The Parisian Eye

Travel : the Royal Mansour hotel in Marrakech

May 14, 2013 | Parisian Eye
« Words cannot do justice to Royal Mansour’s unique beauty. Royal Mansour is more than a palace; it is the embodiment of Moroccan living as an art form ». The first time I read those words on the Royal Mansour website, I wondered how it would be to actually stay at « more than a palace »…Now that I have experienced it, I could not agree more : there are no words or pictures to describe the Royal Mansour. Yet, such an experience of genuine refinement and luxury has to be shared… Equipped with my Leica D-Lux 6, I tried my best to spot the best details on the pictures you will see here.

It started right upon arriving in Marrakech, as it is at the airport that I got a first glimpse of what awaited me. Airport service had been arranged to handle passport formalities while I was taken to the VIP lounge, complete with Moroccan tea, and in less than 30 minutes I was sitting in a limo driven by a chauffeur wearing white gloves.
The main patio
The main patio

Driving past the private avenue leading through the imposing bronze gates of the hotel in such circumstances
could be described, I guess, as a royal arrival. Helped out of the car and into the hotel patio by quite a few bellboys and hostesses, I immediately realised the level of craftsmanship and grandeur that make this place so unique.

It only took a few minutes – which were enough to be immersed in the exotic atmosphere of the Royal Mansour with its spectacular courtyard lobby, before I was escorted to my riad, where check-in took place. And it was only after the nice concierge showed me around my riad that I realised : at the Royal Mansour, you don’t stay in a hotel room.

You stay in your own typical Moroccan house : a home away from home, a destination within a destination.

My riad

Derived from the arabic for garden, a riad is a traditional Moroccan home, where peace and privacy are paramount. The riads at the Royal Mansour are not any typical Moroccan house though. They are, as every inch of the hotel (the restaurants, libraries, lounges, bars, pools and spa), a living testimony and a showcase of Moroccan’s elite artisans’ craftsmanship : every detail you see is handmade, handcrafted, handsclupted… A place to see, without being seen – with the latest in-suite electronic systems.

As every riad at the Royal Mansour, mine was spread over three floors, and was built around a central atrium :
a private open air garden, with the relaxing sound of trickling water in the fountain.

The riad door
The riad interior garden
The fountain in the interior garden… Peaceful
The sitting area of the interior garden
The view from the interior garden : the sky, simply…

On the ground floor were a huge living room, bar and lobby, a perfect blend of Moroccan tradition and modern devices and pieces of art.

My riad lounge
The lounge and its endless sofa
The lounge, from another angle : view on the interior garden
This nice flower arrangement was waiting for me !
Table detail in the lounge
The stairs to the 1st floor… Beautiful details really are everywhere !

The first floor boasted a vast bedroom (some have two, some three) with a sumptuous marble bathroom and a
dressing room.

The bedroom
Details on the bed : sculpted wood and lace applied on leather
Ready for a peaceful night…
The walls, the ceiling, the windows… All handmade
A beautiful bedside setting
From the bedroom to the bathroom
The bathroom as you walk in
Details…
More details : hand-sculpted marble and chiselled silver
It’s worth looking up, even in the bathroom !
My robe, sitting on the larger than life bathtub
The sculpted chandeliers make the light quite special
More bathroom details
The marble bathtub… Fit for a king (or a queen)
…And so was the shower

The second floor was a terrace with plunge pool, solarium, fireplace and dining table with views over the medina.

My rooftop pool
It was a sunny day 😉
Those sunbeds were soon to be used !

 

The Royal Mansour medina and amenities

Built as a medina (the traditional Moroccan city surrounded by the same walls as Marrakech itself), the hotel
spreads over 3.5 acres, surrounded by fortifications. A medina inside the medina, built by the very best 1,500 artisans of the country over three years, with the very best materials from around the world : various colours of
marble, Baccarat crystal, osterich leathers, hand sclupted ceilings… Exceptional !

Inside the hotel (medina) streets : a real city !
Pretty riads everywhere
And palmtrees too
Amazing details on a ceiling in the hotel
A peaceful day
Extraordinary local craftsmanship
The lobby / entrance to the hotel
Walking around the hotel, in one of the galleries
Another small patio
The view above the main patio
Pretty walls and floors
The hotel grounds were endless !
And room after room, luxury was everywhere
The library
A view from above, somewhere in the hotel
The blue patio
Frescoes in the corridors

Sitting together within their very own miniature palace by the main patio, the Royal Mansour’s two fine dining
restaurants (La Grande Table Marocaine for an authentic Moroccan feast, and La Grande Table for a classic French dinner) are supervised by French Michelin starred chef Yannick Alléno… Only the best !

Dining at La Grande Table Marocaine gastronomic restaurant
La Grande Table Marocaine gastronomic restaurant
La Grande Table Française gastronomic restaurant
La Grande Table Marocaine gastronomic restaurant
La Grande Table Marocaine gastronomic restaurant

A must for a sunny destination like Marrakech, the Royal Mansour doesn’t have one pool, but two : my favourite
one is located inside the spa – a world on its own, under an impressive pergola. The second one lays outside, by the shady palms in the extensive gardens.

Getting into the spa… A delight for the eyes !
Heaven on earth ?
The spa
Spa treatments
Feeling lazy at the spa ?
The main pool…
I had quite a lot of fun too 😉
The main pool
Another pool view
Of course, it came with a jacuzzi
Walking around the hotel
Palm trees and flowers everywhere in sight

 

No detail has gone overlooked in this incredible resort. And the quality of service is unmatched. If you order
room service, you can request your food be served on your rooftop terrace. The breakfast alone is worth seeing : a smorgasbord of viennoiseries, eggs, bacon, and other local staples served on a white table cloth. The staff move
about throughout the medina and riad using a « behind the scenes » network of tunnels and lifts to discreetly tend to every whim and need, including retrieving your sun glasses a mere two floors below if you’re feeling
lazy !

Rooftop breakfast anyone ?
Breakfast feast
View on the interior garden from the second floor of the riad
The Royal Mansour is by far the best hotel I have stayed at, and I am looking forward to going back.
holidayHotelMarrakechmedinaMoroccoriadRoyal mansourTravelvacation
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