If there were infinite stars to give a hotel, then Royal Mansour Marrakech would receive them all. Reading about the ultra luxe hotel enticed us enough to travel and review it but what we experienced went above and beyond our expectations. Royal Mansour Marrakech is a true masterpiece of Moroccan handicraft and the sheer opulence of the property is pleasantly overwhelming. The attention to detail and impeccable service makes this peaceful oasis the ideal hideaway destination.
The hotel is located within the old city and is adjacent to one of the ancient city walls. The layout of the hotel represents a traditional medina with its riads, buildings, squares and landscaped gardens. As soon as you approach the hotel you’re welcomed by a magnificent gate, reminiscent of entering a Moroccan palace.
Not your ordinary hotel layout, Royal Mansour welcomes guests in a stunning courtyard which mirrors the traditional Moorish architecture of North Africa, Spain and Portugal. The layout is balanced symmetrically in a classic fashion with local craftsmanship evident in the shiny smooth lime plaster ‘tadelakt’, oriental ceramic tile work ‘zellige’, carved woodwork and molded plaster.
The breathtaking scene is enhanced with the traditional yet very contemporary accessories used within the space. Sitting around the fountain in the courtyard surrounded by chirping birds, colorful flowers and sipping on sweet Moroccan tea is just a teaser of what is to follow in the Royal Mansour experience.
The main lobby area houses the reception, a piano bar, library, lounges, and gift shop. Each space is created with a certain theme that highlights Moroccan and Moorish design in a contemporary way. After viewing the different areas, guests are guided through a maze of pathways to reach their riad (private residence).
Don’t be alarmed by the quietness of the place because Royal Mansour has created a groundbreaking ingenious design whereby a series of underground tunnels are connected to each of the property’s riads which the staff use.This feature gives guests the luxury of utmost privacy and ensures a tranquil experience.
There are 53 individually designed riads across 3.5 hectares, and no two riads are the same. Each private residence is over three floors and has one to four bedrooms. Riad’s are modeled on traditional Moroccan architecture and feature a central open-air courtyard,surrounded by livingroom,lobby, outdoor patio, and rooftop terrace with a plunge pool, fireplace and lounge tent area. The larger riads have galleries, dining rooms and private hammams.
Each riad is distinct and features handcrafted details in every corner.Though traditional in nature, the handcraft details mix a feel of historic and contemporary design. Blend in sumptuous fabrics, antiques, and custom-made furniture and you get a sense that you’re transported to a royal palace but with the perks of state of the art technology. With touch panel controls in every room, staying in the riad is an extremely convenient experience.
Every riad has a dedicated butler that ensures the guests stay is as comfortable as possible, quite an indulgent perk. Acting as a housekeeper and concierge, the butler can prepare breakfast in the rooftop terrace, book your spa appointments, arrange your dinner plans and pack your bag right before you leave.
No travel experience is complete without a trip to the spa, and the Royal Mansour Spa is an interior gem to behold. The central area features a whitewashed wrought iron atrium with alcoves that mimic an elaborate birds cage. Spanning three floors, the spa offers traditional Moroccan rituals such as the iconic hammams, but also offers contemporary spa technology and treatments.
With dedicated treatments, the spa can create packages that cater to each discerning guest. The spa also houses a hairdressing salon, Watsu bath area, boutique shop, fitness gym and a relaxation area. Le Salon de The provides a tranquil haven where guests can savor healthy dishes and herbal teas before heading to the impressive indoor swimming pool which is encased in a glass pavilion.
Moroccan cuisine is a diverse mesh of cultures and offers a variety of dishes. Royal Mansour excels in highlighting the rich cuisine of the country in La Grande Table Marocaine, while showcasing French gourmet cuisine in La Grande Table Francaise. Both restaurants are under the direction of Yannick Alleno, a renowned three-star Michelin chef hailing from Paris.
For alfresco dining, La Table is a refreshing area to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner.The options for lighter eats or casual lounging are plenty. Overlooking the Andalusian gardens, Le Bar is a stunning pink gold leaf embellished lounge and Le Piano Bar is a sophisticated lounge with relaxed live piano music playing in the background.
A complete sensory experience, the stay in this exceptional hotel left little to the imagination. Guests have to be warned that they might spend their entire stay inside the riad, but that is never a bad thing when you’re in Royal Mansour.
For more information, visit www.RoyalMansour.com
– Fouz Al-Sabah