Every time someone asks what my name is and I tell them it’s Alice, the same three words inevitably follow: “Like in Wonderland?”. Yes, like in Wonderland. It helps people remember me, so I’m all for it, but I’ve never really felt in Wonderland anywhere, much less like Indiana Jones… till I set foot in this place. This must be what little kids feel like on an easter egg hunt. Must. Find. Every. Easter egg, secret and surprise the Royal Mansour has to offer. And it has many. Too many to list, but let me give you highlights. It took more than than 1000 Moroccan artisans to create all the colourful mosaics, detailed wood carvings, metal work and a myriad of other moorish features all by hand.
Set within the walls of Marrakesh’ old city, dating back to 1062 AD (historical significance = Indiana Jones points), it’s a medina within the Medina. Comprising 53 individually decorated and unique riads, each hidden behind identical doors, this hotel never fails to keep you guessing (secrets and wonders behind closed doors – Alice in Wonderland, anyone?). And it gets better. The hotel and each of the riads is serviced through a network of subterranean tunnels. That’s right, the hotel is two walled-in cities, one above and one below ground. Definite Indiana Jones points! More on this theme, the traditional decor hides some seriously modern amenities if you know where to look. The old school formidable leather sofas in the library allow you to plug in, charge and listen to high def audio if you open up the arm rest.
Next up was the walk though the palm and lemon grounds of Royal Mansour. Every room, garden and courtyard was as intricate as it was unique. You never quite know what incredible surprise is waiting behind the next door, around the next corner or though the next set of moorish arches. And I’m not just talking about the decor. On my walk I found a cigar room, a beautiful guilded Russian book in the library and hidden relaxation areas dotted around the grounds
Speaking of Easter eggs, the day I visited also happened to be Easter. Talk about coincidence! Stay tuned for a second post, from inside the Royal Manour spa directly to a laptop screen near you.