TOP SUITES OF MOROCCO - Elite Traveler

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TOP SUITES OF MOROCCO - Elite Traveler

E L I T E R E C O M M E N D S

TOP SUITES OF MOROCCO

Since Morocco’s King Mohammed VI made tourism

a top national priority a decade ago, the number of

visitors to the North African kingdom has increased

almost twofold and is expected to reach 18 million

in 2020. This staggering growth has given the elite

traveler more choices than ever. Here are the best

suites the country has to offer, both new and old, from

the imperial city of Fez to decadent desert oases to the

Atlas Mountains and Marrakech.

BY SCOTT GOETZ

KASBAH OF AIT-BEN-HADDOU / MOROCCO


TOP SUITES

BEDROOM / ROYAL APARTMENT

SOFITEL FÈS PALAIS JAMAÏ

ROYAL APARTMENT

Key selling points | Gilded carved cedar wood ceilings soar

over this 19th century palace, once the original residence

of the Grand Vizir. Priceless, handcrafted zellige tilework

bedecks the floors and walls, while silk draperies frame a

grand window overlooking the gardens and medina of Fez.

Standout service | At turndown, carpeted stairs are placed

next to the gold and silver canopy bed to ease tired travelers

to slumber in sultan style.

Style | Historic Arab-Moorish living, overseen by the Grand

Vizir of Jamaï, 1876

Special amenities | Crystal chandeliers, flat-screen TV, DVD

player, Bose audio system, Hermès bath amenities

Square footage | 5,769

Number of rooms in suite | Three

Number of bathrooms | Two

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 142, including

19 suites

Who’s slept here? | Hillary Clinton, Jacques Chirac, Bono

Nightly rate | $2,690

Location | Bab Guissa, Fez

Contact | General Manager Jolanda Sadni Ziane,

212-535-634-331; jolanda.sadni@sofitel.com;

www.sofitel-fes-palaisjamai.com

RIAD FÈS

LIVING AREA / SUITE ROYALE

MASTER BEDROOM / SUITE ROYALE

SUITE ROYALE

Key selling points | This Relais & Châteaux riad’s two-floor

suite features Fez’s signature architecture, with carved

wooden ceilings that top a jewel-like master bedroom.

Upstairs, a living room opens onto a rooftop terrace with

unobstructed views of the city’s medina.

Standout service | A guest requested a musician and

private waiter for a proposal dinner. When rain fell, staff

removed the furniture from the living room and covered the

floor with rose petals and candles.

Style | Traditional Moroccan, by owner/architect Anis

Sefrioui, 2008

Special amenities | Locally crafted bath amenities including

a black mud scrub, 39-inch satellite TV, DVD player,

Nespresso machine, iPod docking station

Square footage | 968

Number of rooms in suite | Two

Number of bathrooms | One

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 26 suites

Who’s slept here? | Actress Sigourney Weaver, Indian royalty

Nightly rate | From $615

Location | 5 Derb Ben Slimane Zerbtana, Fez

Contact | General Manager Awa Diakhate, 212-664-898-682;

riadfes@relaischateaux.com; www.riadfes.com


TOP SUITES

BEDROOM / VILLA D’ARGENT

DAR AHLAM

VILLA D’ARGENT

Key selling points | Set in an organic garden, this twobedroom

suite offers a private hideaway between the High

Atlas and Sahara. Palm trees and the towering main kasbah

can be viewed from the courtyard’s plunge pool—the perfect

place to sip Moroccan wine from the suite’s mini-cellar.

Standout service | When former guest Ted Turner mentioned

that his home had big TVs (the suite had none), staff drove

five hours to find one and by evening, it was installed.

