On this occasion we bring you a somewhat special hotel, as it is an establishment of modern construction, albeit according to the most refined and inveterate artisan traditions of the country and the city where it is located, that is, Marrakech, in Morocco. The hotel itself expresses this fully when it states that its architecture “takes up the challenge of combining an ancestral heritage with the best of modernity“. Indeed, after three years of construction, the Hotel Royal Mansour Marrakech opened in 2010. However, the decorative elements and embellishments were handmade according to old traditions.
The specialist press describes the Royal Mansour Marrakech as “world’s most discreet hotel“, and we have also read reports referring to it as “a royal palace” or “a hotel designed by a king“. According to available information, it is said to have been King Mohammed VI himself who personally conceived the project as a reflection of the wisdom of the country’s traditional craftsmen and a showcase of ancestral architectural styles. Perhaps this is why the more than 1,200 craftsmen in carpentry, wrought iron, tiling, tadelakt and marquetry who participated in the project, as well as its architects and designers, were given unlimited funds for its construction.
In terms of its architecture, the Royal Mansour Marrakech does not make intensive use of the land, but extends, “without rooms, floors or corridors”, over a 5-hectare estate. In other words, the 53 magnificent riads of between one and four rooms that the Royal Mansour offers its guests, “well hidden behind mysterious studded doors”, are laid out as in “a traditional medina surrounded by gardens and dotted with terracotta-coloured alleys and squares“. Each riad is spread over three floors and has a courtyard enlivened by a fountain and a terrace with a private tiled swimming pool.
As for the proverbial reputation for discretion that precedes the staff of the Royal Mansour Marrakech, this is understandable considering that the establishment has 1 km of underground corridors for their transit and the performance of their duties. So, as the hotel says, “to ensure that nothing disturbs the beauty and calm of the place, everything happens behind the scenes“. Therefore, the “labyrinth of galleries in the basement” houses the kitchens, laundry and other technical services that support the riads. In addition, 10 employees, including a butler, are assigned to each riad, according to a 7:1 staff to guest ratio, for a total of just over 500.
The Royal Mansour Marrakech also has a large garden that extends to the old city walls, dating back to the 12th century. It is a space in the “Arab-Andalusian tradition“, for which the garden is “a work of art in the open air, a paradise of peace and serenity”. The Spanish landscape designer Luis Vallejo was responsible for its design and its subsequent extension in 2021. The garden also has a large communal swimming pool with private pavilions. As if that were not enough, Royal Mansour has a beautiful 2,500 m2 spa, decorated with traditional Mashrabiya latticework and two Moroccan hammams, among other facilities. Finally, the multi-Michelin-starred chef Hélène Darroze is responsible for the menus of two of the hotel’s five excellent restaurants.
Sources: Royal Mansour Marrakech, Forbes, Daily Mail, Architectural Digest.
Images: Royal Mansour Marrakech.