Marrakech, Morocco

Jnane Tamsna

Rates from (ex tax)$312.07

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR325.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Light-filled and restful

Setting

Palm-shaded pools and paths

In Marrakech's refined Palmeraie district, away from the hustle and bustle of the souks, Jnane Tamsna hotel offers relaxed, family-friendly lodgings with a distinctly Moroccan feel. A sense of space gives it a peaceful atmosphere – a stroll throughout the grounds will take you past pools, down shady pathways and through a lush garden that wouldn't look out of place in a sultan's palace. Near the action but far enough away to kick back, this photogenic hideaway provides Morocco at your pace.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Organic bath products and 50 red roses in the room

Facilities

Photos Jnane Tamsna facilities

Need to know

Rooms

24.

Check–Out

Flexible.

Rates

Double rooms from $312.07 (€295), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Jnane Tamsna is unable to accept payment by credit card.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR325.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include breakfast and soft drinks. Extra beds can be added to larger or garden rooms.

Also

Yoga classes, pilates, tennis coaching, reflexology and massages can be arranged on site. Jnane Tamsna has a rotating programme of residential events, including respected spa retreats by the likes of In:Spa, culinary courses in Jnane Tamsna's kitchens, literary salons and children's activity weekends; these must be booked in advance. There is also an excellent hammam, five minutes away by car, that the hotel can book guests into.

At the hotel

Tennis court, tennis and yoga coaching on request, bikes to hire, book and DVD libraries, free WiFi throughout. In-room spa treatments can be arranged.

Our favourite rooms

The Blue Animal Room – lovely and big with a fireplace. The Green Syrian Room overlooks the olive grove. The intimate Celadon Room, with a four-poster. Moussafir House has a pool and outdoor salon; the Casablanca room has a large private terrace.

Poolside

There are five unheated swimming pools dotted throughout the grounds if you need to cool off.

Packing tips

Multiple swimwear options. Sketchbook for botanical drawings and North African recipe notes.

Also

Well-behaved dogs are permitted free in garden rooms. Smoking allowed, taking other guests into consideration. Disabled access is good here, and there is a wheelchair on site. Private parties and weddings are a speciality at this family-friendly escape.

Pet‐friendly

Well-behaved dogs are permitted free, in Garden rooms only; bowls and food can be provided at cost. See more pet-friendly hotels in Marrakech.

Children

Very welcome: cots (free) and beds for children aged 4-11 (€45) can be added to rooms; kids 12 and older stay for €70 a night. Babysitting and activities programmes can be arranged; there's a TV and games room with DVD library, and a portable kid’s pool.

Overview

Very welcome: cots (free) and beds for over fours (€30) can be added to rooms; under-14s stay for €175–€294 a night. Babysitting and activities programmes can be arranged; there's also a TV and games room with DVD library, and a portable kid’s pool.

Best for

Babies and up – children of all ages welcomed.

Recommended rooms

All of the large rooms can take an extra bed. If you want separate rooms, combine Wedgwood with the adjoining smaller Indian; Taupe with Touareg; or Edward with Celadon rooms. Casablanca and Calligraphy rooms share a verandah.

Crèche

No crèche, but a nanny can be arranged to help for your whole stay (with at least two weeks' notice).

Activities

There's masses to do for active children, including playing hide and seek in the enormous garden. There's a tennis court (with excellent coaching available); and with a bit of notice, horse-drawn carriage tours, camel rides, trekking in the Atlas Mountains, bike hire and pony riding or riding lessons can all be arranged. Other options include henna painting, botanical tours of the garden, cooking lessons… even acrobats can be brought in (ask in advance of your stay, or check the in-room menus for options during your stay). 

Swimming pool

There are five swimming pools (two are always heated), plus a portable inflatable one just for toddlers.

Meals

Well-behaved children are welcome in the restaurant until 9pm, and there are always children's options on the menu. You can ask for child-friendly packed lunches, and milk and baby food will be heated up for you. High chairs are on hand for small Smiths. Menus are chalked up on a board in front of the dining room with the day's lunch and dinner options, so guests can decide if they'd like to stay in or book out, or request adaptations to the menu – if your little ones are picky, just ask the kitchen and the chef will try to tailor-tweak dishes to suit them – he's also happy to make baby purées.
 

Babysitting

This can be arranged – at least two weeks' notice is best if you want one to cover your whole stay, but sitters for the odd evening here or there can be arranged at short notice. It'll cost about €35 a half-day; €50 an evening.

No need to pack

Endless changes of clothes are not necessary: a laundry service is included in the price. Cots, changing mats, sterilisers and kettles can be provided but don't forget your little ones' favourite toys.

Also

Moroccans have strong family ties and therefore tend to be great with kids, so expect them to be treated like mini rock stars when you're wandering around the hotel. Even very young children will love looking at all the animal trinkets in the souk, from donkeys to turtles.

