Les Jardins de la Koutoubia
So close to Marrakech’s vibrant centre that it lies in the shadow of the Koutoubia Mosque, Les Jardins de la Koutoubia has a wonderfully convenient location. Yet it manages to retain a quiet and peaceful atmosphere; as soon as you step into the vast marble lobby and venture through into the lovely patio-style gardens with orange trees and secluded terraces, you’ll feel a world away from Jemaa el-Fnaa’s bustling scenes.
Once the site of the 13th-Century Ouarzazi Palace, the hotel stays true to local history with its Moroccan architecture, but adds sleek facilities to create a modern escape. At its centre is a courtyard swimming pool, surrounded by plush cream-cushioned loungers. There’s even a second pool on the rooftop. Four restaurants include Le Relais de Paris, set in patio gardens with a varied menu from Spanish-style fresh fish, to steak grilled over an open wood fire. There’s Marocain for local dishes, and if you head to the rooftop, you’ll find Les Jardins de Bala serving Indian and Asian specialities to spectacular views of the Koutoubia Mosque. For sophisticated evening drinks, the Ouarzazi piano bar’s mixologist conjures up a variety of cocktails.
Rooms are stylish with traditional local details. Most have a neutral colour scheme, with dark woods, ornate brass lanterns, arched doorways, shuttered doors, marble bathrooms and internal views of the courtyard and pool. Standard Rooms are elegant and bright with a view of the old Medina. For more space, opt for a Mini Suite. Junior Suites are largely located in the gardens, but there are two on the rooftop with views over the Medina.