L’Hôtel — Marrakech, Morocco
What do you get when you cross a grand 19th-century Marrakech riad that was once part of a palace with British design, specifically Jasper Conran? You get the head-turning L’Hôtel Marrakech.
As owner, Conran was in the enviable position of having carte blanche with the renovation and interior décor. The result is a covetable collection of five suites centred around a courtyard garden, adjacent to a narrow swimming pool, suffused with orange and lemon trees, where the whitewashed walls are draped with honeysuckle and the only pressing item on the agenda is just in which space you should spend the day lounging.
Conran works in soft Occidental touches – a blue and white striped rug and sunny orange armchairs here, and billowing white drapes over towering four poster beds there – but the décor is unmistakably North African, a combination that’s effectively set off by the dark-stained double height timber doors and windows, mashrabiya details and geometric tiled floors.
The heaving Jemaa El Fna square and souk are within easy reach, but why spend that effort when the kitchen offers traditional Moroccan home cooking which includes a chicken tagine hit with preserved lemons, and seasonal fruit gleaming with syrup; and the pergola on the roof terrace offers bracing views of the Atlas mountains and Marrakech’s unchanging skyline?