Food and Drink

Photos Jnane Tamsna food and drink

Top Table

On the roof for cocktails; in the garden for dinner.

Dress Code

Summery, unstructured.

Hotel restaurant

The kitchen serves delicious Med-Moroccan fusion, using fresh ingredients from Jnane Tamsna’s own organic herb and vegetable gardens.

Hotel bar

There is an honesty bar in the sitting room, and waiter service from 18h45 until dinner.

Last orders

None at lunch; dinner served until 12.30am by pre-arrangement if you have a late flight.

Room service

None, unless a guest is feeling unwell.

Location

Photos Jnane Tamsna location
Address
Jnane Tamsna
Douar Abiad, La Palmeraie
40007
Marrakech
Morocco

Planes

Marrakech Menara Airport is 10km away from the hotel (www.marrakech.airport-authority.com). Fly there from the UK and elsewhere in Europe with British Airways (www.ba.com), Royal Air Maroc (www.royalairmaroc.com), EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) and Ryanair (www.ryanair.com), among others.

Trains

At the southerly end of the Moroccan rail network, Marrakech railway station is less than 20 minutes' drive from Jnane Tamsna. The Moroccan state railway, ONCF (www.oncf.ma), runs inexpensive (but limited) services to Marrakech from Casablanca, Fez and Tangier. Look for TCR (Train Climatisé Rapide) trains to guarantee air-conditioning in summer.

Automobiles

Driving in Marrakech can be horn-filled and hectic, but if you insist, hire a car from the Avis (www.avis.com) desk at the airport. Jnane Tamsna is around 8km to the east of Marrakech off the N8 highway, which links the city with Fez.

Worth getting out of bed for

As well as camel rides, horse-drawn carriage tours and hot-air balloon rides, Jnane Tamsna can organise tennis coaching and yoga lessons on site – plus plenty more bespoke activities, including excellent Moroccan cooking lessons with the house chef. There's a fantastic hammam recommended by the hotel that's just a five-minute drive away.

The hustle and bustle of the ancient Marrakech medina – with its busy souk, petite museums and attractive mosques – is an eye-opening treat. Stroll the labyrinthine souks to barter for a rainbow of treasures, and to spy craftsmen at work. Good buys include leather bags and slippers, pierced metalwork and spices. Securing them, however, is not for the faint-hearted: prepare to haggle your heart out. Balance a stint around the souks with a retreat to a café or rooftop restaurant, or hit one of the small museums or gardens.

Local restaurants

Le Français is La Mamounia's fabulous French fine-diner (+212 (0)524 388600). Linger over Jean-Pierre Vigato’s simply elegant menu of rustic Gallic fare, matched by an equally smart wine list. Tables are well-dressed, and so should you be.

In a fabulous spot with medina views one way and mountains the other, Terrasse des Epices at 15 Souk Cherifia, Sidi Abdelaziz (+212 (0)524 375904), specialises in Moroccan-spiced grills as well as traditional tagines and pigeon pastillas. Bag a table on the roof terrace or in one of the restaurant’s bejewelled, becushioned booths. Salads and grills dominate the menu, but if dining with fussy eaters, resort to pasta and the restaurant’s delectable desserts. There are no highchairs or baby-changing facilities, but there's a typically Moroccan welcome for family diners.

Guided by men in cloaks and a lantern, down a dusty alley, you'll find Foundouk, a chic purple-hued dining den at 55 Souk Hal Fassi, Kat Bennahïd (+212 (0)524 378190). Visit this riad eatery with a cosmopolitan feel by night for good cocktails and tasty Moroccan/Mediterranean fusion food. Try the grise wine, a very light Moroccan rosé, with Harira soup and seafood, or grilled sardines and tagines with a robust bottle of something red. Closed Mondays.

Local cafés

Inside the Yves Saint Laurent-owned Jardin Majorelle is a chic little bougainvillea-curtained garden café with sage-green Parisian-style metal chairs (+212 (0)524 313047). Try Thé Vert 1001 (green tea with rose petals) or an Infusion Parfum de Sultan (rooibos with orange zest). You’ll have to pay the garden entrance fee to gain access, but if you go late morning, you’ll probably get the gardens to yourself and can nab a table for lunch afterwards. Alternatively, have breakfast before you tour the plants and the sweet little museum.

For an adventurous street-food supper, head to Jemaa el Fna: this vast square is the beating heart of old Marrakech, inside the medina. Go at sunset to experience it at its colourful, people-watching, music-playing, snake-charming best. Beyond the visual treats, the fragrance of sizzling spices wafting from the square’s food stalls is an experience in itself.

Local bars

Mojitos, delicious Thai and French fusion food, leather banquettes, cala lilies, moody lighting and minimalist fireplaces – Bô & Zin is a slice of NY in Marrakech. It's a familiar-feeling spot to hole up for a grown-up tête-à-tête (+212 (0)524 388012).

