La Mamounia Marrakech: Staying in the Best Hotel in the World

‘Best Hotel in North Africa,’ ‘Best Hotel in Africa,’ and yes, even ‘Best Hotel in the World.’ The five-star hotel La Mamounia in Marrakech has garnered numerous awards over the years. Following its centenary facelift last year, the ‘Grande Dame de Marrakech’ is poised to receive even more accolades. We explored why guests feel like royalty at La Mamounia.

Text by Anja Van Der Borght – Photos by La Mamounia/Y. Hann/WOWwatchers

Alle Magistrale, La Mamounia Hotel, Marrakech, Morocco. Photo by Alan Keohane for La Mamounia
La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco. Photo by Alan Keohane for La Mamounia.

The history of La Mamounia dates back to the 18th century. Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah had a tradition of gifting each of his marrying sons an estate. His four sons lent their names to the gardens they received. These ‘arsats’ are still known today, but only arsat Al Mamoun, belonging to Prince Mamoun, would achieve fame. Two centuries later, La Mamounia was established on this 13-hectare property. While the botanical Majorelle Garden, owned by the late French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, is a must-see for Marrakech visitors, the garden of La Mamounia is equally enchanting. It’s a delight to seek refreshment among the unique flora and conclude with a pastry in the newly renovated Le Salon de Thé or the Galerie Majorelle. Pierre Hermé, named the best pastry chef in the world in 2016, oversees both locations, crafting savory and sweet offerings.

Moroccan Restaurant, La Mamounia Hotel, Marrakech, Morocco. Photo by Alan Keohane for La Mamounia
L’Asiatique par Saint Georges
L’Italien at Mamounia Hotel.
Alle Magistrale, La Mamounia Hotel, Marrakech, Morocco. Photo by Alan Keohane for La Mamounia

Feeling Like Royalty
Over the years, numerous celebrities have stayed at La Mamounia. Winston Churchill loved to paint in the gardens. Later, Marcello Mastroianni, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and other showbiz stars like Nicole Kidman, Richard Gere, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon, and Sophie Marceau followed. The numerous black-and-white photos on the ‘wall of fame’ in the new Le Salon D’Honneur are a testament to their visits. As we walk through the hotel’s beautiful corridors, we feel a bit like Catherine Deneuve. She likely settled into her suite’s soft pillows on the bed or enjoyed the garden view and exotic bird songs from a balcony chair. La Mamounia enchants with its atmosphere, aura, nobility, and elegance. The immense pool area is delightful, but the 2500 m² spa is also highly recommended. Voted the best city spa in the world, it offers a jacuzzi, anti-aging treatments with products from the prestigious Swiss brand Valmont, and soothing massages with refined marocMaroc products.

Swimming Pool La Mamounia.
Spa La Mamounia Hotel, Marrakech, Morocco. Photo by Alan Keohane for La Mamounia
Spa La Mamounia Hotel, Marrakech, Morocco. Photo by Alan Keohane for La Mamounia

The Renovation
Since its opening in 1923, La Mamounia has undergone several renovations to reconcile the location’s rich history with the demands of its owner, the Moroccan railway company. Last year’s renovation, designed by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku, required three months and 300 craftsmen. Alongside Le Salon d’Honneur, the reception, Les Alcôves, Le Pavillon de la Piscine, the Bar, and Le Bar Majorelle were completely renewed. The centerpiece is undoubtedly the ‘Chandelier du Centenaire,’ now dubbed the ‘Bijou de la Grande Dame.’ This colossal chandelier pays tribute to Moroccan arts and traditions as well as contemporary craftsmanship. Inspired by traditional ‘tamazight’ jewelry, the two chains in the room evoke the splendor of a Berber jewelry set, as imposing as its size and as enchanting as a dinner in the Moroccan restaurant Le Marocain. Highly recommended at L’Italien par Jean-Georges, one of the other restaurants, are the spicy tuna tartare and the crispy calamari with green jalapeño salsa. As delightful as the excellent service at La Mamounia. Here, you are pampered so much that the service alone is worth the visit. A coffee, a lunch, an aperitif, a hammam, or a stroll in the gardens? Everyone should visit La Mamounia at least once in their lifetime!

More Information

Dining in Dar Cherifa, the oldest riad in Marraekech.

Restaurant Dar Cherifa: Dining in the oldest riad in Marrakech. Majorelle Garden:

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