Worth getting out of bed for
Wannabe Nadals should take to the hotel’s clay courts. International tennis champion Henri Leconte hosts international tournaments at the hotel throughout the year; so you may be playing in the presence of greatness. If the courts are in use, stake out the ping pong table. Ask La Mamounia to organise some excursions for you: options include hot-air ballooning in the Atlas Mountains, a tour of Berber villages or personal shopping. Two of Marrakech’s most famous sights – Koutoubia Mosque and Djemaa el Fna – are only a five-minute walk away from the hotel. Wander into Djemaa el Fna at night to admire the acrobats and snake-charmers and sample local cuisine from the bustling food stalls.
Dar Moha (+212 (0)524 386400) at 81 rue Dar el Bacha serves up aromatic Franco-Moroccan cuisine: alongside well-balanced tajines and pastilla, there are fusion dishes such as baked scallops and saffron sorbet. Request a table in the walled garden by the pool (reservations are essential). Eat in splendour at Dar Yacout (+212 (0)524 382929) at 79 rue Sidi Ahmed Soussi, Arset Ihiri. This gorgeously grand restaurant has entertained the king of Spain and Will Smith (but not together) so dress to impress. The tasting menu costs €70 a head, including drinks. Be sure to visit Le Fondouk (+212 (0)524 378190) at 55 Souk Hal Fassi, Kat Bennahïd. Dining here is an adventure, from start – being guided down a dusty alley to your table by men in cloaks bearing lanterns – to finish.
Head to Bô & Zin (+212 (0)524 388012) at Douar Lahna, Route de l’Ourika, for mojitos, delicious Thai and French fusion food, leather banquettes, cala lilies, moody lighting and minimalist fireplaces – you could almost be in New York. The elegant decor is the natural result of an aesthetic born in Marrakech, farmed out to stylists in London and LA, and flown back.
June/July Marrakech Popular Arts Festival is an annual week-long festival that sees dance troupes from all over the country perform in the city (www.visitmorocco.org). December The Marrakech Film Festival attracts screen stars from near and far (but mostly from France) to Morocco to celebrate all things celluloid (www.festival-marrakech.com).
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From the Guestbook…
I stayed in La Mamounia the last two days when I traveled in Morocco in July for relaxing after a long trip. That was so unforgettable. I did not go out of the hotel at all and tri...more