Reviews

Photos Jnane Tamsna reviews

Anonymous review

The captain informed us that the stopover would be short, and so it transpired. A mere 25 minutes later, and several drug dealers and white slave traders lighter (I mean, what sort of person gets off at Casablanca?), our plane left the yellow lines of the runway for the mystique and allure of ancient Marrakech.

We arrived at night, greeted at the airport by a quiet, polite Moroccan whose main source of income was a battered yellow Merc with more previous owners than a Seventies school textbook. As our delicate European buttocks bumped along unmade roads and then deserted wastelands, the possibility of abduction did briefly pass Mr Smith’s mind, but any fears of ‘sleeping with the dromedaries’ passed as the hotel came into view.

Welcome to Marrakech, where the first thing you learn is that strange fungal smells, unlit passages and unmarked doors are the city’s prelude to its most wonderful places, of which Jnane Tamsna is one. The big picture first: this hotel is not set in the old town; it’s a 20-minute drive northwest, in an area called La Palmeraie, notable for its numerous, government-protected palm-trees and some seriously large private houses. Being ‘out of it’ in this case proved a blessing; the hotel offers an escape from the overwhelming humanity of the souks and alleys in which you are likely to spend the majority of your time getting lost.

This Mr & Mrs Smith visited the hotel for New Year. In summer, when temperatures soar to just beyond the melting point of your typical Anglo-Saxon, I imagine the relief that comes from swapping hoi polloi for the pool is even greater. (Did I mention that Jnane Tamsna has two secluded swimming pools for its ten rooms?)

The hotel benefits from a wonderful sense of space and light. Even the walk from our room to reception took a minute or two, and passed pools, covered pathways, a wonderful garden, and a discreetly located tennis court. It’s an extremely photogenic location, and as you walk around it’s easy to imagine yourself posed artfully in some shot accompanying an article entitled ‘The Wonder of Marrakech’. Only this is the real thing, and you’re standing in it.

The gentle sound of running fountains and arabesque tiling seduce the ear and eye, and contribute enormously to the sense of calm. And these pockets of charm aren’t just add-ons, but areas you can really enjoy. We spent several nights plonked in front of a fire in the evening room, helping ourselves to ice-cold vodka tonics and reading holiday books whose spines had been broken by the sun and pages warped by swimming-pool water.

Our ‘plus one’ was equally charmed by the place, spending her mornings walking in the grounds and asking her botanically challenged parents difficult questions, before retiring to one of the beautiful shaded areas around the pool to do some colouring in. Our favourite spot was the area just to the rear of the main house, where we took lunch. Fresh food, perfectly spiced and served under a quiet shade, set us up perfectly for the day. It soothed our minds and breathed some gentle warmth into our winter bones.

In common with many of its taxis, service in Marrakech has only one gear, and a low one at that. Jnane Tamsna approaches this endemic problem in an unusual, possibly unconscious, surprisingly effective way. Their secret is to offer service only where they know they can provide it. For example, you won’t get annoyed here with room service turning up late or arriving with the wrong order, because there is no room service. And you won’t become irritated that reception takes an age to answer the phone, because there isn’t a phone in the room.

It all makes for a stress-free stay: you help yourself to drinks in the evening, and laundry is free and on demand. And ours came back so quickly, we found ourselves checking it had been done properly. Most pleasant of all, though guests are told that breakfast is usually before 9.30, we, like all the other guests, usually turned up well after 10, only to be greeted by helpful smiles from the staff.

Our trip to the souk proved problematic, if only because we had to get our bearings at every step, but at least we entertained the traders with our captivating impression of a family of meerkats. As a reward for purchasing a customs-baiting quantity of carpets and ceramics, we took ourselves off for what I had hoped to be gentle pampering in a hammam. Of course, anyone who has had a hammam or taken the care to investigate what it entails will know to expect nothing of the kind.

If I may give some advice, let me point out that there are only two ways to deal with a hammam. The first, and the simplest, is not to have one. The second is to submit entirely and accept that you are nothing more than a meaningless assembly of flesh and bone. Muscular resistance and confused existential thoughts only make things worse. Rashid, who, I helplessly observed, was practising sailing knots on my body, had extraordinarily soft hands for a strapping six foot seven Moroccan wrestler. Once he had finished with me, I was doused repeatedly with water which was cunningly kept a fraction below the temperature that evaporates skin. I loved it. Have one. You’ll free great. But don’t expect Rashid to return your letters when you get back home.

In all, we spent a week melting into the somewhat softer embrace of Jnane Tamsna, and we left thinking that it’s probably what most people envisage when they imagine Marrakech: a boutique hotel with enough cultural distance from Europe to feed our need for exotica, but European enough to be manageable. It is an effortless oasis: sensual, relaxed and endlessly welcoming.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Jnane Tamsna’s Guestbook below.
No Smith members have posted their reviews of Jnane Tamsna yet. You could be the first!