We did not stay at this hotel but spent a good half day here on the recommendation of the concierge at our Riad.
After a trek to the Majorelle gardens on a hot, sultry day, we ended up at the doors of La Mamounia to get a drink on our way back to the Riad we were staying at in the Medina in Marrakech. At first, the liveried stewards at the door were a bit reluctant to let us in , because we (a family of four with two boys, 19, 13 years old) were all in shorts. (By the way, we discovered after being sold a package by BA that August is low season, HOT and not the time to go to Marrakech! anyway...) But we smiled and they let us in after a brief chat...
The colours and decor of the hotel may not be everyone's taste but the architecture, the workmanship and the opulence is AMAZING. I've travelled on business worldwide for more than 20 years and this is definitely one of the more delicate, caring and exquisite restorations of a traditional hotel I have ever seen.
We were led to a restaurant that was open at the time and there were only three occupied tables. The service was so good, we decided to order lunch. The service was unhurried, polite and attentive - they catered to many requests for sauces etc and, to be honest, by UK standards, it was not that expensive - for a three course meal for four with a drink each, we paid under 1500 Dirhams or about £120 - we could have easily spent that in an average Westend restaurant in London.
After lunch (which lasted about 2.5 hours!) the staff encouraged us to take a tour of the facilities. The pool was inviting and BIG - but unfortunately, we did not have our swimming gear. The highlight were the gardens - about 30 acres of lawns and beds divided by gravel pathways. It smelled lush and fresh - the beds had every herb you would ever use including rosemary, thyme and several indigenous ones. In the middle of the gardens is a shaded ice cream bar where we settled down again and had ice cream and a drink. There was a sand pit nearby where a French family was playing boules. At the far end, there were numerous fruit and vegetable shrubs and trees - fresh pomegranate, oranges, apples, aubergine, courgettes, mint, carrots....
I believe Winston Churchill loved this place and the bar is named after him here. Its all very civilised and pukka!
Having got there at lunch time, the sun was thinking of setting by the time we finally made our way out of the hotel - reluctantly - hailed a horse-drawn carriage back to the Medina, riding along a road lined with olive trees.
We could have walked - it would have been about 15 mins, but what the hell.....it was a holiday!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Mamounia, a symbol of traditional Moroccan hospitality, is located in the heart of the imperial city, nestled in a 17 acre park, 5 minutes walk from the Jemaa El Fna square, La Mamounia will remain the place for worldwide celebrities. DESCRIPTION The Moroccan legendary palace has been redesigned by an internationally acclaimed designer, Jacques Garcia, combining a true Moroccan style and ambiance with new technologies. With its luxurious decorations, fabulous gardens and its trendy 2500sq m SPA, la Mamounia guarantees the amazement of its guests. ACCOMODATION 136 rooms (30 to 45 Sq m) 71 Suites including 7 Signature suites (55 to 212 Sq m) 3 Riads each with 3 bedrooms, Moroccan salons, private swimming pool, terraces... (700 Sq m) ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Mamounia Marrakech Hotel Marrakech
- La Mamounia Hotel Marrakech