In North Africa lies the exotic ancient kingdom of Morocco which for centuries has been considered a symbol of mystery, magic and seduction. Among this cultural backdrop is the beautiful city of Marrakech, bursting with color, history and life. There, the streets form a maze, with historic medinas and palaces around every corner. At the World Heritage site of Place Djemaa El Fna, storytellers, acrobats, musicians and snake charmers take center stage. Meanwhile, beyond the city walls, the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains tower above the hot desert sand dunes. It is therefore not surprising that Marrakech has become a must-see destination for travelers and is home to many luxury resorts. To help you get out of the maze and choose where to stay in Marrakech, we’re here to reveal the best luxury hotels in the city.
1. The Sultana
Step back in time in the luxury oasis that is La Sultana. This UNESCO-listed medina holds over a thousand years of history and exemplifies traditional Moroccan architecture. Its privileged location, within walking distance of the Jemma El Fna square, the Saadian tombs, the royal palaces and the Bahia palace makes La Sultana one of the best luxury hotels in Morocco. There, all modern conveniences rub shoulders with breathtaking vestiges of antiquity. From antique furniture to skillfully carved ceilings, every corner is a work of art. In the morning, take part in a Moroccan cooking class to learn the culinary secrets of the Orient. Later, relax on the rooftop, which overlooks the Kasbah district and the Saadian tombs. Finally, pack your camera and venture out to explore the nearby famous palaces, plazas, and landscapes.
VISIT THE SULTANA
2. Riad Be Marrakech
Immerse yourself in the colors, culture and lifestyle of Morocco at the unique Riad Be Marrakech. Spread over two traditional private houses known as riads, this hotel comprises ten luxurious rooms nestled in an open-air patio and lush greenery. At Riad Be, guests are spoiled for choice between the riad “L’Oasis” and the riad “L’Essence”. In the “Oasis”, verdant and exotic plants as well as traditional patterns and colors enrich the sensory experience. Meanwhile, ‘Essence’ offers a more simplistic approach to living, with handcrafted woodwork and traditional Moroccan tiles forming the dramatic interior. During your stay, learn the tips and tricks to create a cuisine rich in flavors with a Moroccan cooking class. If, however, you are looking for another form of pleasure, relax with a massage and cleansing ritual in the hammam.
VISIT RIAD BE MARRAKECH
3. La Mamounia
The word luxury conjures up breathtaking images of palates and tantalizing cuisines. At La Mamounia, each of these elements come together to create a refined and beautiful Moroccan experience. Stroll among the eight hectares of gardens, once given as a wedding gift to Prince Al Mamoun, and discover fragrant jasmine, orange blossom and other exotic plants. Marvel at the intricate blue, green, and orange tiles throughout the palace, then gaze out toward the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. With a guest list including Winston Churchill, Marlene Dietrich, Elton John and Yves-Saint Laurent, incredible stories and historic moments have unfolded in the Arab-Andalusian architecture of La Mamounia.
VISIT THE MAMOUNIA
4. Electric Fenn
Hidden a stone’s throw from the famous Djemaa el Fna and the souk, El Fenn offers a quiet home away from home. A former private residence, this grand riad has been renovated and extended to include 28 rooms and suites, lush courtyards and an expansive rooftop terrace. There, guests can escape the Moroccan heat by taking a dip in one of three swimming pools. Most spectacular, however, is the rooftop plunge pool, which offers panoramic views of the Atlas Mountains and the Koutoubia Mosque. During your stay, treat yourself to traditional beauty rituals at the spa or taste some of the best Moroccan cuisine. Finally, if you are able to turn away for a moment from the breathtaking surrounding landscape and stunning historic architecture, note the art of El Fenn. Art lovers will notice a rich array of expertly placed artwork throughout the halls.
VISIT THE FENN
5. Mandarin Oriental
Whether you are planning a wedding, honeymoon, family vacation or business meeting, the Mandarin Oriental is the place to be. This 5-star dream destination is just minutes from the heart of Marrakech and offers something for everyone. During your stay, relax in a sumptuous eight-bedroom penthouse, a panoramic suite or an exotic villa. Every day and night, you’ll be spoiled for choice as you dine at one of four spectacular restaurants, then step into the colorful and surrounding world of Moroccan life. A key feature of this hotel, however, is the beautiful spa center. Inspired by Andalusian cathedrals and mosques, it features high vaulted ceilings and an ornamental sun-drenched pool. Plus, it has six treatment rooms and plenty of packages to immerse guests in pure bliss.
