At a Glance
The brand’s first hotel in Africa, the Mandarin Oriental Marrakech is an oasis, offering top-notch luxury with Moroccan influence and located 20 minutes outside the medina.
- The sprawling grounds and gardens that make for a serene retreat from the busy city
- The spacious villas with private pools and hot tubs, fireplaces, al fresco dining spaces and hammam showers
- The brass lanterns set throughout the resort after sunset that illuminate the property in a dreamy glow
Within nearly 50 acres of fragrant gardens, the Mandarin Oriental Marrakech is a resort oasis a 20-minute drive from the city’s bustling medina. Designed to be at one with its natural surroundings, the property is composed of one- and two-story buildings made of sand-colored stone placed among blooming gardens of rose bushes, jasmine shrubs, cactus plants and palm groves.
Arriving at the property is an experience as grand as the resort itself. After a long, palm- and flower-lined drive in, guests reach the main building, which unfolds behind colossal sandstone columns surrounding a peaceful reflective pond. Conceived by the famed Gilles and Boissier duo (responsible for the decadent design of the Baccarat Hotel in New York City), the interiors of the 63-room resort incorporate Marrakech’s vibrant color palette with an emphasis on natural light and outdoor space. The public areas are stunning, featuring black and white tiling and colonial antiques. The Mandarin expertly marries Moroccan and Berber design touches (such as woven rugs and taledakt-plastered walls), which blend flawlessly with the overall contemporary feel of the resort.
The property’s main building features a small boutique, the Moroccan dining room and Ling Ling (by Hakassan) Restaurant, where a lounge and DJ adds an element of buzz. The second floor houses seven of the hotel’s nine suites, which are spacious, well appointed and contemporary to fit the Moroccan-influenced style. Each suite features outdoor lounge space with a rooftop plunge pool and sweeping views over the grounds and mountains beyond. Perhaps the most impressive of the rooms, however, are the 53 one- and two-bedroom private villas scattered throughout the grounds. These standalone accommodations feel discreet and private, and each contains a courtyard with a private pool and hot tub, sunbathing furnishings and a shaded al fresco dining space (with a grill where hired chefs can whip up an in-villa BBQ). The bedrooms are fresh, minimalist and bright, with bathrooms featuring a separate tub and hammam shower, plus enormous closet space. As is to be expected from the Mandarin Oriental brand, the curtains, light switches and TVs are hidden from sight but can be accessed at the push of a button. At night, the villas come to life, when lanterns and candles twinkle throughout the open-air courtyard.
The service at the Mandarin is top notch: warm and friendly, but still professional and reliable. Golf carts are at each guest’s beck and call, and the hotel also provides bicycles to cruise the grounds as well as a kids club, known as Kid's Kasbah, at the heard of the resort's farm and the chef's vegetable gardens. Those keen to explore the city can use the house car for complimentary transfer into the medina throughout the day and night (available on a first-come, first-served basis). Still, one could occupy themself well just lounging at the property; wellness seekers will enjoy the two infinity pool suites on the second floor of the gorgeous, annexed spa building.
Who Should Stay
Travelers who value a resort oasis will be in heaven at this slightly removed (but still accessible) retreat. Luxury seekers, families and those wanting privacy will also appreciate the Mandarin’s ample outdoor space and fresh design aesthetic. The property is ideal for those who prefer all things understated, so guests seeking an iconic Moroccan experience or a palace hotel will be happier at La Mamounia.
Written by Sasha Feldman