If Bruges wasn’t on your list of places to see…
Just a few hours in an aircraft can take you to a completely different world, a world out of the stories of one thousand and one nights. Places that are completely different to our homely environment tend to fascinate me the most. When I am abroad I want to learn about a new culture, try new food, get lost.
Morocco has been one of those places which has been on my list for a long time after seeing pictures of Marrakech.
Recently I finally got the chance to visit Marrakech for a couple of days and it has beyond far met my expectations.
After a short stop in Lisbon and an early morning flight, I finally set foot in the destination of my dreams: Marrakech. After passing immigration and a 15 minute taxi ride from the airport I found myself in the heart of the old town. The small streets where busy with life: vendors selling fruit and vegetables on the side of the road. It was hectic and hot, but somehow there was something that took me completely under its spell straight away.
The La Sultana Hotel is tucked away in a small alley in the Kasbah just metros away from royal palaces, museums and souks.
As I walk through the big entrance door into the reception the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Marrakech seem so far away already. I found myself in an oriental oasis.
After being greeted by the friendly staff I got taken up to the panoramic rooftop terrace. I enjoy a traditional Moroccan welcome with freshly brewed mint tea and pastries while overlooking the city and the snow covered Atlas mountains. The stress of my flight seems to be forgotten already.
While I am slowly drinking my tea the staff take care of the check-in and come back with the key to my room.
I am eager to see more of this timeless palace, so before making my way to my room, I receive a small tour of the hotel grounds. La Sultana Marrakech, that is a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is a collection of five riads, all different in architecture and design, that now have been joined together. A riad is a traditional Moroccan house with a central patio and opposite to European houses all windows are overlooking the interior rather than the outdoors. When wandering through the hotel there is so much to discover and to see in every little corner and it is interesting to see the architecture changing.
The main riad features an outdoor heated swimming pool. Here you can take a dip or relax on the sun beds and take a break from everyday life.
Small extras provided by the hotel make the stay really special: there is a library, a boutique, spa and gym, free wifi throughout the hotel, laundry and concierge service and private airport transfers.
Each riad fascinates through it own style and architecture.
The Suite Life
The hotel only has 28 rooms and suites and each one of them is different, unique in design and has its own unique flair, providing guests a home away from home on their getaway to Marrakech.
With a big metal key I open the door to my room, the “flamant rose”. French for flamingo. I couldn’t help myself but stand there with open mouth thinking “Wow, what a room!”. The room is held in an elegant and luxurious style, equipped with antique furniture, lovely artwork, a sculpted ceiling and even a fireplace. All that contributing to the charm and appeal of the hotel creating a special atmosphere.
It was the marble bathroom that really made me feel like a princess with its golden sinks, a bath tub decorated with tiles and the gorgeous Moroccan lanterns that provided a warm, soft light.
A nice touch was the sweet welcome treats: mouth-watering pastries, nuts, raisins and oranges. The non-alcoholic mini bar is also free of charge and is restocked every day.
A visit to a hamman is a wonderful experience and a Moroccan tradition.
Enter a world of relaxation in the opulent La Sultana Spa. Here you find two hammans, a jacuzzi, sauna, beauty centre, a hairdresser and massage cabins in open air.
Discover the benefits of ancestral rites and voluptuous ceremonies and forget the world around you for a couple of hours.
The spa is famous for its special four hand massage, something unique that can only be found there.
If you aren’t a guest of the hotel you still have the chance to book a spa treatment and experience this magical place.
Before visiting Marrakech I never had the chance to try Morrocan food and the La Sultana really made me feel in love with the cuisine. Starting from the pastries over to Morrocan pancakes at breakfast and a vegetable tangines in the evening in the restaurant. Everything was on point, delicious and mouth watering.
The lavish breakfast buffet was something I was looking forward each morning. The buffet has everything you could ask for: fresh fruit, delicious baked goods, juices etc. and in addition other dishes can be ordered from the breakfast menu like egg benedicts, a berber omelet or Moroccan pancakes that taste so nice with butter and honey. Breakfast is either served on the lovely rooftop terrace or by the pool depending on the weather.
The restaurant offers traditional Moroccan cuisine. Enjoy a drink and dinner in a cozy setting on the terrace from where you can see the whole city. Make sure to make a reservation ahead since the restaurant is very popular.
Room service can be ordered 24 hours. One day I also made use of it and ordered a light breakfast that I enjoyed in the patio before heading out to make use of the light in the early morning hours to shoot some pictures.
If you want to learn more about the secrets of the Moroccan cuisine than the cooking class that takes place every morning is the perfect chance to do so.
A big thank you goes to the La Sultana Marrakech for welcoming me to enjoy their property on my recent trip to Marrakech.