An enchanting and historic oriental palace in the heart of bustling Marrakech, Morocco, La Mamounia has been a favourite hideaway for discerning international travellers since 1923.
Receiving the title of Best Hotel in the World at the 2018 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, La Mamounia’s popularity is set to skyrocket this year – so you better get in quick.
The hotel, built in grand Moorish style with contemporary Art Deco touches, consists of 135 rooms, 65 suites, six signature suites and three lavish three-bedroom riads. The best rooms in the hotel are undoubtedly those overlooking the magnificent walled garden. Established in the late 18th century, the eight-acre garden was the Moroccan king’s gift to his son, Prince Mamoun, upon his marriage.
Today totalling an incredible 17 acres, the garden is now home to 700-year-old olive groves, established fruit trees and palm trees, flower beds containing more than 5,000 fragrant roses, and spectacular cactus plants.
Beyond its walls is the humming medina of Marrakech, where you’ll find a maze of market streets with souks selling everything from spices and fresh produce to multi-coloured fabrics and leather goods.
A fresh face
In 2009, La Mamounia was given a sumptuous facelift by French architect and interior designer Jacques Garcia, renowned for his work at hotels ranging from Paris’ L’Hotel to New York’s Nomad Hotel.
Three years and €100 million later, La Mamounia emerged as a patterned modern oasis, retaining famous historical features including the mesmerising zellige mosaic tiling, high arched ceilings and traditional Moroccan architectural details – with a twist of Garcia’s trademark bohemian glamour.
The 2,500-metre-squared Spa La Mamounia offers more than 80 different treatments, both traditional and modern hammams and a wonderful indoor tiled pool below Moorish arches.
A gastronomic melting pot
If you’d prefer not to compete with the bustling crowds in the medina at meal times, La Mamounia’s dining options are gourmet, intimate and varied, each staying true to the menus’ origins with fresh ingredients and authentic flavours.
While the riad-style Le Marocain features traditional Moroccan fare, La Francais serves up French cuisine, L’Italien dishes up hearty Italian meals, and Le Pavillon de la Piscine is the place to be for authentic Mediterranean gastronomy.
For after-dinner drinks, there are five spectacular watering holes to choose from, including Le Churchill Bar – named after one of the hotel’s favourite patrons – and L’Italien piano bar with its illuminated display of bottles and decanters, opening onto the Majorelle gallery.