One really can’t blame you for setting the bar higher when you’re about to stay at the Royal Mansour in Marrakech, but we can say, without a doubt, that the resort will exceed any expectations you’ve had about the property.
Winding paths past palm-filled plazas and the zellige-tiled courtyard of the main building (complete with water fountain and silk curtains) lead you to your riad. Featuring three floors, the rooms are built around the central open-air patio. The library/living room, which is decked out in the most exquisite velvet, silks and leathers, is situated on the ground floor, along with the dining room next to the kitchen. Up a set of stairs, large wooden doors lead you into the charming bedrooms, where bed linen is of the finest thread count. The walk- in closets add to that luxurious feeling, and the marble bathrooms come with oversized tubs. Each riad has its own terrace on the top floor, complete with private pool, loungers and a Bedouin tent for cozy get-togethers.
The traditional hammam bathing ritual is a must for any new visitor. You lay on a hot marble slab and the therapist splashes hot water from a silver bucket over you. You’re left to decompress in the heat, before you’re washed down with black olive soap, followed by an exfoliating scrub with a kessa mitt, removing dead skin cells, leaving your skin energized and silky soft. After the second rinse, the therapist moves on to washing your hair, and the Moroccan ritual is completed with a quick invigorating dip in the cold plunge pool.
The hotel houses two gastronomic restaurants overseen by three-Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno who previously worked at Le Meurice in Paris. La Grande Table Marocaine serves local cuisine while La Grande Table Francaise is said to be one of the best French restaurants in Africa. There is also La Table, a hotel lobby dining area, which is open all day for hotel guests, along with the Spa Tea Lounge, a Cigar Lounge, as well as a Chimney Lounge with piano bar.
BEYOND THE HOTEL
Even though your fabulous riad will make you want to spend every single minute in your new luxe abode, try to explore the surroundings of the hotel. The souks are only a five-minute taxi ride or a short walk away, a 15-minute walk from Jemaa el-Fnaa square and only 2 km from the famous Jardin Majorelle, which today belongs to the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation.
One-bedroom riads start around US$1,330 a night.
WHAT WE LOVE
- The Royal Mansour experience starts as soon as you land, as impeccably dressed staff welcome you right off the plane and whisk you away to sip tea, while passport formalities are taken care of, bypassing an endless queue at customs. And in less than 15 minutes you’re chauffeured to the hotel.
- The hotel is known to have a seven-to-one staff/guest ratio, and butlers instantly appear out of nowhere (through the property’s underground tunnels and elevators) when they’re called upon.
- It’s the intricate Moroccan design with mother-of-pearl inlays and pink-gold mirrored walls that leave you in awe of this resort.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- There is a big difference between night and day time temperatures, so be prepared to throw on an extra layer in the evenings, especially in the wintertime.
53 (one- to four-bedroom) riads.
There are indoor and outdoor pools, but all riads actually boast their very own plunge pools on the terrace, for you to enjoy a sunset dip or an early morning swim at your leisure.
The extravagant Royal Mansour Spa is well known for its repeatedly photographed fairy-tale white wrought iron atrium with snowflake design, featuring 13 treatment rooms, two hammams, a gym, a swimming pool and a hair salon. The vast treatment menu offers a range of anti-aging facials from Dr Hauschka, Sisley and Chanel, as well as local holistic therapies.
TRAVEL IN STYLE
Dressing up at this super chic resort is a must if you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb. Luxurious dresses and lots of jewellery.
WHEN YOU SHOULD GO
Marrakech is a popular destination all year round, although the summer heat can be unbearable for some. Rain is infrequent and sunshine is pretty much constant.