La Mamounia – the eye candy of Marrakech. After a day spent wandering around dusty Medina and souqs, it was still too early to return to our hotel so I suggested we check out the only Art Deco building in town – Hotel La Mamounia. I am a big fan of Art Deco style in architecture, so for me it was a must.
I also must say that both my man and my brother weren’t too impressed with the Old Town (they both are not Lomographers), so once we approached La Mamounia, I saw a first glimpse of excitement on their faces.
Indeed, it looked different even from the distance. Gate guards asked us about where we were heading. “To have a beer at the bar” was the answer that satisfied them fully. We later learned that people who are dressed too casually (shorts and sandals) are not even allowed into this hotel.
Oh, it was a gem of a beauty! Blooming gardens were closer to European gardening approach than any other garden in town (usually it’s just orange or olive trees planted symmetrically with nothing in between but dry soil). Multitudes of small birds were singing, hiding in all sorts of palm trees. Everywhere there were amazing traditional Moroccan lanterns with the Art Deco twist. All three of the outdoor swimming pools were heated, and you could see the atlas mountains on the horizon (but not on the Horizon:)).
So, we went to the bar – splendid, marvelous design and lightning; only to learn that a 0.33ml bottle of beer costs 10 euros. Well, it was too late to retreat and the place was so beautiful, that we decided to stay and treat it as a visit to a museum.
I might have scared a few people with the noise my Horizon camera made when I used it on a long exposure function, but it was the only way to get some decent shots. It is no wonder that Winston Churchill praised this place as one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. There is now a suite named after him. Charles De Gaulle also stayed here in 1943 after the Casablanca Conference. Two of Hitchcock’s movies were shot here: “The Man Who Knew Too Much” and “Morocco”. All those legends served the hotel very well: prices here start from 600 euros per night.
My brother even said that he finally understood the best way to enjoy Marrakech was to stay at La Mamounia and never go outside. Well, they have a few bars, restaurants, spas and luxury brand boutiques all inside the hotel, if you have cash to afford it. Or better do like what we did – come to enjoy a bottle of overpriced beer and relax for a while.
Marrakesh 40040, Morocco
024 38 86 00
written by neja on 2011-03-02 #places #oasis #architecture #travel-destination #design #marrakech #location #mamounia #lamps #hotel #craft #roosevelt #morocco #art #5stars #churchill #art-deco #beauty #luxury #winston #break #bar #lantern