La Mamounia

Review of La Mamounia review by Varun Sharma

Arguably the most famous and luxurious city hotel in North Africa, La Mamounia has provided a peaceful oasis in Morocco’s capital of culture, Marrakech, for almost a century. This palatial hotel with its fabulous tiling, silk draped ceilings and marble fountains has provided respite from the buzz of the Moroccan city’s medina since 1923.

Set in eight hectares of perfumed, flower-filled gardens, La Mamounia offers 135 guestrooms, 71 suites and three standalone riads (Moroccan houses). There are ten restaurants and bars including offerings by the multi-Michelin starred winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and renowned pastry chef and chocolatier Pierre Hermé, a kitchen garden, a cinema, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a 2,500 square metre spa with two traditional and one private Hammam, hairdresser and barber shop, two boutiques, a flower kiosk, two meeting rooms and a games room. There is also a fitness centre, two clay tennis courts, table tennis and a French bowling pitch. 

This beautiful grande dame hotel has recently undergone a stylish multi-million-pound makeover by the design duo Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku, creating new spaces and re-imagining old ones with style and panache – but still in keeping with the original hotel. It took three months and 300 dedicated craftsmen to rethink and redesign this palace to keep its rightful position as one of the most famous, luxurious, and intriguing hotels in the world.

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Situated at the edge of Marrakech’s old city, La Mamounia is hidden from view amidst eight hectares of stunning, historic gardens, just inside the medina walls and steps away from the Jemaa el-Fna and the Koutoubia minaret. Occupying a prime spot in the Hivernage neighbourhood, it is just a short drive to the new town of Gueliz.

A mere ten-minute limousine ride from Marrakech Menara Airport and a similar distance from the train station with services to Casablanca, Rabat, Fes and Tangiers, a transfer from Casablanca Mohammed V Airport takes around two hours. The journey is long but the destination is worth it.



As one might expect of a palace hotel, every guest room is sumptuously furnished with Moroccan historic touches, ornate cornicing, rich fabrics, and sepia framed prints mixing with a more classic contemporary style. Expect Porthault bed linen and Garnier Thiebaut bathrobes in the marble bathrooms enlivened by a tiled relief and signature toiletries fragranced with a delightful hint of citrus. French doors lead out onto terraces with views over either the swimming pool and gardens, the historical Agdal neighbourhood, the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, the Hivernage residential neighbourhood or the magnificent Atlas Mountains. 

The 65 suites feature quintessentially Moroccan craftsmanship throughout, with patterns and colours dazzling to the eye with five having a duplex layout with the bedrooms looking out over the gardens and an upstairs lounge decorated by a palette inspired by a spice market. 

The six signature suites however – the Exceptional Suites - are steeped in history, each different and furnished with ultra-luxurious fabrics, the very finest of materials and a mixture of classic and antique furnishing. The Al Mamoun Suite is an antique lover’s dream; The Marqueterie Suite features Art Deco furnishing and a large footprint; The Majorelle Suite pays vivid homage to painter Jacques Majorelle whose portrait is displayed by the entrance; The Churchill Suite reigns over the third floor he used to occupy in years gone by; The Koutoubia Suite is light and bright with multiple windows overlooking Marrakech and finally, The Baldaquin Suite takes its name from the sumptuous bed, upholstered in white taffeta, which takes pride of place in the centre of the room.

For those looking for a little privacy, the three riads are perfect. Hidden away in the hotel’s gardens, each riad offers 700 square metres of space with a large, heated swimming pool, a fountain, a private roof terrace and three en-suite guest bedrooms. There is also a large outdoor lounge, an indoor dining room and an adjoining kitchen. The furnishings however are as opulent as the hotel guest rooms, showcasing Moroccan craftsmanship. Exquisite custom-made furniture by Jacques Garcia, cedar, walk-in wardrobes with custom closets and monogrammed, orange leather accents add to the luxury experience. 

Service & Facilities


Service at La Mamounia is befitting of the kings & queens and celebrity guests that have stayed there - although every visitor is treated as a VIP.  Thoughtful touches and surprises abound – the team happy to fulfil every request however large or small. Sightseeing or a trip to the Atlas Mountains is easily arranged in a chauffeur driven garnet red Jaguar Daimler or Range Rover.

If pampering is more your style, then the stunning 2,500 square metre Mamounia Spa is a veritable sanctuary to wellbeing. Smooth marble, rounded curves, and bands of tadelakt – plaster - form a harmonious backdrop.  Try a traditional Hammam, go for a swim in the stunning, pillared indoor pool or enjoy one of the eighty or so beauty treatments including Balneotherapy and massages using Argan oil.  The jacuzzi meanwhile warrants its very own dedicated pavilion where sofas and cushions line the walls under mashrabiya openings. For those craving a more personalised service, the private spa can be reserved – the ultimate in VIP privacy. For your own makeover, there is a handy hairdressing salon and traditional barber shop. 

For those who crave activity, there is a fitness centre, two clay tennis courts, table tennis, a French boules pitch and bike hire. The outdoor swimming pool is set within the hotel’s gardens and waiters are on hand by the pool providing tempting cocktails, Champagne, ice creams or hummus snacks.

There is an impressive and fully stocked library, 24-hour guest services for every guest whim and several boutiques for souvenirs and gifts including La Boutique Mamounia, La Boutique Pierre Hermé Paris and a flower kiosk with stunning blooms. 

For those who enjoy chancing their hands, The Grand Casino offers 20 gaming tables and 140 slot machines. 

The Cinema is a new addition, mixing culture and comfort. Films are projected on a large screen in an elegant lounge - celebrating La Mamounia’s special relationship with cinema. This welcoming space offers weekly screenings where guests are invited to enjoy a snack menu -  designed by Pierre Hermé - during the film.

