La Mamounia Hotel Costes designer recreates Marrakech hotspot
Jean-Paul Gaultier, Nicholas Sarkozy, Nicole Kidman
Reason to Stay:
Private Villas, State-Owned, Pool Scene, Michelin Eateries
Preferred Room:Churchill Suite
Special Features:Historic Hotel, Turkish Spa, Massage, Butler Service, Formal Gardens
Amenities:Pool, Restaurants, Bars, Spa, Concierge, Car Service
La Mamounia rises above the city wall at the edge of the Medina just high enough to take in an unobstructed view of the High Atlas Mountains from its upper level guest rooms. La Mamounia is built for the masses, at least the chic and wealthy ones, with a sweeping entry hall of coffer ceilings, veiny marble floors and thick columns adorned with hand-carved woodwork that perfectly frame a red carpet entrance. Flowers are everywhere, in oversize pots and dramatic urns and ornate fountain dripping in pale pink rose petals.
The hotel was completely gutted by Hotel Costes designer Jacques Garcia, a meticulous and expressive designer by nature. The result is stark white walls and antique Berber carpets offset with ebonized wood beams and window pains and royal red velvet chairs autographed with brassy nail head detail. The lobby and pool are home to a total of five separate bars with two Michelin-star chefs from Apicius in Paris's 8th Arrondissement and Don Alfonso 1890 Restaurant and Hotel near Sorrento.
The new 25,000-square foot Le Spa Mamounia is instantly the largest in North Africa. A rejuvenation destination that's now a tourist attraction itself lined in Majorelle-blue tiles with alcove steam rooms, historic hamam, and Turkish baths as well as treatments by Sheseido, marocMaroc and Jean-Michel Faretra Paris. Nearby is the refurbished pool, a conservative rectangular mass of pristine blue water surrounded in terry-cloth clad wood loungers and on-site eatery of Marrakech's new social guard happy to have their Mamounia back.
The room decor was the one weak spots of the former-La Mamounia, a once dated hotel palace with furniture better suited for an Agatha Christie play than 5-star hotspot. Garcia performed a designer exorcism of all 171-guest rooms and 57 suites refurbishing the hand-carved ceilings and Moroccan paneling while handpicking select antiques to remain at the property. Entry-level guest rooms located between the ground and first floor are outfitted with traditional Moroccan tiles, hand-sewn carpets from the High Atlas Mountains and richly upholstered chairs. Seven signature suites include the Churchill and Kouboubia with gallery-level artwork and unparalleled views witnessed by historical icons and royalty before you. Those traveling with Madonna-type entourage can book into one of three private riads around the main garden with private pool, three bedrooms and security detail.
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