Most luxury hotels fail to distinguish themselves from the rest. The same can’t be said with La Mamounia though, which treats guests with abundant Marrakech in every inch and corner. The hotel has long established itself in the locality, providing unparalleled setting inside the medina walls of the city, together with an affluent, 1920’s history. But it didn’t simply settle on its iconic features or position and underwent major refurbishment from French interiors guru Jacques Garcia in 2009 to bring in an array of exceptional updates and enhancements.
The magical journey begins at the distinctive lobby lounge, where guests are welcomed to majestic sofas and treated with almond milk and dates. The place is ideal for “guest watching”, with ambient lighting that sets up a relaxing mood and highlights the graceful parade of kaftans and couture sweeping by marble fountains, followed by bellboys and their impeccable robes and fez. Bedrooms replicate the richness and Moorish luxury of the lobby – flaunting an assortment of beautiful Moroccan elements including dazzling mosaic tiles, elegantly sculpted wooden doors and majestic ruby velvet sofas.
With its deluxe rooms comes an exquisite perk of extensive pink and green terraces, which serve as a portal to fresh, gentle breezes, soothing bird songs and the stunning gaze of the Atlas Mountains from afar. Beyond the confines of the building are 17 acres of flourishing gardens that provide a sanctuary from all the chaos that lies outside the hotel gates. Following a stressful day bargaining at the marketplace, fresh air and fragrant roses and orange trees make for the perfect retreat.
There are tourists foreign to the hotel who visit as well, but hardly is there a need to jostle for room as you likely would at the prominent Jardin Majorelle across town. And when it’s time to relax and freshen up, a luxurious spa welcomes you to an exotic maze of treatment rooms, steamy hammams and ornate pools. For guests who love swimming, a beautiful indoor pool awaits and of course, a considerable outdoor alternative as well for those who fancy soaking under the blistering Moroccan sun as they glide on the cool water.
When night comes, guests of the hotel are indulged in a selection of superb restaurants and bars. From its cosy riad-styling, rich local music and exquisite Moroccan dishes, there are plenty of reasons to spend a night at La Mamounia. Its pigeon pastille is a popular delicacy and the same goes for its tagines, which are prepared from the vegetables and herbs growing in the hotel gardens.
After you have already eaten your fill, it’s straight on towards the L’Italien bar for an exotic drink and soothing cigarette that caters late night guests. In case you prefer something familiar, there’s also a fine Churchill bar which was built as a tribute to Winston Churchill himself, who dubbed La Mamounia ‘the most lovely spot in the whole world.’ Indeed, it’ simply hard to disagree!