The gardens are well worth a visit. They sweep over eight hectares where, on the horizon, you can make out the rooftops of the Medina, the Koutoubia Mosque, and the Atlas Mountains. The park is dotted with hundreds of olive trees, some of which are over seven hundred years old. The gardens are filled with bougainvillea, cacti, delphiniums, and jacarandas set against orange and palm trees, roses, and lemon trees – an interplay of light and dark with shade, wild groves, and avenues of trees.

The VIP welcome is extended to children. Special programmes have been created to keep children entertained. These include an egg hunt at Easter or spa treatments - under parental supervision. Children’s menus are available in all the restaurants. Small VIPs will – no doubt - be happy to meet the resident cats and enjoy the La Salle de Jeux – games room - complete with pool tables, table football, pinball machines and board games.

The hotel boasts an ice cream cart offering delicious complimentary homemade flavours and excellent ice cream sundaes. 



Ravishingly regal, the style of La Mamounia pays homage to Moroccan craftsmanship and customs in a stunning blend of Art Deco and oriental décor reminiscent of an Arabian hideaway. The welcome is as impressive as the hotel on approach - as the liveried guards wave guests through.

In 2009, the renowned designer, Jacques Garcia worked with local artisans to produce traditional tiles, marble, tadellakt and crafted wood for the first renovation, creating an authentic and magical environment.  Both the indoor and outdoor pools feature stunning and ornate traditional blue and white tiles with gold columns.

In 2021, a further refurbishment at the hands of Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku has resulted in yet more splendid and atmospheric creation with hand-painted wooden ceilings and doors; Zillij mosaics; Venetian, engraved, decorative mirrors, full length leather-studded mirrors and plush wool floor rugs. 

Restaurants & Bars


Always timeless, La Mamounia constantly reinvents itself when it comes to food and drink and to that end, three top chefs are in charge, Executive Chef Yoann Bernard, Masterchef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and pastry chef & chocolate supremo Pierre Hermé. 

In 2020, the food offering was completely reimagined: there are four restaurants including Le Marocain overlooking Prince Al Mamoun’s 18th century garden, showcasing Moroccan cuisine. Le Lounge Marocain is perched on the top floor of Le Marocain restaurant and Le Bar Marocain promises an avant-garde culinary and musical adventure.

There are two restaurants under the toque of noted chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten - L’Asiatique par Jean-Georges with South Asian flavours of Thai, Chinese and Japanese dishes, delicate dim sum and fragrant curries and L’Italien par Jean-Georges, a convivial Italian restaurant which Jean-Georges reinvented as a luxury trattoria with various food preparation zones dotted throughout the dining area for a more inter-active dining experience. The large floor to ceiling windows open out onto the fragrant gardens.

Le Pavillon de la Piscine meanwhile is adjacent to the iconic pool and pavilion welcomes guests to indulge their epicurean pleasures, waterside, from breakfast onwards (the famed Sunday brunch is beloved of local residents and hotel guests). Le Bar de la Piscine blends seamlessly into its surroundings with its floral canopy serving drinks and delicious light bites created by pastry chef and chocolatier Pierre Hermé.

The Tea Rooms include Le Menzeh par Pierre Hermé. Located in La Mamounia’s original historical building, Le Menzeh – known as ‘Le Marabout’ is named after a legend of a holy man watching over the hotel and this picturesque pavilion is found at the end of a pathway lined with rose bushes and olive trees - perfect for a soothing glass of mint tea.

Le Salon de Thé par Pierre Hermé continues from the Mamounia gallery and provides an indulgent break or tea tasting at any time of day for breakfast, afternoon tea alongside salty and sweet snacks created by the master. It is designed to emulate a traditional Moroccan tearoom with dual facing banquettes along the walls orientated towards a central marble fountain.

There are three other bars including Le Churchill, named after Britain’s illustrious politico, which offers a cosy atmosphere oozing British refinement, where guests can sip champagne or savour spirits. Recently redesigned to offer a more intimate experience in the style of a Pullman railway carriage, the moody décor includes smoked oak and sculpted black marble at its centre. Le Bar Majorelle meanwhile is found inside the iconic Majorelle Gallery and Le Bar Italien is only Italian in name, located next to restaurant ‘L’Italien par Jean-Georges’ where jazz plays into the evening. Once again, expect Pierre Hermé’s delicious tempting offerings.

The Tents are new to La Mamounia, offering a casual venue to just relax or to enjoy a dish from L’Italien par Jean-Georges. One of the tents leads to L’Oenothèque, an underground treasure trove of two thousand of the finest vintages. A magnificent central table can seat up to 12 for a private lunch or dinner.


La Mamounia is committed to green practices including the installation of solar panels for powering the hotel. The Kitchen Gardens – spanning 1,500 square metres - also offer a wide range of organic herbs, fruit, and vegetables and these are used in all the restaurants. These include fifteen varieties of tomato, fig, peach, orange, and lime trees – the latter an extremely rare variety in Morocco.

What We Love

  • The Gardens – all the senses are tingled. The colours, the scents, the buzzing of small insects, the peace – all quite intense.
  • The outdoor swimming pool – it is sizeable, cool and is the ideal place to be on one of those intensely hot Moroccan days.
  • The sense of history in every part of the hotel. From the traditional welcome to every public space – you can feel a hundred years of the ultimate hospitality experience.

    Varun Sharma

What They Love

  • What makes La Mamounia so special to me is - first - its legendary gardens, 17 acres of eight hundred years old palm trees and olive trees and more than five thousand varieties of flowers…
  • La Mamounia is not only an address, but also a destination in itself, representing the quintessence of Moroccan art de vivre.
  • The art of designing unique moments, suspending time, and creating unforgettable memories - this is La Mamounia! 

    Pierre Jochem
    General Manager
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