We split our time in Marrakesh at two different hotels. First we stayed at the Amanjena, then we headed into the Erg Chigaga Desert Luxury Camp in the Sahara Desert for two nights, and when we returned to Marrakesh we stayed at the Mandarin Oriental. Both of these luxury hotels in Marrakesh gave new meaning to the word “luxury” and we were more than a little sad when we had to check out. Let me tell you all about it.
I first discovered the Aman chain of hotels when Kelly and I stayed at the Amanjiwo in Borodubur, Indonesia last year. Both the Amanjena and the Amanjiwo have a series of freestanding suites instead of rooms in larger buildings. These suites are larger, quieter, and have outdoor living areas.
The Amanjena has expansive grounds, and the architecture was stunning. It felt like were we at a palace. Large reflecting pools and structures with archways seemed to go on and on forever.
We ate breakfast on the outside terrace between the pool and golf course, and we loved that we had a view of the golf course with palm trees and then the snow capped Atlas Mountains in the distance. It’s rare to see palm trees and snow all at once, right? The meals at the Amanjena were excellent, and I especially loved the plentiful breakfasts with fresh pastries and a la carte options.
They serve tea with light snacks every afternoon, and we indulged in all the sweets. The staff at the Amanjena was so accommodating and they all seemed to love their jobs. At the tea the staff at the tea excitedly told us their favorite pastries. We came to love the traditional Moroccan mint tea and it felt like we drank it all day long.
Here is a little tour of our suite, we loved that it was spacious enough for the three of us. I was traveling with my mom and sister and it is always a little weird when you are in a group of three but need two rooms. We had lots of space for a third bed in the room. The room was loaded with amenities. The relaxation gazebo was lovely, and we loved the there were two dressing rooms and sink areas. It gets cold in Morocco at night, so we took advantage of the fireplace in our room.
After a couple of nights we checked out and headed to the Sahara Desert for two nights. While we stayed at a luxury camp in the Sahara… it was still the middle of the desert and the shower was a bucket of water. And sand got everywhere – by the time we left it felt like I had a pound of sand in my hair. Although I loved the desert, I was pretty excited about checking into a hotel with a hot shower. The Mandarin Oriental had much more to offer than a hot shower.
We checked into a villa that had a private courtyard with its own pool. The space was massive. There was an outdoor kitchen, an area with lounge chairs, and an outdoor living room. Inside the villa was divided into three spaces, a large living room with a sitting area and a desk, a bedroom, and a bathroom larger than the studio apartment I had when I lived in New York City.
The centerpiece of the hotel is a massive pool surrounded with reflecting pools and willow trees.
My sister and my Mom loved hanging out at the big pool.
I preferred the pool in our courtyard, which had a hot tub attached. Doors from the bedroom opened up to the hot tub/pool so you could hop right from the bed to the pool if you wanted.
The only thing that I didn’t love about the Mandarin Oriental is that it didn’t feel like I was in Morocco. It felt like I was in heaven, not in a specific country. But I am not complaining.
Both hotels are in a resort part of town, away from the Medina. We liked being outside of the hustle and bustle of the Medina, which can be loud and chaotic. Several friends did recommend staying at El Fenn, a more affordable hotel right in the Medina. Per several recommendations, we did stop in for a drink.
The rooftop has great views of Marrakesh and it is right in the Medina and definitely the place to be if you want to be in the center of the action. It was an ideal place to sip wine and watch the sunset.
Have you been to Marrakesh? Did you find a hotel that you loved?