A trip to Morocco is incomplete without a visit to the opulent Royal Mansour, a Moorish spa resort designed by King Mohammed VI. Whether it’s to stay in one of the 53 beautiful Riads, dine at Le Jardin or indulge in a signature spa journey, experiencing this exceptional property is a must. Founder of Compare Retreats, Dervla Louli Musgrave explores the award-winning hotel that boasts one of the most decadent spas in the world.
Royal Mansour is located on the eastern edge of Hivernage, fifteen minutes from Marrakech airport and just five minutes away from Djemaa El Fna (the main city square). The serene medina within a medina is set upon three and a half hectares of perfectly landscaped Moorish gardens and hidden behind an impressive entrance that echoes the design of Marrakech’s city gates. A five-minute taxi ride will have you at the heart of the city if you wish to shop, dine and visit famous attractions. Airport collection is included in room rates, and guests are greeted upon arrival and whisked through customs and security to the hotel’s fleet of cars.
Over 1,500 leading artisans in the region were commissioned over three years by the King to create the lavish display of craftsmanship seen across every inch of the property. Stuccowork, intricate mosaic known as Zellij, traditional cedar wood, sculpted Tadelakt plasterwork, and ornate brass lighting are cleverly combined symmetrically in an incredible display of beauty and heritage. The light-filled spa, three restaurants, fitness centre, indoor and outdoor pools, kids club and beautifully landscaped gardens are perfect excuses never to leave the family and pet-friendly property. The blue room is a personal favourite in the property, located just left of the main entrance and the kaftans sold in the hotel boutique are the most beautiful in Marrakech.
Each of the 53 palatial private riads spans across three floors and features one to four bedrooms. Colourful mosaics, custom-made furniture, private gardens, intricate silk and brocade fabrics, and contemporary art are found within each one. The courtyard, living and dining areas are on the ground floor, and bedrooms and bathrooms are on the first floor. marocMaroc toiletries deck the shelves of the beautifully lit bathrooms, stained glass adorns windows, and there are silk, tassels, mother-of-pearl and curiosities everywhere you look.
A pool and fireplace can be found on the rooftop, and the roof automatically closes at the first drop of rain so that you can enjoy the views of the city regardless of the weather. There’s a 24-hour butler service, room service, valets and maid service available, and service is seamless thanks to a discreet series of tunnels that staff use underneath the property.
Three Michelin-star chef Yannic Alleno oversees the four restaurants on site that all excel in different areas. La Table Francaise focuses on French gourmet cuisine, Grande Table Marocaine concentrates on Moroccan delicacies, La Table serves simple, yet premium produce and the relatively new Le Jardin offers Asian-inspired dishes and more laid-back delicious fare. All dietary preferences can be catered for at every restaurant, which is perfect for health-conscious guests like me.
Le Jardin was my favourite restaurant for nutrient-dense and interesting dishes during the day. The menu focuses on slow-coal cooking techniques and a combination of ‘fire’ and raw choices. Tuna tataki, hay-baked vegetables, royal sea-bream ceviche, celery with seaweed jam and apple sun with cinnamon are a few examples that I really enjoyed. For something light, the Tea Lounge offers smoothies, healthy cocktails, fresh fruit juice, teas and snacks.
The mint tea here is the best in Marrakech but make sure to ask for sugar on the side if you don’t like yours sweet. Dinner on your private rooftop next to a roaring fire is highly recommended for an intimate evening in.
The white, light-filled white spa is an interior design dream set over three floors in a 2,500 square metre building. The journey-like approach encourages guests to spend time getting lost and chilling out between treatments that use marocMaroc, Sisley and Chanel products. There are many wellness facilities on site including beautiful indoor and outdoor pools, fitness and gymnastics facilities, hair salon, Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez, sauna and steam rooms, relaxation pods, treatment rooms, suites, spa boutique and a café—but it is the state-of-the-art hammam with hot, mild and cold rooms, which is the main attraction.
The treatment menu is extensive with a full selection of facials, massages, hammam experiences, body therapies, and Asian specialities to choose from. All of the treatments are exceptional, and the hammam experiences are a signature of the spa. The most indulgent and a must-try is the Hammam Lumière sur le corps which uses a combination of heavenly-smelling marocMaroc products during a comprehensive hammam ritual and cabin Ceremonial massage. It was the most incredible wellness ritual I have ever experienced and wished it never ended. Knots that had been in my back for years were worked away effortlessly, and my skin was visibly glowing when I left the spa. I bought all of the marocMaroc products used in the spa boutique as a token to take home, and they’re now some of my beauty staples.
You will be forgiven for never wanting to leave Royal Mansour or the sensational spa. Expect to feel like royalty as you check out and to dream about the signature hammam experience and hay-baked vegetables until your next visit.
To book your trip to Royal Mansour today, contact our travel concierge team directly at [email protected].
Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti, 40 000, Marrakech, Morocco | royalmansour.com