Style | Berber chic, by Thierry Teyssier, 2004

Special amenities | Custom embroidered linens, two fireplaces

with a wood menu for burning, Maisons des Rêves bath

amenities, private butler service

Square footage | 2,153

Number of rooms in suite | Two

Number of bathrooms | One

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 12, including three villas

Who’s slept here? | Harvey Keitel, Karolina Kurkova, actress

Adriana Karembeu

Nightly rate | From $1,232

Location | Douar Oulad Cheik Ali, Skoura, Region of Ouarzazate

Contact | Director of Operations Hicham Hraïd-Rochette,

33-607-362-226; hhr@maisonsdesreves.com;

www.maisonsdesreves.com

LIVING AREA / RIAD D’HONNEUR

ROOF TERRACE / RIAD D’HONNEUR

ROYAL MANSOUR MARRAKECH

RIAD D’HONNEUR

Key selling points | This top accommodation—which

took three-and-a-half years and 1,800 workers a day to

construct—sets a new standard of luxury. The sprawling

18-room riad has three floors surrounding a central courtyard

with an electric retractable roof. Entertain in the screening

room, dine on delicacies prepared in the riad’s full restaurant

kitchen or relax on the rooftop terrace.

Standout service | The hotel arranged a private helicopter to

Essaouira for a surprise picnic under a tent.

Style | Exquisite Moroccan artistry, by 3BIS, 2010

Special amenities | Full-sized marocMaroc bath amenities,

D. Porthault linens, interior wrought iron elevator, touch

panel controls for light, air conditioning, volume and roof

Square footage | 19,375

Number of rooms in suite | 18

Number of bathrooms | Four and two half-baths

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 53 riads

Who’s slept here? | Top politicians, CEOs and designers

Nightly rate | $41,290

Location | Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti, Marrakech

Contact | General Manager Jean Pierre Chaumard,

212-529-808-080; jpchaumard@royalmansour.ma;

www.royalmansour.com


TOP SUITES

DINING ROOM / AL-HAMRA MAISON

AMANJENA

AL-HAMRA MAISON

Key selling points | Celebrities and socialites praise this

two-bedroom retreat for its minimalist take on Alhambran

architecture. The central living room, with two cavernous

domed bedrooms on either side, opens onto a walled garden,

large pool and lounging and dining areas.

Standout service | One guest bought out the resort for a

birthday bash that included music and a live baby camel.

Style | Moroccan tradition meets modern design, by Ed

Tuttle, 2007

Special amenities | Two fireplaces, butler service, Havaianas

for Amanjena sandals, argan oil and Moroccan candles,

Nespresso machine, La Maison de Blanc linens

Square footage | 12,163

Number of rooms in suite | Three

Number of bathrooms | Two and one half-bath

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 39, including 32

pavilions, six maisons and the Al-Hamra Maison

Who’s slept here? | Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Sienna

Miller, David and Victoria Beckham

Nightly rate | From $3,550

Location | Route de Ouarzazate, km 12, Marrakech

Contact | General Manager Miguel De Sousa, 212-524-399-000;

mguedesdesousa@amanresorts.com; www.amanresorts.com

VILLA DES ORANGERS

PATIO / PRIVATE RIAD

PRIVATE RIAD

Key selling points | Hidden within a cluster of converted

riads, this boutique hotel’s top offering delivers intimacy and

true medina character with two second-floor suites, living

area with fireplace, solarium and seductive patio and pool.

Standout service | Hotel staff can arrange a day trip to the

Moroccan desert by private plane, complete with a champagne

luncheon under a Berber tent.

Style | Contemporary Moroccan, by owners Pascal and

Veronique Beherec, 2008

Special amenities | Complimentary 4x4 airport transfers,

Les Sens de Marrakech bath amenities, African artifacts and

art, butler service, Chez Zoe linens, Samsung TVs and DVD

player, Bose iPod docking station

Square footage | 1,500

Number of rooms in suite | Four

Number of bathrooms | Two

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 27, including 21 suites

Who’s slept here? | A-list actresses and European CEOs

Nightly rate | From $1,935

Location | 6 rue Sidi Mimoun, Marrakech

Contact | General Manager Jean Paul Compagnon,

212-524-384-638; jpcompagnon@villadesorangers.com;

www.villadesorangers.com


TOP SUITES

BEDROOM / THE KSAR’S APARTMENT

KSAR CHAR-BAGH

THE KSAR’S APARTMENT

Key selling points | This Harim suite, situated high up in the

castle’s turret, boasts a spacious bathroom with a massive

marble bath and fireplace. Private stairs lead to a rooftop

terrace with heated pool and a Moroccan tent with views of

the surrounding palm grove.

