Created by the hotelier and art collector Vanessa Branson, who also founded the Marrakech Biennale, El Fenn is a sanctuary of art and Moroccan style at the heart of the city’s atmospheric medina. Lush foliage, vibrant color and contemporary art fill each space at this Marrakech hotel from the inner courtyard to rooftop and each individually designed room. Onsite amenities include a restaurant, bar, boutique and swimming pools. January will see the unveiling of a significant expansion taking the hotel’s total area to 12 interconnected riads. A team of 70 local artisans have handcrafted the finishing touches to this impressive extension, which houses four new suites, a second bar and private dining room, along with the expansion of the in-house spa and a new rooftop pool promising far-reaching views over Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains.
This legendary Marrakech hotel combines a storied past with Moorish opulence and a privileged setting in the royal gardens Mohammed ben Abdallah gave to his son Mamoun. The property was built in the 1920s by French architects Henri Prost and Antoine Marchisio and has welcomed famous guests from Winston Churchill and Alfred Hitchcock to the Rolling Stones, Sarah Jessica Parker and Elton John.
La Mamounia has undergone a series of significant updates over the years, including a more recent renovation by Jacques Garcia, and it’s now entering its next chapter as it emerges from a historic renovation by Jouin Manku. The French firm has refreshed the design of the entire property, upgrading its lavish guest rooms, reimagining its palatial public areas and culinary venues while adding a new underground wine venue, cinema and two new restaurants—an Italian trattoria and Asian dining venue—overseen by the internationally renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
The Oberoi Marrakech
When The Oberoi Marrakech opened at the end of 2019, it marked the end of a multiyear construction period that made it one of the city’s most highly anticipated openings of recent years. Fusing Moroccan and Andalusian architectural styles, the ambitious structure of this Marrakech hotel evokes a traditional Moroccan palace where soaring domes, curved arches and tall pillars are decorated with intricate ceramic tiling and carvings that took 200 craftsmen two years to complete.
An inner courtyard looks out over the hotel’s Alhambra-inspired Grand Canal and, beyond that, acres of olive tree-filled gardens and the Atlas Mountains. This breathtaking setting provides a dramatic backdrop for three restaurants, a boutique, pool and spa. Moroccan, Indian and Mediterranean cuisines highlight the ingredients of local artisans, plant-based Moroccan and Ayurvedic wellness treatments distinguish the spa and villas come with private pools in walled gardens of lavender, rosemary and bougainvillea.
The famously resplendent retreat Royal Mansour celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. To mark the 2020 milestone, this palace hotel within the old city opened the brand-new Italian restaurant Sesamo by globally acclaimed chef Massimiliano Alajmo of the Alajmo group and world-renowned restaurant La Calandre. Since opening at the beginning of the year, Sesamo has offered Alajmo’s classic dishes using ingredients produced locally, along with vegetables from Royal Mansour’s kitchen garden, in opulent interiors integrating the work of master Venetian craftsmen. This noteworthy addition to Marrakech’s dining scene fits comfortably within the hotel’s enclave of 53 individual riads featuring open-top courtyards and private pools, three restaurants run by celebrated chef Yannick Alleno, the mesmerising birdcage-inspired spa and outdoor pool in a hectare and a half of flourishing gardens.