I’m not someone who often gets lost for words, but when it comes to talking about the Royal Mansour Marrakech, I am. In fact, I’ve sat down a few times and tried to put pen to paper about my stay there, but come up short every time, worried that I won’t do it justice. I mean, how do you even start talking about a place that’s so impossibly perfect? So dear Royal Mansour, I’m going to give it my best effort. Here goes…
First off, if you haven’t heard of the Royal Mansour, I need to catch you up: it’s not only the place to stay in Marrakech, but also one of the best hotels in the world. A lush, nearly four-acre estate nestled in the heart of the city, it was commissioned by King Mohammed VI himself to showcase the very best of what Morocco has to offer and often hosts his most prestigious guests. Not surprisingly, they tend to opt for the ‘Grand Riad’, which has its own hammam, two pools, gym, games room, cinema – you get the gist.
Considering that construction of the property was given a limitless budget, it was three years in the making with the help of over 1,500 artisans. There’s intricately carved cedarwood paneling, stunning mosaics, stained glass, chiseled bronze work, and delicately detailed stucco everywhere you look – fit for a king, essentially.
Boasting pride of place in the most perfect spot in town, the hotel is only a short car ride away from the key sights and sounds that Marrakech has to offer. Speaking of cars, if you need to run an errand or nip out, a fleet of luxury cars are on standby to whisk you wherever you desire – including two custom-built Bentleys. But be warned: once inside the terracotta-pink walls and gorgeous green gardens, you’ll never want to leave.
Virtually a mini-medina on its own, the property boasts 53 villas that feel more like private palaces. Down the leafy, winding walkways adorned with 100-year-old olive trees, fragrant orange trees, bright blooms, and soothing water features, you’ll find your villa tucked away just waiting to be discovered, which is no easy feat by the way. Mine spanned three floors and a whopping 1,500 square meters – no, that’s not a typo.
Once inside your lavish villa, there’s literally no reason to leave. You have your own private courtyard, a rooftop plunge pool and sundeck, a kitchenette, a living room (complete with open fireplace), a separate lounge area, a sumptuous bedroom, and a marble bathroom with a tub so big that you’ll want company.
Each floor is accessible by winding stone and mosaiced staircases that twist up to your rooftop, and the attention to detail is so astonishing that I often found myself staring at the furniture. I’m aware that sounds odd, but trust me – once you see the antique handmade creations that adorn your bedroom, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Of course, if you do manage to drag yourself out of your dream home, there’s a wonderful new world waiting to be discovered, starting with the stunning spa. If this isn’t the most beautiful spa in the world, I don’t know what is. Flooded with natural light and composed of white wrought iron, it’s modeled after a giant birdcage and both striking, yet inviting. If you walk in and don’t utter the word “wow”, there’s something wrong.
Naturally, I just had to try one of the new bespoke hammams (when in Morocco and all that) and needless to say, it was sublime. Using natural ingredients sourced from different parts of Morocco – including purifying ghassoul clay from the Atlas Mountains and Moroccan roses from the Kalaat Megouna Valley – I was washed, shampooed, and scrubbed to perfection. Even your hair will be treated to an all-natural treatment in the salon before you begin, so you’ll literally feel like a new person from top to toe.
There are three levels and over 2,500 square meters of space dedicated to well-being, which includes two hammams, a Watsu pool, a healthy café, a super luxe hair salon, nail stations, an indoor swimming pool, and a fitness center snazzy enough to tempt you into working out on your vacation, which I highly recommend by the way. Here’s why.
The Royal Mansour isn’t just a feast for the eyes. With a culinary team headed up by three-Michelin star chef Yannick Alléno, you know you’re in for a treat (or two). Even breakfast at La Table is an experience like no other, and something I catch myself dreaming about far too often. You get a tower of fresh homemade pastries alongside an à la carte menu and a seasonal fruit salad. Arrive hungry.
Inspired by Ibn Battuta, who introduced a new slow-cooking technique to Morocco in the 14th century, Le Jardin is the perfect place for a fresh, light lunch amongst the trees by the pool, where you can tuck into a contemporary menu that blends raw and cooked dishes, including regional salads, ceviche platters, and sushi. La Table is also great for a more informal meal, whether you’re craving a club sandwich or some lobster with butter sauce.
For a fancier dining experience (we are talking about the Royal Mansour, after all), choose between Le Grande Table Marocaine or Le Grande Table Française, both of which serve up the finest French and Moroccan cuisine, complete with white-glove service and culinary creations that draw people from all over the world.
Despite this much at your fingertips, the Royal Mansour is so peaceful that it’s hard to imagine the scurry of people beneath your feet. I mean that literally, as below the property are hidden underground passages that the diligent staff use to go to and fro, 24 hours a day, to tend to any guest request.
You can go all day without seeing another soul – impressive seeing as there’s an average of five staff members per guest. Privacy and discretion are of the utmost importance at the Royal Mansour, so much so that staff have their own doors into your villa on each floor. This way, you won’t be disturbed, regardless of where you are relaxing. You’ll suddenly find a plate of impeccably presented pomegranates waiting for you in the living room, or some Moorish pastries and fresh mint tea will magically appear just when you’re starting to get peckish.
This really is the life.
For more information or to book a stay at Royal Mansour, click here.