going on. If they could have some information around it would be helpful, so you know what to expect, it would be more relaxing.

On comparing our experiences, my husband had a better (more vigorous) massage and scrub, but didn't have the jacuzzi. He was also given a little room to lay down in to recover....

Not sure I would go back to this Hamman, but am still glad I went.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Scrivo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Uk
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good experience but not something special !!!”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

It was my first visit in a hamam so I dont have something to compare with... I can say that it was clean, some of the stuff was polite ( not everybody ) and very basic knowledge of English. We paid about 50 euros each ( we had 10 lt discount because we were Greeks ) for a full service. The lady in the reception didnt want to explain to us what we have to do ( as we told her it was our first visit ) so we have to ask different people in order to find out .. Anyway, it was a good experience to do it once !!! With this way you can explore the Turkish culture ... If someone wants to visit a hamam I can suggest him to visit this one, as it was pretty good according to the Turkish standards...

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank John2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great Service, Clean Bath”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I'm a local and visited various hamams in Istanbul, I can honestly say Cemberlitas is one of the best ones. To begin with, normally, the women part of the hamams are smaller and less elaborate, this is not the case in Cemberlitas, it has one of the largest heated marble platforms I've ever seen and the heat of the hamam is adequate, not like other touristic ones that are basically cold. The service was really good but I would recommend you to visit the pool and spend some time inside before lying on the stone, because after you are clean, it's better to leave the hamam area and enjoy a drink in the inner court. The staff do not follow you for tips, but tipping is customary. The dressing rooms and lockers are very clean and the cafe inside is very reasonable. Also, if you buy a voucher from the hamam's internet site, you get your services up to 30% cheaper and might avoid tourist traps that some people are complaining about. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Birce D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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