The Royal Mansour in Morocco – a hammam fit for a king
The Royal Mansour Marrakesh is not really a luxury hotel. You don’t call 53 private riads spread across eight acres of fountains, orange trees and winding, shady pathways a “hotel”. It’s more of a luxury oasis town. That the whole thing was conceived and financed by King Mohammed VI of Morocco makes sense: who else but a monarch could get their head around, let alone insist on, this level of opulence?
Tucked up against the medieval red-clay walls of Marrakesh’s medina, the entire complex is hidden from public view. A private road takes you to a grand gatehouse, leading to a palatial central building housing three restaurants, two bars, a boutique and a small army of staff.
The real thrill, though, is being shown to your own riad. Even the smallest comes in at 1,400 square feet, its three storeys built around a cool central courtyard, its roof offering its own plunge pool and sun loungers and views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains.
The on-site spa is the sort of thing that materialises only after rubbing a magic lamp. It’s breathtaking: white, ornate, perfumed and fresh. The hammam experience sees you rubbed, scrubbed, washed and stretched. Once you’ve been bathed in rose-water, steamed in marble and offered mint tea, Marrakesh’s famous souk and sprawling market square are just ten minutes’ walk away. Which is good: any further and you’d probably never leave the Royal Mansour.
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