Morocco

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European Southern Observatory/CC BY 2.0

 

Palais Namaskar
Palais Namaskar is the Oetker Collection’s first venture outside of Europe.



From rich color palettes and frenetic bazaars to fragrant spices, Morocco is a veritable feast for the senses. It’s also a destination that has embraced the luxury lifestyle and knows how to do it right. With a wealth of five-star accommodations (and more opening all the time), it may be daunting to pick the right spot for your ultra-elite clients. We’ve narrowed down the search here.

The new Four Seasons Resort Marrakech is a classic option for your chic travelers. To allow them to arrive in absolute style, have the hotel pick them up from Marrakech-Menara Airport (just 15 minutes away) in a Rolls-Royce Ghost. Guests are also entitled to private airport VIP lounge service and luggage handling, along with a chauffeur on hand before clearing customs. That’s one way to beat the lines.

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On the Town

Looking for a buzzing night scene in Marrakech? Head out to Djellabar, the latest venue from Paris nightlife and music guru Claude Challe (of Buddha Bar fame). This hot spot sits in a former wedding hall that dates back to the 1940s. We hear it’s decked out with portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Nelson Mandela and Bob Marley—each wearing the Moroccan fez, which speaks to its retro-chic vibe. The restaurant serves up its twist on Moroccan dishes with Asian accents, affectionately known as “Marock’n Roll.”

 

Top rooms in the house are the Royal Villa, the Presidential Suites and the Grand Pavilion Suites. But if it’s views you’re after, say of the Atlas Mountains and the Menara Gardens, your best bet is the Premier Rooms.

No doubt one of the greatest assets at this resort is its 17,000-square-foot spa with 15 treatment rooms (and one private pavilion for couples). Not to be missed is the One Thousand and One Nights ritual, which begins with a smoke incense ritual followed by a saffron, garnet and rose scrub, and an orange flower body wrap and hair mask.

Note: It is best to make spa reservations a week in advance. Reach out to Spa Manager Helene Almgren ([email protected]; 011-212-524-359-240) if you need assistance sorting through the pampering options.

The resort has a range of dining options, but we say the crème de la crème is Bleu d’Orange, the Italian-style eatery. The restaurant can accommodate 50 diners indoors and 30 alfresco. There are also two private dining rooms. Tip: Suggest the seafood ravioli with zucchini and mint. We hear from Chef Francesco Montano that this dish is killer.

Other dining options include Solano, the international breakfast buffet; and Azzera Grill, which serves casual poolside fare.

Beyond the hotel, Marrakech is a posh playground for culture seekers. VIPs should make note that Concierge Supervisor Jinan Ait Ali Oumansour ([email protected]; 011-212-524-359-261) is on hand to tend to all over-the-top needs. The concierge team provides unique tailored services through “pure life” experiences, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the local culture. Some of these experiences include an evening in the heart of Marrakech, when the city glows with a thousand and one lanterns; or a day dedicated to the discovery of Essaouira, the region of former Mogador. Other experiences include a hot air balloon flight over Marrakech or a private jet excursion around the country.

 

Advisor Insight:

Victoria Upchurch with Brownell Travel says, “There are many ways to see Morocco. I prefer driving as you get to see the country and people. I’ve arranged helicopters for clients, off-road jeeps, quad motor bikes and hiking trips.”

She continues, “First, I love Fez. I absolutely feel if you do nothing else you should visit Fez. I put clients at the Riad Maison Bleue and then arrange a private guide to take them through Medina. This is like a walk back in time with the winding labyrinth of alleys, women still in traditional veils, merchants trying to interest you in their wares—the sites, smells and sounds are nothing like you will find anywhere else.”

 

Good to know: Four Seasons Resort Marrakech is pet-friendly.

In April, the Oetker Collection (think Hotel Le Bristol in Paris) made its first foray outside of Europe with the opening of Palais Namaskar in Marrakech. The desert resort is surrounded by landscaped gardens and pools, and includes an opulent 7,000-square-foot spa.

Most popular thus far are its Superior Rooms, specifically Nos. 101, 108, 112, 114, 121 and 125. However, for over-the-top luxury, we suggest booking Villa Namaskar, Mountain Palace or Water Palace, all of which have private butler services. These accommodations are three or four bedrooms, with a large dining room, private kitchen, private garden and pool.
For reservations reach out to Reservations and Revenue manager Christof Burgbacher ([email protected]; 011-212-0-524-299-800).

Cool Touch: The hotel’s greatest perk is its 14-seat Falcon 900 LX jet, which is decked out with a dining table, king-size bed and sound system. The private jet takes guests on a 30-minute flight into Casablanca, but we also hear it can be charted for trips to New York, Moscow or Dubai. Reach out to Burgbacher to arrange this service for VIPs.

Want more? The hotel provides “Guest Experience” services in lieu of a concierge team. This group of individuals is on hand to answer any request, such as excursions via private helicopter to the desert for a luxury lunch in the middle of the dunes. Contact Guest Experience Manager Amine Bastoun ([email protected]; 011-212- 0-524-299-800) with queries.

The hotel’s 7,000-square-foot spa has four treatment rooms and two double VIP rooms. The most requested treatment is the Namaskar Signature Massage (think one hour of deep relaxation therapy, combining massage techniques from head to toe). To arrange spa services, contact Director of Spa and Wellness Anjana Nicolas ([email protected]; 011-212-0-524-299-800).

Four Seasons Resort Marrakech
Four Seasons Resort Marrakech is a classic option for guests craving luxury.

In the evening, guests can make their way to the No mad Bar for a sunset cocktail before dining on the terrace around the main pool at Le Namaskar restaurant. Tip: Recommend the red tuna “Rossini style.” Note: Chef Antoine Perray can also accommodate vegetarian requests. To book the best seat in the house, reach out to Restaurant Manager Romaric Blanvillain ([email protected]; 011-212-0-524-299-800).

Taj Hotels has a new hotel on the horizon in Morocco, as well. Taj Palace Marrakech, upon soft opening in July and grand opening in September, will be just 30 minutes from Marrakech-Menara Airport. Guests arriving by helicopter can land at the resort.

Taj Palace Marrakech
Taj Palace Marrakech has a grand opening slated for September.

When staying at the palace, book the three-bedroom Royal Suite, which has views of the Atlas Mountains. The room also includes a 5,380-square-foot terrace. For bookings, reach out to Director of Sales Eva Sitarz ([email protected]).

Several dining experiences will be available, but we are most excited for Mantra, the Pan-Asian restaurant.

For VIP experiences, reach out to Chief Concierge Maria Trimoulla ([email protected]), who has been known to organize a private lunch in the Sahara desert with a helicopter transfer.

The Jiva Grande Spa will be one of the only hotel spas in Morocco to offer Ayurvedic treatments.

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