Magical Magnificence in Marrakech

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The relatively new Wellness Center includes two hammams and five massage rooms (four single and one double). Here, too, the ambiance is one of cozy relaxation with traditional lighting reflecting off the walls and ceiling, giving the whole room a warming orange glow—a perfect atmosphere in which to enjoy a traditional Moroccan massage using natural products specially made for La Maison Arabe.

Still another absolutely magnificent property in Marrakech isn’t even open yet and it’s already a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World, which can happen when the king of Morocco is the guy who built it. Several years ago his majesty put forth Vision 2010, announcing the proposal to attract 10 million tourists to Morocco by 2010. As a result, hotels have been steadily opening since 2001, and a handful more will open in the next two years. All of these, however, pale in comparison to the crowning development, Royal Mansour Marrakech—talk about putting your money where your mouth is.

One of the few privately owned hotels in Marrakech, Royal Mansour is elegantly composed of 53 individual riads, three restaurants, and an authentic Moroccan spa. Built into the ancient wall of Marrakech, the hotel recreates a historical medina of Andalusian courtyards interspersed with winding, shady alleyways and spectacular water displays and fountains. Each riad is uniquely designed and furnished with silks and brocades, ornate tiles, and handcrafted wood and antique furniture. Lobbies welcome guests into an open-air courtyard surrounded by a bar, living area, and in some cases, a dining room. First floors house bedrooms overlooking the courtyard, and roof terraces with sun beds and private pools provide stunning views of Marrakech or the Atlas Mountains. The property promises to be a perfect marriage of luxury and traditional culture and lifestyle.