Standout service | One guest requested seating for 16

guests in the hotel’s swimming pool for a formal dinner.

Style | 14th century Moorish architecture, by owners Nicole

and Patrick LeVillair, 2003

Special amenities | Embroidered Venetian linens, Bang &

Olufsen TV and DVD player, iPod docking station, traditional

oriental hooded bathrobes, personal library

Square footage | 1,050

Number of rooms in suite | Three

Number of bathrooms | One

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 14 suites

Who’s slept here? | Kylie Minogue, Sean Connery, Jeremy

Irons, Queen Sofia of Spain

Nightly rate | From $1,230

Location | Djnan Abiad, La Palmeraie, Marrakech

Contact | General Manager Nicole Grandsire-LeVillair,

212-524-329-244; nicole@ksarcharbagh.com;

www.ksarcharbagh.com

LA MAISON ARABE

LIVING AREA / CHEMS ROYAL SUITE

TERRACE / THE KSAR’S APARTMENT LIVING AREA / CHEMS ROYAL SUITE

CHEMS AND NAHAR (ROYAL SUITES)

Key selling points | These two triplex suites in the heart of

the medina can be connected by a private hallway and offer

rooftop terraces with Jacuzzis. Guests gain private access to

the owner’s country annex and pool, set in luxuriant gardens

adjoining the royal nursery.

Standout service | Hotel staff arranged a dinner under a rooftop

tent where Moroccan flautist Saïd Chraïbi serenaded guests.

Style | Timeless oriental elegance, by owner Prince Fabrizio

Ruspoli, 2009

Special amenities | La Maison de Blanc Egyptian cotton linens

and bathrobes, two plasma screen TVs, DVD player, Nectarome

bath amenities

Square footage | 950

Number of rooms in suite | Two

Number of bathrooms | Two

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 26, including 14 suites

Who’s slept here? | Fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier,

U.S. ambassadors

Nightly rate | From $709

Location | 1 Derb Assehbe, Bab Doukkala, Marrakech

Contact | General Managers Taoufik Ghaffouli and Nabila

Dakir, 212-524-387-010; direction@lamaisonarabe.com;

www.lamaisonarabe.com


TOP SUITES

LIVING AREA / LION SUITE

LA SULTANA MARRAKECH

LION SUITE

Key selling points | Cedar wood carvings cover the walls,

doors and windows of this majestic suite, which includes an

enormous sitting room fireplace flanked by two stone lions,

an opulent bathroom with Jacuzzi, marble columns and

crystal chandeliers and an outdoor covered terrace with

ornate plasterwork.

Standout service | One famous football player had monkeys,

henna painters, fire breathers and jugglers perform on the

private terrace for a special proposal.

Style | Moroccan fantasy, by La Sultana concept design, 2009

Special amenities | La Maison du Blanc Egyptian cotton

linens, Pioneer iPad station, two 42-inch Samsung LCD TVs,

artwork by Denis Wirth-Miller

Square footage | 1,000

Number of rooms in suite | Three

Number of bathrooms | Two

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 28, including 15 suites

Who’s slept here? | Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi,

the cast of The Real Housewives of New York City

Nightly rate | From $1,000

Location | 403 Rue de la Kasbah, Marrakech

Contact | VIP Hostess Imane Zkhiri, 212-524-388-008;

rp@lasultanahotels.com; www.lasultanahotels.com

LA MAMOUNIA

LIVING AREA / RIAD

RIAD

Key selling points | Located in the gardens of this regally

restored property, the three Riads offer a respite from the

hotel’s legendary see-and-be-seen atmosphere. Discreet

Moorish opulence defines the three bedrooms, dining room

and living area, while a rooftop terrace wraps around the

courtyard with private pool.

