Unlike the recent trend of ever more ostentation in Marrakech’s five star hotels, the Mandarin’s luxury doesn’t shout, it whispers.
With the Atlas Mountains as a backdrop and a series of serene ponds as a centrepiece, Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech lies nestled in 20 hectares of olive groves and landscaped gardens, beautifully scented with jasmine, night-blooming cestrum and over 100,000 fragrant roses. Only 10 minutes from the city’s famous Medina, this elegant, contemporary resort feels a world away in terms of serenity, with just 54 luxurious villas and 9 spacious suites, a world-class spa and excellent dining.
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On some days during the three years it took to restore Marrakech’s undisputed grandedame hotel, more than 1,000 craftsmen were at work on the site. Parisian designer Jacques Garcia, entrusted with returning the 1923 property to its former glory, sought out the city’s most talented painters and wood carvers. The craftsmen he chose laid millions of hand-cut tiles, pieced together wood-marquetry walls, carved ornate designs into plaster columns and forged hundreds of handmade lanterns. Thanks to them, the palace is once again a vibrant celebration of the city’s past, present and future, displaying Moroccan style, complete with intricate patterns and arabesques based on Berber and Arab-Andalusian traditions.
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