“Between mountain and sea, before the imperial cities… Marrakech the sublime.” – Jean Pierre Chaumard
I’d like to say this is a home-away-from-home, but this heavenly property far exceeds my home comforts. At Royal Mansour no expense is spared, it is just how I imagine a palace to be. Every detail illustrates that this accommodation has been designed with the utmost elegance and style, luxurious materials are used inside and out… not just for show but with the sincerest belief in quality and beauty.
Located just inside the old city walls and moments away from the Medina Market, hidden behind a great gated entrance, what you find is the opposite of the chaotic dusty city centre. The property covers over eight acres and is enclosed by its own outer wall, making it feel like a private town itself. Royal Mansour comprises fifty-three private residences (Riads), traditional Moroccan houses with interior courtyards, of varying sizes and characters; no two are the same. Ranging from one to three bedrooms (or four for the extra special Riad d’Honneur), they are suitable for couples or families. I was astounded by the size of our one bedroom superior riad, it took some time to explore our temporary home, let alone observe all the details.
Where do I start describing our riad? It was utterly enchanting. From the imposing heavy door, you could never imagine what awaits you inside. First we passed through the open-air courtyard, tiled patterns beneath our feet, a trickling fountain to our right, and a floral, nostalgic scent in the air. Then to the rooms, of which there were too many to count. I’m sad to say we barely used the sitting room which was exquisitely ornate, with velvet galore and beautiful handcrafted furniture. Up the lantern lit stairs (several flights of them!) our lovely bedroom was waiting for us, thankfully not so huge and cosier in feel, and exuding Moroccan grandeur. Royal Mansour won’t deprive you of your modern necessities, but ensure they are discreetly hidden wherever possible.
We adored our ensuite bathroom, which comes complete with walk-in shower and giant marble bath. I was especially impressed with the marocMaroc toiletries, the first refined skin care line from Morocco. It was the first time in a hotel that I have used products this good. Smelling delicious, and ensuring super-soft skin and hair, they felt healthy and luxurious.
Carrying on up another stairway, we reached our final destination, perhaps the most exciting floor of all. Every riad includes a roof terrace with wonderful views of the city, the gardens or the Atlas Mountains, that allows guests to enjoy the sunshine and warmth from the comfort of their own private sanctuary. Each has its own plunge pool, sunbeds and fireplace, and the larger riads also feature outside dining areas and Moroccan tents. This is where most of the guests spend their time.
Despite the size, there is a charming intimacy and natural peace. The service was far beyond my expectations… with an underground network of tunnels, staff are not seen and not heard, but magically attend to your every need. With service doors on each floor of every riad, whatever you desire is delivered to you no matter where you are. Inspecting the tunnels, I could hardly believe how clever and well thought out the organisation is.
After spending a few hours enjoying all our riad had to offer, we ventured out to explore the rest of the property; we barely spied any other guests indicating just how exclusive Royal Mansour is. For further relaxing there is a spa and pool, with numerous treatment possibilities and relaxing facilities. When it comes to food, if you manage to resist the butler room service, there are several bars, lounges and restaurants to choose between. Open all day, La Table serves Mediterranean cuisine in an airy dining room or on a terrace al fresco. For something smarter, Royal Mansour’s two fine-dining restaurants sit together within their own building. There is French or traditional Moroccan to choose between, both supervised by renowned chef Yannick Alleno. The highlight of our dinner at La Grande Table Marocaine was the creative starters, the perfectly crisp pastillas are still a fond memory.
When we finally rose from our comforting bed, we wandered down to have breakfast on the terrace. Overlooking the turquoise outdoor pool, we feasted on Parisian style breakfast, except that it tasted better than any morning meal I’ve had in Paris. The flakiest croissants, accompanied by the sweetest juice, and French toast that both looked and tasted truly incredible.
Though this palatial property is decorated with the most authentic Moroccan design and decor – this is certainly not a traditional hotel. I promise, there is nowhere quite like it on earth.
More information here.