Royal Mansour Marrakech expands its vision of beautiful living
If Royal Mansour Marrakech is a showcase for the best of Morocco, it is also, as hotel director Jean-Claude Messant likes to point out, a window open onto a future in which nothing is fixed – a magical place where life and emotions are created anew every day. It is in this spirit that a new world is coming to life at Le Royal Mansour Marrakech. Traditional, because it embodies the art of living among Moroccan gardens, their luxuriant greenery and subtle scents; contemporary, because it combines inventive design with Berber soul. Here, guests will be amazed by the extraordinary creativity of the cuisine, and delight in a new musical experience.
Le jardin is the creation of the spanish landscape designer luis Vallejo. it covers one and a half hectares and is inspired by traditional gardens and agrarian landscapes of marrakech
Inside the battlements of Marrakech, in the western part of the medina, stands Royal Mansour Marrakech. The Jemaa el Fna square and Koutoubia Mosque are all nearby. The newly extended gardens, to the south of the hotel, cover one and a half hectares. The driveway now begins at the reopened Bab el Makhzen, bordering the new grounds and ending up in front of the hotel entrance. The former driveway has been incorporated into the garden, which is a veritable oasis, making the hotel and its riads an ever more expansive haven of peace. Its intimate walkways twisting and turning among the greenery, the hotel’s medina is a closely knit space, which now opens up onto a lush landscaped terrain. Luis Vallejo, who devised every shape, colour and scent, didn’t only draw inspiration from the famed gardens of Marrakech and the traditional agrarian landscapes of Morocco. This landscape gardener has a huge respect for nature, and is heir to a Spanish horticultural tradition going back centuries. At Royal Mansour Marrakech he stays faithful to the tradition of the Arab-Andalusian garden as a wellspring of life and source of spiritual nourishment. His work extends beyond the garden, taking in landscape, architecture, urbanism and environment. Since 1986, Luis Vallejo has gathered around him a superb team of agronomists, civil engineers, botanists and forestry engineers to form Landscape Studio Luis Vallejo. Their combined expertise results in developments that integrate seamlessly into their environments.
The various elements of the new gardens work together beautifully, revealing the beauty not only of the planting but also of the spaces. A grid of olive trees recalls the structure of historic gardens such as the Ménara and the Agdal, forming the backbone of the garden, and lending a sense of unity.
Palm groves stand tall, creating, as in the hotel medina, shady zones or sun-dappled clearings. Date palms rise above the ramparts, visible from the exterior and providing a link with the city outside.
In the lower part of the garden, parterres segue into the olive trees. Their geometric patchwork of greenery recalls the look of traditional agriculture, and the ponds ancient systems of irrigation. From season to season, all along the walkways, nothing is more evocative of Morocco than the perfumed daturas, the scent of orange-flower and, as night falls, the fragrance of night-blooming jasmine.
Sandy tones soften the sun’s vitality by the swimming pool
The gardens, swimming pool and restaurant are open to both guests of the hotel and day visitors. As a centrepiece, the swimming pool, 30 metres long and 20 metres wide; around it, a sun deck and shaded zones, furnished with comfortable, contemporary loungers. Hues of dove grey, rosy beige and burnt sienna adorn the bottom of the swimming pool, furniture and beach towels. Under the restaurant terrace pergolas, orange chairs provide a pop of contrasting colour.
Spend a day in a poolside PAVILION
Royal Mansour Marrakech is offering quite a new experience: a poolside pavilion, just a step across the garden. Be a nomad for a day, and relax in the sort of atmosphere you’d expect if you invited friends for lunch. Seven poolside pavilions, from 45sq/m to 80sq/m, each have a delightful main sitting room, opening onto a poolside terrace, decorated in a style that is resolutely contemporary, minimal, simple.
Leading designers have created furniture perfectly suited to a day by the water’s edge. The effect is contemporary, marrying understated elegance with comfort and lightness, and a nod to traditional Berber style. Crafted motifs on a lamp or a table leg recall the symmetrical Tatoui floor patterns so characteristic of Moroccan artisanship. The walls are finished with a rammed earth effect, and floors covered with carpets and pouffes. Royal Mansour Marrakech is known for its superb art collections, and not least its fine carpets: far more than mere decorative elements, these are unique artworks born of the creativity of generations of Berber women, who knew how to incorporate symbolic abstractions in their weaving and, in turn, inspired a generation of contemporary artists.
Royal Mansour Marrakech never forgets its junior guests. The Kids’ Club stands apart from the relaxation areas, so that children can play freely without disturbing the calm of the gardens.
invents 60 new recipes celebrating the great cuisines of the world
With Le Jardin, Yannick Alléno opens Royal Mansour Marrakech’s fourth restaurant.
The much-garlanded chef always manages to amaze with his creativity: on this occasion he finds inspiration in the writings of the great Moroccan voyager of the 14th century, Ibn Battuta, who travelled the Spice and Silk Roads and traced his own Fire Road, bringing coal back to Morocco. He introduced the new technique of slow cooking to Marrakech, deploying the prized new fuel that never went out! Yannick Alléno, fascinated by cooking techniques old and new, was thus inspired to revisit the ancient diptych of the raw and the cooked.
Guests are introduced to these influences via Chef Alléno’s brilliant ways of sourcing and preparing meats, handling shellfish, slow cooking garden vegetables, preparing sushi, sashimi and ceviche, and marrying sweet and savoury flavours. A glimpse of the menu will reveal langoustine tartare with gem lettuce softened in soya; spiced tuna sashimi; raw, cooked and fried artichokes; sugar-crusted apricot on herb and orange tabouleh; and confit pumpkin with sweet spices and lemongrass tea.
Conviviality and style in the bar, every hour of the day
The elegant scene
The elegant scene in the bar evolves as the day wears on. In the mornings, a bountiful larder, an orchard, a cornucopia laid out for breakfast. An ingenious design feature sees the decor change at noon to celebrate the diversity of world cuisines, while an ice cream counter gives the restaurant’s pâtissier-glacier a place to create thrilling treats as diners watch. Later, as the sun sets, the elegance of this classic bar provides a backdrop to a lively “happy hour”, when a fun tapas atmosphere prevails.
Béatrice Ardisson creates a new musical universe for "Marrakech Island"
In order to create a new musical identity for the gardens, the directors of Royal Mansour Marrakech once again turned to the musical curator Béatrice Ardisson. She sees this new addition to the hotel as an imaginary island floating in the heart of Marrakech, with a seaside atmosphere. For the shores of "Marrakech Island", Béatrice has selected music that evokes the world’s most iconic places. In Brazil, on tropical islands, among the coastal idylls of Africa and Asia, and in Mediterranean coves, she has found rhythms that charm every hour spent around the pool, in the garden and beneath the restaurant’s pergolas. Calm light-heartedness in the morning, idle afternoons, then happy hour and romantic or wild evenings. Selected sound effects add to the musical soundtrack, creating a wholly original sonic world.
Le Jardin, the swimming pool and the restaurant will open in autumn 2016