I’ve been dreaming about visiting Marrakesh for a long time. Ever since I first saw pictures of the architecture and beautiful geometric-inspired tile work it’s been on my bucket list. As someone from the Midwest United States, it’s always seemed like an exotic and mysterious place with endless secrets to discover.
With that said, most of my expectations came from movies, Pinterest, or from photos of Yves Saint Laurent’s home. After actually experiencing it, I learned it was even better than I could have imagined…
La Mamounia… a luxury resort in Marrakesh
I knew our trip was going to be a special one because of where we would be staying. La Mamounia is a hotel in Morocco unlike any other. Dating back to the 12 century, the property consisted of a palace surrounded by magnificent gardens that was given to a prince as a wedding present.
Fast forward to 1923 when the palace became a hotel. And most recently, the property was renovated in the late 2000’s to become what it is today — one of the most luxurious hotels I’ve ever had the pleasure to stay at. (And the current winner of best hotel in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.)
What it’s like to stay at the Best Hotel in the World
Driving up to the gates of La Mamounia I was already blown away by the size of the walls surrounding the property and its expansive garden. Whether it’s the beautiful lanterns, the subtle tile detail in just about every inch of the property or the multitude of water features… you’re made to feel like you’re among royalty. During check-in, you are seated in the main hall and offered a glass of spiced almond milk and the most deliciously moist dates. (I sooo miss the Moroccan dates!)
Aside from the visual splendor what you’ll immediately notice is the hotel’s unique fragrance perfuming every room of the property. Created specifically for La Mamounia the scent is a mixture of sandalwood and date that smells delicious. You can only find it at the hotel so make sure to stop by their boutique and pick up a bottle like I did! Stepping outside to the gardens you’ll also be treated to the wonderfully fragrant aroma of all its blooming flowers. A late-night stroll is a must!
Breakfast begins by the pool
We started each day with a buffet breakfast by the pool at Le Pavilion de la Piscine which offered a full spread of local and international options. After eating we always strolled through the gardens in the morning before the heat set in. In the middle of which is a little tea house where you can partake in some sweet treats as well.
Heading back inside, make sure to schedule an appointment at their spa which has one of the most Pinterest’able pools EVER. I’d definitively recommend booking some time in one of their two hammams.
With this amazing pool you can see why it won the Condé Nast Traveler Best Hotel in the World award… and ps. this swimsuit is half off.
With a little over 200 rooms and 3 Riads (what we would consider villas) La Mamounia is a large but intimate setting that exudes Moroccan sophistication and elegance.
Here’s a look at the entrance. Isn’t it beyond grand?
If you’re in the mood to do some shopping, this luxury resort in Marrakesh is home to several boutiques including the hotel’s own as well as a YSL, Dior, and famed Pierre Hermé Paris…
The sounds of La Mamounia
Another sense that will be delighted during your stay comes from all the live music you’ll enjoy throughout the property. Performing nightly in the Italian bar L’Italien is a full band that gives you the feeling of being transported to a bygone era of sophistication. We always grabbed a drink there before dinner but don’t forget to check out their other bar Le Churchill for a darker and more intimate space…
The property offers several restaurants to enjoy during your stay, from traditional Moroccan fare to Italian and French.
During our stay we experienced several moments that I know I’ll remember for years to come. Like our first night dining at Le Marocain experiencing traditional Moroccan food. We were seated outside on a beautiful patio with the sound of fountains and live Moroccan music wafting through the air… and those adorable cats wanting a bite of my couscous! The moment couldn’t have been more surreal.
Or during our last evening wandering through the gardens and watching the sunset over the Atlas Mountains. I feel so lucky to have experienced and shared them with my husband. I truly can’t express in words how enchanting La Mamounia is but I do know that it deserves all the recognition it has received!
It’s not a quick trip or an easy hotel to reach for most of us here in the States BUT of all the hotels I’ve ever been to I can say with certainty that it’s worth the trip… even if you never leave the property!
- The YSL museum is less than a 10 minute drive away and it was amazing to see his original designs and home in person. (Be sure to have lunch at the café… so good!)
- Next door is the Koutoubia mosque which is also the largest mosque in Marrakesh.
- Be sure to look out for all the cats that live at La Mamounia. They are extremely friendly and have the best life ever. (They even have their own home on the property and are fed from the buffet. I think in my next life I want to come back as one of them!)