Ok I'll admit it: I'm pretty darn spoiled when it comes to having stayed in some of the most renown luxury hotels around the world. And sadly, after awhile, once you become conditioned to a certain level of service and decor, its hard to be truly wowed by a property.
And then I stayed at the Royal Mansour in Marrakech and just about flipped out.
The hotel is truly a work of design magnificence. It took 1,000 local Moroccan artisans (and the collaboration of two interior design companies - one French and one American) a total of five years to complete this visual masterpiece.
The level of detail, the colors, the patterns, the craftsmanship, the fabrics, the custom made furniture, the marble, the lighting, the embroideries, the traditional cedar wood, sculptured plaster work, the carved ceilings, the quiet alcoves, the murmur of the fountains ... I'm going into overload just recalling my indelible memories of the Royal Mansour.
|Close up of the ceiling in the bar - I die!!!|
I could have stayed for a month and still not have absorbed all there is to take in here. I simply stopped knowing where to look anymore.
I'm usually a pretty decent writer, but I'm seriously struggling with how to put this all into words. How can I describe the spa? Laser cut white wrought iron lattice work soars up into the sky and allows the sun to stream through the central pergola. Bathed in warm golden rays and surrounded by a serene and immaculate white space, I am 99% sure this is what it must look like when you reach the gates of heaven.
|The sumptuous curtain fabric, the tiled floors, the marble, the mother of pearl inlay |
on the tasseled tie-backs ... this was just one tiny corner of the hotel!!!
Royal Mansour have created their own medina inside the property, complete with courtyards, gardens, centuries-old olive groves and palm trees, and sinuous alleys. A five meter high wall lies back to back with the old city walls that surround the area. Your own private riad is found in this medina.
|The pool inside the spa|
There are no rooms at Royal Mansour, only 53 private riads (residences). Built around a central atrium, each three-storey riad boasts a living room, bar and lobby on the ground floor, a bedroom, dressing room and bathroom on the second floor, and on the top floor there is a private roof terrace with plunge pool, fireplace, lounge chairs and a view over the medina.
We arrived to a roaring fire and some freshly pressed apple juice in our riad:
One of the most remarkable aspects of the property is that there is an underground tunnel system for staff so that they remain invisible during your stay. You never lay eyes on anyone in the medina! Each riad has its own private back entrance that staff can enter and exit unnoticed from this underground city.
When we were shown to our riad, a woman magically appeared from a private entrance, introduced herself to us as our governess, and asked if she could start unpacking our luggage. Truly unparalleled service ...
In case your own private plunge pool is not enough, there is a relaxing outdoor pool as well:
Royal Mansour is a true haven of serenity, privacy and seclusion. I never saw another guest or a member of staff, except in the restaurants, during my entire stay. If you are the kind of traveler who likes a bit of activity in the lobby and enjoy going into the hotel bar to socialize and chat up other guests, this is not the place for you.
However, if you are looking to get away from everything and everyone for a true escape into luxury, peacefulness and six star service, then Royal Mansour is your place.
Royal Mansour provide private transfers to and from the airport. Trust me, you will feel like a celebrity! You are literally ushered from the plane into a VIP lounge, passport control come to you, your luggage is collected by an ambassador of the hotel and you are chauffeur driven in a black Range Rover to the private avenue where the Royal Mansour resides. The same happens on your return. We weren't even allowed to wait in line to collect boarding passes or check luggage. Everything is done for you.
I have over 300 photographs from my stay and have just merely given you a glimpse here. On Friday I will write about my three Michelin star dinner in the Moroccan restaurant at Royal Mansour, hosted by famous chef Yannick Alleno.