Marrakesh, Morocco. Simply setting foot in the city is like getting transported into a different dimension. Modern day luxuries blend seamlessly with artifacts of the past, giving everything a mystic aura. While the entire city is a sight to behold, there is one gem here that should never be missed. Should you ever find yourself in Marrakesh, take time to enter its opulent gates and spend at least a night in its decadent rooms. La Mamounia will welcome you with open arms.
Photo from La Mamounia
La Mamounia is a palace hotel located in Bab Jdid Avenue, just 15 minutes away from the airport. It is definitely one of the best hotels we have been in, and as travellers who have seen many corners of the world, that’s saying something. The place is such a sight that touring it feels like going to the La Majorelle garden and the Ben Youssef Madrasa all in one go. They have lots of artworks and interesting architecture — and of course, that’s just barely scratching the surface!
A Little History
My IB tutor and I studied the history of this and good enough, I remembered it during my trip. In the 18th century, the King gave houses and gardens to each of his sons as a marriage gift. One of these gardens later came to be known as “Mamoun”, after the prince who received it. Prince Mamoun was said to hold extravagant parties in his garden, stunning his guests with its grandness and abundance of flora. The name hence became synonymous to luxury and entertainment. It is to this that La Mamounia today stands as a monument.
From only 50 rooms in the 30s, La Mamounia had expanded incessantly until it reached its current count of 210 rooms. Since then, it has housed and entertained both regular travelers and famous personalities. The latter group has included politicians, A-list celebrities, fashion giants, musical greats, and much more.
And of course, anything good enough for these people will be good enough for us!
Rooms and Service
It’s quite amazing when such a number of rooms is maintained by the same level of five-star service. Everything is spick–and–span at all times, and the staff are very helpful. The common areas also have a soothing and addictive date scent, enhancing the exotic mood.
Rooms, like the rest of the buildings, are designed in the traditional Moroccan way. That means details and flourish everywhere! The same artist who did La Majorelle also worked on the design, so it’s a feast for the eyes. The rooms start with the rich trappings of the Classic Hivernage Rooms (ranging from 28-40 square meters) to the various suites whose furnishings would be fit for a king. The bath areas are also exquisite, with marbled floors! For those who wish to make relaxation their priority, the gardens also house the Riads, whose light hues soothing atmosphere would soothe even the most troubled minds.
Among all amenities, the Spa is definitely one of the most precious. This huge sanctuary is 2,500 square meters, and carries a huge array of beauty products! There’s also a lot of natural products, such as the “ghassoul” that comes from Morocco’s Atlas mountains.
The La Mamounia Pool
When we went there, our group availed of the Day Pass. This pass allowed its holders full access to the hotel’s facilities. It’s the perfect way to relax and unwind in between touring the city. Aside from letting you take a swim in the hotel’s stunning pool, you also get full access to the tennis court, the fitness pavilion, and other recreational areas within the hotel! Don’t miss the indoor pool, which is definitely one of the prettiest of its kind that I have seen.
The La Mamounia has three restaurants, and the Day Pass comes with a choice of lunch at either the Le Francais or the L’Italien by Don Alfonso. For a real treat, there is also a choice between two spa options: the Hammam Evasion (a soothing steam bath) or the Massage Mamounia (their
An Oasis of Old-World Opulence
Simply put, staying in La Mamounia is a magical experience. Walking among the columns and the colorful tiles would place one at the center of a fairy tale (the one that involved genies and royalties). Perhaps the best part is that this prime palace hotel is also just 5-10 minutes away from the other great locations in Marrakech! Truly, La Mamounia would be one of the best things to happen to a traveller this side of the African continent.