This is one of my absolute favourites in Marrakech. A former palace, transformed into a luxury hotel with the Relais & Chateaux seal of approval, Villa des Orangers is one of Marrakech’s most exclusive boutique hotels, known for providing a personal and generous service to guests, both within the hotel and on tailor-made excursions into the city. Located at the foot of the Koutoubia (the largest, most iconic mosque in the city), between the Royal Palace and Jemaa el Fna (the main market square in Marrakech’s Medina, or Old Town), Villa des Orangers is ideally located for exploring the best of Marrakech, whilst still enjoying the tranquillity of being a stone’s throw from the action, close to a number of breathtaking public gardens.
Villa des Orangers is a true oasis in the city, its large gardens filled with fruit trees. Steal yourself away to a secluded corner of the leafy courtyard to sit and enjoy breakfast al fresco under the shade of an orange tree, listening to the sound of trickling water from an ornate fountain. My favourite spot is the sun deck by the large heated outdoor pool (one of three pools – quite the luxury in central Marrakech) – the setting feels worlds away from the bustling streets of Marrakech just beyond the hotel walls, and yet you’re only 5 minutes’ walk from the main market square. There’s also a pool on the roof terrace which is best for sun-worshippers and afternoon tea is served here daily.
The hotel’s 27 rooms, suites and private Riad overlook the hotel gardens. Palatial in size, each room features lavish decor. Cream walls, flowing white drapes and dark cedar wood furniture are the simple backdrop to the more intricately designed carved doors, Moroccan crafts and fine fabrics. The ambience within each is calm and natural - paying homage to a traditional North African style with a contemporary twist, from tall lamp shades to oversized leather sofas and plasma tv’s ensuring guests enjoy all the luxuries of a modern hotel. Some rooms boast private terraces or balconies, and almost all rooms in the hotel include large open fire places. The most luxurious accommodation at Villa des Orangers is the stunning two-bedroom private Riad, which includes a beautiful courtyard, plunge pool and gorgeous garden views.
Marrakech has an amazing restaurants scene and the famous night market is a must visit for tasty Moroccan street-food. The Villa des Orangers restaurant serves Mediterranean fusion cuisine with a delectable menu created by French chef, Jean-Claude Orly. As a Relais & Chateaux hotel, the utmost importance is placed on providing cuisine that is locally produced and seasonal. Fresh fish from the Atlantic coast, homemade jams and the finest quality dairy products from a local artisan cheesemaker feature in Orly’s specially curated menu. Be sure to dine here at least once during your stay to enjoy a mix of Moroccan and Mediterranean flavours along with an exceptional wine list. The wood-panelled dining room is an atmospheric setting for dinner, whilst the courtyard is perfect for a romantic evening dining by lantern-light. We can also arrange private dinners on the rooftop terrace with views over the city and out to the Atlas Mountains. Or, if you’re relaxing at the hotel during the day, lunch, snacks and drinks can be ordered by the pool.
For a really spoiling day at the hotel, indulge in a treatment or two at the Nuxe Spa, which is home to a traditional Hammam, massage booths and authentic Moroccan baths.
Every time I explore a new destination, whether it’s on an adventure holiday in Peru or a luxury beach escape in the Indian Ocean, I return home full of excitement to share the amazing sights I have seen. Through my own experiences I have developed a love of helping others experience the great wonders of the world; truly getting under the skin of the extraordinary destinations that are at your fingertips. Getting the details right, from which hotel is perfectly located for exploring away from the crowds, to which local guide is most knowledgeable on history or culture or art, is of paramount importance to me. I am constantly seeking out new and exciting experiences and exploring off the beaten track to ensure my clients are receiving the best and most honest first-hand advice.
Take a look at my travel diaries for food for thought on your next trip...