- Paula Hardy, Destination expert
Well situated on the eastern edge of the medina between the historic centre and the Ville Nouvelle (new town), although once inside the leafy enclosure both feel miles away. A five-minute taxi ride will deposit you in the Djemaa el Fna or at nearby restaurants and shops in the new town.
Style & character
A magnificent hotel conceived as a mini-medina with 53 two-storey villas set in manicured gardens dotted with lily ponds and fountains. Privacy is at a premium here where even staff scurry between salon, pool and private patio via a network of subterranean passages. Above ground, opulence is the name of the game. Some 1,200 craftsmen worked tirelessly to produce this architectural masterpiece adorned with the finest zellij (geometric mosaic), carved cedarwood, stained glass, dripping stuccowork, beaten bronze and inlaid marquetry. As if that wasn’t enough, rooms are strewn with suede and silk carpets, velvet brocade sofas and crystal do-dads and chandeliers from Lalique, Baccarat and Venice. Throw yourself into the extravagance or it might prove alienating.
Service & facilities
Service is impeccable and hyper-discreet as you’d expect from a hotel that hosts the king’s house guests. You can live, swim, eat and sleep in total privacy in your villa or you have the run of an outdoor pool, four bars, three restaurants, a library, art gallery, fumoir and the most beautiful hammam and spa in Marrakech.
- Fitness centre
- Kids' club
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
One-, two- and three-bedroom villas are available, all with roof terraces shaded by a Bedouin tent and private patio plunge pools. In addition to lavishly decorated bedrooms finished in the most exquisite detail, each villa has a salon with an open fireplace and a dining room where occupants can sit down to silver service meals presented by one of the 10 staff assigned to each villa.
Your passport to a better trip
Food & drink
The hotel has three restaurants, a tea lounge, two bars and a fumoir where patrons sip XO Cognac and puff clouds of blue-grey smoke from Montecristo cigars. The least illustrious dining option, La Table, offers an ‘informal’ menu equal in quality to many Michelin-starred pretenders. The other two richly dressed dining rooms – one Moroccan, one French – are presided over by Yannick Alléno, formerly of Paris’ most prestigious kitchen at Le Meurice.
Value for money
One-/two-bedroom riads from £600/£1730 in low season; rising to £730/£1995 in high. Breakfast and airport transfers included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Kids are well catered for although they may find the level of opulence daunting. There’s a kids pool and a club run by qualified nursery staff, and meals can be specially catered in-villa. Babysitting is available on request.