It was almost exactly three years ago that I was in Morocco for the first time. Over two trips back-to-back I made it through most of the country. [Though not all.] I saw mostly quite rustic, less-than-luxurious hotels. And I saw a lot of them! There were very few I’d recommend anyone staying at. So when my most recent trip to Morocco was going to take me to Marrakech to stay in the world renown, La Mamounia, I was practically coming unglued for weeks beforehand. I was SO excited!
Luckily for me, it did not at all disappoint.
We flew to Casablanca in Business on the new Royal Air Maroc direct to Casablanca from NYC flight, and then drove through the countryside to Marrakech with plans to do a little sightseeing during our stay, but mostly…to enjoy just enjoy: La Mamounia.
The resort which is frequently ranked in “Best Of” lists and which was chosen given another award by Conde Naste is almost 100 years old and several years ago underwent a renovation so extensive that sometimes more than 1,000 artisans were at work at once. The new design, apparently replacing a less-than-stellar try at Art Deco many years before, is traditional in that it showcases all which is best about Moroccan art and design.
Extensive Zelij tile work and intricate hand-painting on walls and ceilings are complemented by Italian crystal chandeliers and plush carpeting where footsteps disappear and only the sound of merriment can be heard. Unless you’re near the Churchill Bar, in which case you will hear the strains of the live piano music lightly complimented by clinking martini glasses.
There’s a spa that in all fairness almost defies words. Dark in the most appropriate way and cozy-yet-elegant at the same time. We started our stay with Hamam-style body scrubs and massages and now that I have done that, I don’t want to start my stay in a country after a long flight in any way ever again. It was the most perfect cure for jet lag that I’ve ever found.
There’s an Italian bar that, on the ceiling, features a stunning mural by THE original artist and owner of nearby the Jardin Majorelle. Italian, French and Moroccan restaurants (in addition to the buffet restaurant by the pool) feature award-winning cuisine and the French restaurant occasionally features a visiting Chef from such countries as Thailand (this is what happened while I was visiting).
At night, the grounds turn into the most magical of Moroccan settings. Like a scene from Aladdin but better. Ten. Times. Better. Speaking of Aladdin, when I walked into my room, I felt like Princess Jasmine…
Scratch that, I pretty much felt like Princess Jasmine the whole time I was at La Mamounia.
If my photos don’t convince you to visit, I just don’t know what to say, because words can’t really encapsulate how stunning this property is with it’s gardens, olive trees, citrus trees, fountains, tile, couture boutiques, decadent food and romantic, plus corners…and I could really go on forever, but like I said, if the photos don’t sell it, well…
My stay was hosted by La Mamounia and my airfare in Business Class was provided by Royal Air Maroc. As usual, all glowing opinions and overuse of adjectives are entirely my own. Yes, I really loved the hotel THIS much!