VISIT THE ORIENTAL MANDARIN
6. Dar El Sakada
Enter the magical and fantastical world of Dar El Sakada, which is located in Morocco’s palm oasis, the Palmeraie. Designed by French artist Jean-François Fourtou and renovated by Philippe Forrestier, this fully equipped private villa is filled with unique and unexpected features. Some of the sculptural and architectural pieces that patrons may encounter include Fourtou’s life-size giraffe peering over the dinner table, as well as the “House that fell from the sky” and many other marvels. Alongside these contemporary pieces, the villa is renowned for its traditional Moroccan cuisine and hospitality. Although this villa is only available for private rental, it can accommodate up to 20 people and is an unforgettable destination for holidays with family or friends.
VISIT DAR EL SAKADA
7. Selman Marrakesh
At the elegant Selman Marrakech, guests can expect warm hospitality and endless luxury. However, it is the unique presence of thoroughbred Arabian horses, roaming the gardens, that makes the Selman Marrakech magnificent. First introduced to Morocco in the 7th century, Purebred Arabians are recognized as a distinguished and coveted breed of horse. Guests can tour the stables or cruise the grounds aboard these award-winning beauties. Designed by Jaques Garcia, Selman Marrakech has 55 rooms and suites and 5 private villas. Spend your nights at the mystical purple lounge Bar Selman, where pendant lights and electro-lounge jazz create a baroque ambience. For authentic Moroccan cuisine, head to Assyl. This restaurant adorned with gold leaf and carved wood transports guests to an Ottoman palace. Finally, La Pavillon offers a sunny setting to enjoy fresh and tasty dishes and watch the horses frolic in the paddocks.
VISIT SELMAN MARRAKECH
8. Royal Mansour
Throughout history, Morocco has imprinted its culture and know-how on North Africa, Spain and Portugal. In the Spanish city of Granada, the Moors created the exquisite and intricate Alhambra palace. It is from this marvel that the Royal Mansour draws its inspiration. Encapsulating the essence of Morocco, the lavish hotel features lace-encrusted plasterwork, as well as carvings on the walls, floors, and even the ceiling. In the labyrinthine gardens, palm trees, citrus trees and other exotic flora and fauna form a perfect symmetry. The vital presence of water is honored in the many basins, waterfalls and fountains. During their stay, guests can partake in a range of unforgettable experiences. These include a hot air balloon ride, dinner in the desert and a Hamman treatment at the spa. Finally, for those seeking adventure, soar over the Atlas Mountains in a helicopter, ride a camel, and more with a Sahara desert tour.
VISIT ROYAL MANSOUR
9. Four Seasons
Located next to an ancient medina, the Four Seasons resort is a luxurious sanctuary. While exploring the gardens or bathing in the pools, guests are enveloped in the sweet scents of jasmine and rose. With 139 rooms, a 24-hour concierge, a Kids Club and a multitude of activities, the Four Seasons offers a tailor-made experience. Choose a spacious room with a view of the Atlas Mountains or opt for a pavilion suite with a private pool. For business travelers, the hotel also has superb Riad-style conference rooms. When you’re ready to explore the charm of Marrakech, venture into the desert for a camel ride, dinner under the stars or a round of golf in the dunes. Then, get your adrenaline pumping in the Atlas Mountains with the canyon zipline, mountain scooter, or horseback riding. Finally, as the sun sets, head to nearby Jemaa El Fna Square to see musicians, fortune tellers and snake charmers weave their magic.
FOUR SEASONS TOUR
10. Fairmont Royal Palm
Embodying grandeur and exotic elegance, the Fairmont Royal Palm is fit for kings and queens. Overlooking the famous Atlas Mountains, this 231-hectare hotel is nestled among palm, olive and orange trees. In addition to a colossal 2,000 m² swimming pool, it houses six restaurants and bars, a spa and a fitness center. Plus, the kids’ club keeps little ones entertained so parents can enjoy some peace and quiet. With 134 majestic rooms, suites and villas, there is something for everyone. Each room has a terrace that opens onto the mountains, the gardens or the spectacular 18-hole golf course. For the ultimate luxury experience, however, settle into a Prince Villa. These spacious two-bedroom villas have en-suite bathrooms, a private swimming pool, a landscaped garden and a private hammam. Finally, for those looking for adventure, take part in a quad excursion in the desert, a hot air balloon ride or a hike in the Atlas Mountains.
VISIT THE FAIRMONT
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