Travel: By Royal invitation at the Royal Mansour, Marrakech

Luxury seekers take note, Marrakech needs to be next on your wish list. In a destination fast becoming synonymous with opulence, I have found the gold standard for luxury hotels in this already impressive city. Designed by none other than King Mohammad VI himself, so rest you can rest assured the following references to royal-worthy splendour are not thrown around flippantly.

Hidden away just a stone’s throw away from Marrakech’s ancient city walls, something very special awaits you, but you have to find it first. So well hidden is the Royal Mansour it is virtually invisible until you pass the security cordon, after which the hotel announces it presence with a triumphant entrance arc. Modelled on Marrakech’s signature city gate, it’s an impressive start and it only gets better from here on in. Palatial in both its proportions and grandeur, the Royal Mansour is an ornamental city within a city, comprising of 53 individual riads, ranging from 1 to 3 Bedrooms offerings, where space and privacy are very much the order of the day.

The grand approach 

The Royal Mansours interiors are undoubtedly a feast for the eyes, standing as a testament to the incredible craftsmanship Morocco has to offer. A staggering 1,500 of the country’s finest artisans put their skills to excellent use bringing this vision to reality. Look out for the refined zellij (geometric mosaics – essentially Instagram like-bait so snap away), the carved cedar wood installations and ornate stuccowork. Magpies among you will rejoice, as it is said a huge 85% of the hotel is hand painted in gold and silver. A final flourish is added by rich damask fabrics and palette cleansers of lush greenery, highlighted by vast chandeliers by the dozen. Minimalists need not check in, this is maximalist grandeur done right.

Interior courtyards in the Royal Mansour riads

Interior courtyards in the Royal Mansour riads

For those not familiar with the term riad, it is the term reserved for a traditional Moroccan house (or in this case palace) with an interior garden or courtyard. Rather than a room off a corridor in typical hotel style, each riad is a self-contained home over 3 stories, ensuring optimal space and privacy.

From your own private entrance, your riad opens onto a beautifully tiled courtyard, with a sound track provided by the idyllic trickle of running water from a fountain, which is often frequented by birds taking a dip in the morning. This leads you into a vast living area fitted with every mod con you could hope for and onto the second floor where you will find regal bedrooms and marble clad bathrooms. And last but not least, the riads crowning glory, the ochre rooftop. Your own private oasis, complete with refreshing plunge pool, perfect for sunbathing by day whilst taking in the city views. As the sunsets, ask your attendant to light the wood burner whilst you watch the city begin to sparkle with the evening’s activities.

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