There are those hotels you check into and out of and never give another thought to again. And then there is La Mamounia; a place whose service, ambience and scent even (a perfume of dates, roses and sandalwood) leave an indelible mark on your memory. This property has been on my radar for a few years now and I finally decided to make a visit this year. It was a visit I will never forget.
La Mamounia staff met us the minute we stepped foot into the airport, whisked us to a private room for passport control, and then into a sumptuous chauffeur driven garnet colored Jaguar for the quick ride to the hotel. We were greeted with traditional dates and almond milk in the beautiful lobby (below):
The craftsmanship and level of detail in our suite was, well frankly, incomprehensible. I will let the pictures speak for themselves, but suffice it to say that designer Jacques Garcia (also of Hotel Costes fame) and his team of roughly 1,000 local artisans really pulled out all the stops on this three year renovation project.
With so many secluded and peaceful common areas of La Mamounia, complete with intricate patterns and arabesques based on Berber and Arab-Andalusian traditions, you are really spoiled for choice on beautiful spots where to go and relax.
There are 24 acres of historic gardens to be strolled, four restaurants (two of which have Michelin stars), five bars (the leopard printed Churchill Bar is named after Winston because he spent so much time at the property) a 27,000-square-foot spa with extravagant interior pool areas, jacuzzi, two Hammams, a large fitness center, a new outdoor pool pavilion (where the pool is heated year-round and the bottom is covered in Venetian glass tile), and two clay tennis courts.
And once darkness falls, La Mamounia, with its lantern lit pathways and illuminated facades, takes on a whole other-worldly level of amber glow seductiveness ... prepare to be entranced.
More to come on Monday about the food at La Mamounia ...