Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech
What it is
A lush, modern retreat tucked within 49 acres of olive groves and luxuriant gardens, with artful suites and villas plus an over-the-top spa.
What it isn't
Hungry. Four on-site restaurants include locavore Mes’Lalla and Le Salon Berbere, which transforms into an effervescent champagne bar after dusk.
What we think
In one of the most aesthetically stunning cities on the planet, you can’t stay in a ho-hum hotel. Enter Mandarin Oriental Marrakech, where every inch is more exquisite than the last. Take the “starter” guest rooms: 1,453-square-foot spaces with private terraces fitted with a plunge pool, sunbathing spot and al fresco dining table, plus spa-like bathroom (complete with a steam shower) inside. Want even more of a rock star experience? Consider the Infinity Pool Suite, which has its own private hammam and a garden infinity pool; or even on of their many jaw-dropping villas, such as the Mandarin Grand Villa, a whopping 10,764-square-feet of three connected villas with an inner courtyard and gleaming pool of its own. While you’re here, be sure to stop by Le Salon Berbere for their abundant breakfasts, where offerings include everything from traditional harira soup to boiled eggs with kaluga caviar.
You're here because
Ling Ling, the resort’s cocktail bar inspired by Japanese Izakaya, has a resident DJ that makes you feel 25 again.
You’ve found multiple heavens within the nearly 6,000 square foot spa—including vitality baths, Thai treatment suites, and two breathtaking hammams. You decide to steep in the latter, while therapists scrub you new with Moroccan black soap and kessa gloves before wrapping you in Atlas Mountain clay. See? Heaven.
Restaurants & Bars
Salon Berbere - Offers an exceptional view over both the resort’s blue and green pools and the Atlas Mountains, and makes for a lively dining room that evolves throughout the day. Ideal for breakfast, where the buffet includes many traditional Moroccan specialties such as Msamen – small squared-pancakes that are eaten hot with a little honey – as well as Western dishes. The wooden buffet table, its top carved from a block of marble, was designed by Gilles & Boissier, and is transformed into a pastry counter for afternoon tea, when the restaurant takes on the feel of a tea room, with sweets and delicacies displayed under stylish glass bells, for eating in or takeaway. The atmosphere changes again at sunset, as Salon Berbere morphs into a champagne bar, perfect for a pre or after dinner drink.
The Pool Garden - Offers a refreshing spot to enjoy lunch outdoors. The menu offers a selection of healthy dishes designed around fresh fruits and vegetables sourced directly from the vegetable garden. Light Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as crunchy vegetables with anchovy dressing or sweet red pepper gazpacho are complemented by the fish of the day from the seafood grill, or the truffled croque monsieur. The small islands on the water ponds can be used for a quiet drink or a more private lunch, while a handful of tables in the shade of the bougainvillea complement those of the adjoining garden.
Mes’Lalla - Serves traditional Moroccan cuisine with contemporary touches, under the leadership of renowned Chef Meryem Cherkaoui. A native of Rabat, Cherkaoui is a keen proponent of her native culinary heritage and offers a contemporary interpretation of Moroccan classics. Reviving local recipes of fishermen and farmers, she harnesses the richness and diversity of popular cuisine, bringing a street-food touch to her cooking. The result makes for the refined but casual discovery of an exceptional culinary heritage, with a particular focus on organic products grown on-site and by local farms or cooperatives.
Just a 15 minute drive from Marrakech Menara Airport. Art obsessives will love the fact that MACAAL, Al Maaden Museum of Contemporary African Art, is only a few blocks from the resort.