When you think of Marrakech, images of burnt orange spices and heat conjure up an exotic and exciting atmosphere, so imagine what it must be like to stay in a royal palace on your vacation!
There are three royal palaces in Marrakech that still belong to the royal family, the Royal Palace (Dar al-Makhzen) and Badi Palace, and the late 19th century Bahia Palace. Only Dar al-Makhzen remains a private residence actively used by the royal family; the others are kept for state occasions and tourist attractions.
Morrocan palaces became the preserve of the wealthy and political elite between the 19th and 20th centuries, preserved for posterity. When no longer required by the owners, they have become museums, consulates, luxurious hotels, and vacation hideaways.
Read on to experience some of the most luxurious places to stay in Marrakech, starting with the Royal Mansour.
1. Royal Mansour
Royal Mansour took three years to build, finally opening in 2010. It contains over 1.5 hectares of manicured gardens, pools, and day pavilions. Each guest stays in an individual riad around a medina, giving the impression of a medina within a medina.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco owns this regal palace and had the property designed to his high standards as a magnificent example of Moorish luxury. The riads are set over three floors and boast opulent marbles, fine silks, crystals, all with a modern twist.
The vast landscaped gardens are home to 53 luxurious riads, each one different from the other. Privacy is vital as this palace hideaway is popular with those who require 100% anonymity.
There are many outstanding features at the hotel including a sumptuous outdoor pool with a traditional spa and hammam.
The three-Michelin-star restaurants are a must, with the iconic La Grande Table Marocaine serving up fine dining. Guests can enjoy Italian flavors at Sesamo. At the same time, La Table offers all-day dining and Asian dishes at open-air Le Jardin.
2. Palais Namaskar
The Palais Namaskar is known locally as the palace of palms; this secluded sanctuary is located in the desert-and-palm-grove Palmeraie region. Marrakech is 25 minutes away, which seems like a world away when inside the 12-acre compound.
There are three palaces situated within the grounds, and all feature luxurious accommodation and up-to-the-minute facilities. The Pool Palace has a gold dome, and its lagoon-filled layout includes multiple en-suite bedrooms, each with a private plunge pool and a 24-hour butler service to ensure guests can live like royalty every minute of their stay.
Silent marble walkways float over tranquil blue reflecting pools, connecting the rooms and palaces within the resort. Expect a riot of flowering bushes, olive trees, and palm trees home to Moorish-style archways protecting the guest from prying eyes and reality checks during their stay.
3. 100-Year-Old La Mamounia
La Mamounia magically reproduces Marrakech Medina’s narrow streets. Behind the characteristic wooden doors that protect our guests’ privacy lies three riads, 135 rooms, 71 suites, where Moroccan craftsmanship is celebrated in all its splendor, alongside impeccable contemporary decoration.
What’s different from the other palaces, La Mamounia houses a casino, considered a veritable institution. The Grand Casino has a prestigious history and considers itself to be on-par with its fashionable relative Casino de Monte-Carlo.
The Grand Casino offers elegant decoration and the wealth of its offer in Table Games and Slot Machines; the Grand Casino La Mamounia has established itself as the premier venue for players from all backgrounds.
If gambling is not your thing, a visit to the Menara Gardens is a must to preserve the body and soul. The gardens are located to the west of the old city and centered around an extensive reservoir.
4. The Menara Gardens
Abd al-Mu’min created the garden in the 12th century, the reservoir and gardens have been restored and replanted over the centuries and often pictured as a backdrop to the Atlas Mountains; the iconic pavilion dates from the reign of Sultan Muhammad, 1870, although the remains of earlier structures have been found on the site.
The gardens are a tourist attraction, and a modern open-air theater sits on the edge of the reservoir where guests can enjoy plays and concerts.
5. Majorelle Garden
Art lovers rejoice at the Majorelle Garden site, one time the home of the landscape painter Jacques Majorelle. The house called Villa Oasis was bought by the designer, Yves Saint Laurent, a luxury hideaway; the house features a memorial water feature and the Berber Museum.
The iconic dark blue building is famous; the garden has been open to the public since 1947, with an extensive collection of plants that date back to the 1920s. When Saint Laurent and his life partner Pierre Bergé bought the property in 1980, they continued to keep the public’s gardens open.
Rumors that have circulated for many years that the Majorelle Gardens and Villa Oasis may become a hotel are unfounded. The plan is to extend the public’s open area to include workshops, cafes, and luxury gift shops.
Choosing the best vacation is challenging, but no matter where you decide to stay, a visit to Marrakech is a life-changing experience, a trip you’re unlikely ever to forget.