HOTEL REVIEW: Why La Mamounia deserves the ‘world’s best hotel’ crown

HOTEL REVIEW: Why La Mamounia deserves the ‘world’s best hotel’ crown

It was Winston Churchill’s favourite place to stay in Marrakech – a destination he has described as “the most lovely spot in the whole world”.
Royalty and celebrities alike have gathered the legendary La Mamounia hotel in the heart of the imperial city ever since, and still do (the hotel was also favoured by notorious ‘fake heiress’ Anna Delvey). 

But the best part is, in spite of its hallowed history, it is not at all pretentious – and guests are made to feel special no matter who they are. 

With numerous awards under its belt, including being voted Best Hotel in the World in 2021 by Conde Nast Traveler, the property is imbued with an atmosphere that combines history with enchantment and luxury. 

Situated on the edge of the walls of the old city of Marrakech, La Mamounia is named after its legendary 200-year-old gardens, originally given as a wedding gift to Prince Moulay Mamoun by his father, King Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, back in the 18th century. Since its opening in 1923, it has been symbolic of traditional Moroccan hospitality and a classic example of the great age of grand hotels. 

While conveniently located close to many of the city’s major attractions, the hotel feels like a tranquil oasis of calm, especially after spending hours exploring the bustling and chaotic markets in the medina. 

A recent renovation, led by acclaimed interior designer Jacques Garcia, has left the 207-room hotel more luxurious than ever. Intricate zellige tile work, carved and painted cedar wood, stretches of marble, and a carefully curated collection of antique and modern furnishings blend Moroccan and Art Deco style to recreate the luxurious mood of the historic palaces.

Garcia’s trademark style offers the perfect accompaniment to the impressive Moorish architecture and the historic gardens noted for its ancient olive groves, tall palms, and wide array of colourful flora. 

Walking through the hotel feels like discovering an art gallery at every turn, as the hotel is dedicated to showcasing and supporting modern art and photography.
Guest rooms are spacious, with amenities including a complimentary bottle of local wine.

La Mamounia has some of the best dining options Marrakech has to offer. Three signature restaurants —including one dedicated to Churchill— are headed by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (L’Italien par Jean-Georges and L’Asiatique par Jean-George), Chef Rachid Agouray (Le Marocain) and renownd pastry chef, Pierre Hermé. A vegetable garden ensures only the freshest ingredients are used in the kitchens. 

The hotel is also home to the opulent 27,000 sq foot La Mamounia Spa. Clad in marble and mosaic, the spa features a variety of hammams and several outdoor massage beds set in a picture-perfect courtyard as well as one of the most photogenic swimming pools ever. Treatments here incorporate local rituals and ingredients. 

With a style of service that is not the slightest bit imposing, and the carefully curated design throughout, La Mamounia inspires all the senses – visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and taste.  

The hotel even has a signature scent, a take home sample of which is given to each guest when leaving – an ideal way to remember a truly exceptional hotel by. 

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