Standout service | Staff accommodated the special, ultraspecific

dietary needs of a guest’s beloved dog.

Style | Modern Moroccan glamour, by Jacques Garcia, 2009

Special amenities | Ozone swimming pool, VIP entrance and

in-riad check-in, open fireplace, Duravit sinks, Jacob Delafon

bath tubs, D. Porthault linens

Square footage | 7,534

Number of rooms in suite | Six

Number of bathrooms | Three

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 210, including 71

suites and three Riads

Who’s slept here? | Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston,

Gwyneth Paltrow, Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr

Nightly rate | $12,500

Location | Avenue Bab Jdid, Marrakech

Contact | General Manager Didier Picquot, 212-524-388-600;

dpicquot@mamounia.com; www.mamounia.com


TOP SUITES

LIVING AREA / ROYAL SUITE

TAJ PALACE MARRAKECH

ROYAL SUITE

Key selling points | Spanning the top floor of the palace wing

and offering panoramic views of the Atlas Mountains and

the lush gardens of the Palmeraie district, this regal suite

(to be unveiled, along with the rest of the hotel, this October)

boasts three bedrooms with private baths, a large salon,

terrace, lounge and meeting room. Interiors draw on a mix

of influences, from the noble Berber kasbahs of Morocco to

Ottoman architecture.

Standout service | The hotel will be home to a

40,000-square-foot ayurvedic Jiva Grande Spa.

Style | Exotic oriental splendor, by Stuart Church, 2011

Special amenities | Best-in-class Simmons mattresses,

Ploh bathrobes, 45-inch Samsung TV, DVD player

Square footage | 5,381

Number of rooms in suite | Five

Number of bathrooms | Three

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 161, including 26 suites

Who’s slept here? | Long before opening, the suite welcomed

the cast of Sex in the City 2 as the set of the ladies’ hotel in

Abu Dhabi

Nightly rate | Price available upon request

Location | Bab Atlas, Palmeraie, Marrakech

Contact | Reservations, (866) 969-1825; www.tajhotels.com

LIVING AREA / BERBER TENTED SUITE

POOL DECK / BERBER TENTED SUITE

KASBAH TAMADOT

BERBER TENTED SUITES

Key selling points | These six tented suites, nestled in the

Atlas Mountains and just five minutes from the main kasbah,

offer unmatched exclusivity. Desert touches blend with modern

accents to cast a seductive air, from the private heated

plunge pool to the white marble and mosaic bathroom.

Standout service | The F&B Manager sourced a 1998 Château

Margaux wine from King Mohammed VI’s wine cellar for a guest.

Style | Romantic escape, by Real Studios, 2008

Special amenities | Flat-screen LG TV, DVD player, Bose

sound system with iPod docking station, Nespresso machine,

Nectarome bath amenities

Square footage | 700

Number of rooms in suite | Two

Number of bathrooms | One

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 24, including six

Berber Tented Suites

Who’s slept here? | Owner Sir Richard Branson and family,

as well as many of Branson’s high-profile friends

Nightly rate | From $1,300

Location | BP 67, Asni

Contact | General Manager Camilla Guyatt,

212-524-368-200; camilla.guyatt@kasbahtamadot.virgin.com;

www.kasbahtamadot.virgin.com


TOP SUITES

BEDROOM / VILLA PRESTIGE

SOFITEL ESSAOUIRA MOGADOR GOLF & SPA

VILLA PRESTIGE

Key selling points | Golf fanatics and beachgoers alike

will enjoy this all-new two-bedroom suite, which offers a

contemporary twist on Moorish motifs with an airy, open feel,

bright colors and modern furniture made from exotic woods.

