La Mamounia embodies the Moroccan refinement; an oriental atmosphere made of noble materials worked with ancestral know-how, games of perspectives and lights, harmony between the plant and the mineral. I was tempted to take a complete hiatus from social media the other week whilst out in Morocco. But with an oasis like this, it's hard to holster the smart phone. You feel naturally compelled to document the splendour of La Mamounia in its entirety.
Although founded as late back as 12th century, it wasn't until the 18th century that Prince Al Mamoun gave his name to the hotel after receiving the gardens as a wedding present from his father.
Fast track to 1923 and the hotel La Mamounia opens its doors, a subtle blend of Arab-Andalusian architecture and the Art Deco atmosphere.
A retinue of my well-heeled heroes have graced these ornate marble with fleck floors. (All of the rooms are marble floors and have local artwork and mosaic tiles).
What the hotel likes to call "An anthology of Great Men" (yet fail to realise that two of the ones cited are women, tut-tut).
Nevertheless knowing that some of the style greats, such as Yves Saint Laurent and Marlene Dietrich have found solace here makes me feel like I'm part of a rich eclectic history. Of course they have a Churchill bar named after the nodding dog from the insurance adverts. (Only joking, just wanted to make sure you were paying attention).
La Mamounia is in the heart of the city. It is walking distance from the souks, the medina and Jemaa El Fina square, not to mention countless bars and restaurants.
When you enter the hotel you'll do well not to appreciate the surrealism of the 12th century wall and dazzled by the play of light - between inside and outside - by the colour contrasts - zelliges between Majorelle blue, green and orange.
Side note - I keep telling people it's the little things in life that make a difference. For example given an authentic leather key card for your room and for unimpeded access to the luxury mosaic tiled spa and swimming pools.
My takeaways of La Mamounia
The astonishing attention to detail and rich proud history reverberates around this cavernous palace. It embodies it's heritage, it doesn't disappoint with its reputation for supreme levels of service.
You can lose yourself here. There are 8 hectares brimming with over 1200 plant species! The idyllic snow-capped mountains of the Atlas provide an indefatigable backdrop whilst the medieval ramparts for protection and lush gardens for cocoon, the "Moroccan House" is steeped in culture, traditions, scents.
You are invited to share a dinner in the hotel with the choices of Moroccan, French or Italian cuisine. Each can be served on the terrace should you wish.
And in the mornings you can have breakfast at the pool pavilion, no black pudding or HP sauce but instead a superb buffet to savour at the water's edge.
The Spa is an inevitable indulgence with which one must lose themselves. If you're taking your girlfriend or 'willing accomplice' then this is where you earn your brownie points.
This is a space dedicated to the well-being, between massages, body care, hairdresser not to mention the legendary indoor pool, to totally decompress in water at 28 ° C. I recommend the Hammam treatment followed by a massage.
That’s it from me. This hotel provided me with what Lance Richardson might class as “A rare starburst of unadulterated joy”. This being my second review of hotels and resorts in Marrakech, be sure to email me if you need any help or advice on visiting the area.
WHERE IS LA MAMOUNIA?