Live like a King, or Jessica Alba and Izabel Goulart, at Marrakech’s iconic Royal Mansour Hotel

It is 8am on the rooftop of our private rose-hued, three-story riad at the luxurious Royal Mansour hotel, the sun is making its ascent into the bright blue sky, my robe-clad sister Kate and I are tucking into plates of fresh fruit, quinoa salad tabbouleh style, boiled eggs and warm pastries as we watch the day wake up over the Atlas Mountains.

The quietness and gentleness of the slow morning at the Mansour is in total contrast to the chaotic yet hauntingly beautiful Medina of Marrakech’s city center, which is just a stone’s throw away. A labyrinthine of souks selling sequin cushions, spices, slippers, Berber rugs and gold lanterns, the mystic call to prayer echoing within throughout the day. It’s a wonderful sensory overload and the best way to approach it is to take a deep breath and to dive right in. Then retreat to the Royal Mansour for total recovery. 

Exclusive: Serenity greets you as you step into the stunning open-aired courtyard boasting elaborate pattern-on-pattern tile work, delicately carved wood and a soothing water feature

The pool is set in five acres of beautiful gardens that were designed by landscape architect Luis Vallejo

The pool is set in five acres of beautiful gardens that were designed by landscape architect Luis Vallejo

A-list favorite: A very stylish Jessica Alba  poses at the door to her stunning riad

A-list favorite: A very stylish Jessica Alba  poses at the door to her stunning riad

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI built the Royal Mansour as a luxury oasis that would showcase the very best of the country’s rich history and beauty and when the huge main cedarwood door swung open in 2000 following the three-year construction, it was clear no expense had been spared.

Designed by architect Nicolas Papamiltiades and interior designer Fabric Bourg, the property is an architectural masterpiece that shows off the very best of authentic Moroccan tradition. Serenity greets you as you step into the stunning open-aired courtyard boasting elaborate pattern-on-pattern tile work, delicately carved wood and a soothing water feature. 

Walking around the five acres of beautiful gardens, designed by landscape architect Luis Vallejo, smell is the next sense to be charmed as swathes of honeysuckle, jasmine and lemon float between each of the private riads, spa, pool and restaurants. 

Architect Nicolas Papamiltiades and interior designer Fabric Bourg were at the helm of the no expense spared build

 Architect Nicolas Papamiltiades and interior designer Fabric Bourg were at the helm of the no expense spared build

Exquisite: The property is an architectural masterpiece that shows off the very best of authentic Moroccan tradition

Exquisite: The property is an architectural masterpiece that shows off the very best of authentic Moroccan tradition

The hotel features 53 private, three-story riads that are elegantly decorated with plush textures of brocade and velvet, ornate woodwork and more mesmerizing mosaic. Oh and they come with their own private butler. From the first floor with its charming courtyard and cozy living room with Murano-glass chandeliers, to the second floor chambers with the scrumptious bed, unique furniture and marble bathroom to the top roof terrace complete with plunge pool, we were looking for excuses to sit in each of the rooms.

When we did prize ourselves away from the cocoon of our riad, it was to flop in front of the palm lined pool and to the famous spa. Ah, the spa…

The hotel features 53 private, three-story riads that are elegantly decorated with plush textures of brocade and velvet, ornate woodwork and more mesmerizing mosaic

The hotel features 53 private, three-story riads that are elegantly decorated with plush textures of brocade and velvet, ornate woodwork and more mesmerizing mosaic

The three-story riads each come with their own private rooftop terrace, plunge pool and butler

The three-story riads each come with their own private rooftop terrace, plunge pool and butler

Luxury everywhere you look!

Editor Lisa enjoys a slow morning with breakfast on the roof of the riad

You won’t want to leave your riad so not enjoy the calm of the morning like Lisa with breakfast on the roof? 

The Hammam is at the heart of Moroccan culture, a physical and spiritual centuries-old cleansing ritual which involves vigorous scrubbing, clay masks, cold plunges and steaming. But unlike the dimly-lit, grotto-like spas you’ll find around the Medina with lanterns illuminating ruby spotlights, the Royal Mansour is light-drenched and heavenly.

From the moment you step into the lobby, a huge celestial glass atrium that houses a lace-like wrought-iron frame complete with marble floors and fountains, the spa goes above and beyond your expectations. Immerse yourself in the Hammam or opt for a massage before taking a Moroccan tea at the indoor pool. With a 75 minute Hammam starting at $150 prices aren’t as cheap as other spas in the city- but they are worth every dirham.  

Strike a pose: Supermodel Izabel Goulart shows off her impressive yoga skills in this Instagram snap of the spa

Strike a pose: Supermodel Izabel Goulart shows off her impressive yoga skills in this Instagram snap of the spa

Ultimate recover: The indoor pool at the spa offers yet another tranquil space to relax

Kate cools off after a busy day shopping at the souks

And relax……After a busy day exploring the exotic city, the Royal Mansour is the perfect place to unwind

As one would imagine, the food is not to be scoffed at either. Especially as at the helm of your taste buds is the 3-Michelin starred chef Yannick Alléno. The main restaurant is a formal affair full of occasion. Put on something smart and take afternoon tea under the shade of the century-old olive trees or sit down for an intimate dinner in the beautiful courtyard come dusk.

We also enjoyed the lounge mode of the Le Jardin restaurant near the pool which offers Asian and Mediterranean-inspired dishes that do not disappoint. From squid and sarawak pepper dim sum ($10), to spicy beef Yam Nua ($15) style salad, to king crab tempura sushi rolls ($22) to black cod saikyo yaki ($95), you can really graze your way through an afternoon. 

The most perfect setting: Enjoy a relaxed lunch at the the Asian and Mediterranean Le Jardin

The most perfect setting: Enjoy a relaxed lunch at the the Asian and Mediterranean Le Jardin

Occasion worthy: At the helm of your taste buds is the 3-Michelin starred chef Yannick Alléno

Occasion worthy: At the helm of your taste buds is the 3-Michelin starred chef Yannick Alléno

Aside from being a design legacy, the Royal Mansour has impeccable service and a world-class concierge. From the moment you touch down in the Menara airport you get the VIP treatment when a rep from the hotel guides you painlessly through customs and baggage into the cool of the waiting Range Rover. Throughout your stay a staff to guest ratio of 7:1 will ensure you need for nothing. Although thanks to a unique, extensive underground tunnel system which the service staff use to come and go, you won’t even notice your every care being met.

With so much discretion and luxury you can see why the Mansour is a must for Royals, celebrities (beauties like Izabel Goulart and Jessica Alba have posted their dream stays on Instagram) and for your next special vacation.

Iconic: The hotel is an architectural masterpiece

Iconic: The hotel is an architectural masterpiece  

TRAVEL FACTS 

Riad rates at The Royal Mansour start from $1040 per night based on two sharing, complete with in-room amenities, airport transfers, Wifi and also daily breakfast.

To book visit Royal Mansour or call +212-529-808080

 

 


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