The Rebirth of a Legend
It's been around for 86 years now, and has seen all kinds of international royalty and jetsetters pass through its legendary walls. The Stones, Tom Cruise and Charlie Chaplin have all visited, Winston Churchill called it 'the most lovely spot in the whole world', and Alfred Hitchcock chose it as a location for The Man Who Knew Too Much, with James Stewart and Doris Day. It's called La Mamounia, it's situated on the edge of the walls of old Marrakech, and it's about to reopen its Moorish doors after a three-year restoration project.
In September, the results of the extensive remodelling by interior designer Jacques Garcia will be unveiled. But we were lucky enough to get hold of some advance photographs, and it looks pretty dazzling. The hotel has been expanded to 136 stylish guest rooms, 71 suites, and three amazing riads each with three bedrooms, private terraces, Moroccan salons and a private swimming pool. There will also be a spa, three restaurants (headed by two Michelin-starred chefs), five bars, and, of course, its famous 200-year-old gardens.
Garcia describes it as 'reminiscent of a far away time and place. La Mamounia evokes a modern day fairytale. Such a haven is often sought after but rarely found. Combining the best the modern world has to offer with traditional values, La Mamounia provides an experience so unique, it becomes an integral part of the myth that defines it.'
The new La Mamounia is living on a grand scale, a nod back in time to the golden age of grand hotels, brought gloriously up to date. RM
Images: La Mamounia