Standout service | Staffers arranged a five-course dinner,

accompanied by live music, for a very special proposal.

Style | Modern Moorish, by Didier Gomez, 2011

Special amenities | Private garden and pool, king-size

MyBed, en suite Jacuzzi and hammam, Bose Wave sound

system, Nespresso machine, Hermès bath amenities

Square footage | 1,432

Number of rooms in suite | Three

Number of bathrooms | Two

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 175, including 14

suites and 28 villas

Who’s slept here? | This newly-opened property is sure to

draw international VIPs

Nightly rate | $1,500

Location | Domaine de Mogador Diabat, Essaouira

Contact | Guest Relations Manager Izabela Kwasna,

212-524-479-400; h7145-gr@sofitel.com; www.sofitel.com

HEURE BLEUE PALAIS

BEDROOM / SENIOR SUITE

SENIOR SUITES

Key selling points | Built into the medina walls of coastal

Essaouira, Heure Bleue’s Senior Suites celebrate the city’s

past as the crossroads of African, European and Arab trading

routes. These oriental-inspired accommodations are rich

with sensual fabrics, marble bathrooms and fireplaces that

separate the bedrooms from the sitting areas.

Standout service | Staff transformed the rooftop into a desert

setting, complete with a Bedouin tent, large quantities of

imported sand and a baby camel for a surprise birthday party.

Style | Ocean liner elegance, by Karl and Olivier, 2004

Special amenities | Flat-screen TV, DVD player, Val d’Argan

wine, Les Sens de Marrakech bath amenities

Square footage | 645

Number of rooms in suite | One

Number of bathrooms | One

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 33, including 15 suites

Who’s slept here? | Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley

Nightly rate | From $300

Location | Bab Marrakech Gate, Essaouira

Contact | General Manager François Laustriat; 212-524-783-434;

f.laustriat@heure-bleue.com; www.heure-bleue.com


TOP SUITES

LIVING AREA / ROYAL VILLA

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL MARRAKECH

ROYAL VILLA

Key selling points | The expansive four-bedroom Royal Villa

offers the ultimate in luxury, from its indoor and outdoor

dining areas to its private movie theater and garden with lap

pool, whirlpool, fireplace and gazebo.

Standout service | The first couple to check in had the resort

to themselves and enjoyed a special anniversary dinner.

Style | Contemporary design with Moroccan touches, by GA

Design International, 2011

Special amenities | Rivolta Carmignani linens, 42-inch flatscreen

LCD TVs, DVD player, Bose surround sound system,

Bulgari bath amenities, Kohler bath fixtures, airport transfer

in a Rolls-Royce Ghost

Square footage | 3,770

Number of rooms in suite | Eight

Number of bathrooms | Four and one half-bath

Number of rooms and suites in hotel | 141, including 27 suites

Who’s slept here? | A-list celebs are sure to flock to

Marrakech’s newest hotspot

Nightly rate | $14,980

Location | 1 Boulevard de la Menara, Marrakech

Contact | General Manager Jean Claude Wietzel,

212-524-359-200; jeanclaude.wietzel@fourseasons.com;

www.fourseasons.com/marrakech

BEDROOM / ROYAL VILLA

BEDROOM / ROYAL VILLA

COORDINATE YOUR STAY:

COX & KINGS

Morocco isn’t the easiest country to navigate on

your own, although it helps if you can speak French.

Fortunately Cox & Kings has the resources to provide

the best local guides, whether your trip’s focus

is relaxation, history, shopping or haute cuisine.

Local drivers (request Hicham Baghar) can make a

multi-city journey an entertaining, educational and

hassle-free experience: They know the best routes,

have ins with top hotels to secure the most coveted

suites and can arrange special excursions along

the way to make for an unforgettable adventure.

Contact | Destination Manager, India, Arabia

& North Africa, Nicole Beattie, (323) 655-1758;

nicole.beattie@coxandkingsusa.com; www.coxandkingsusa.com

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