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Best of the Best 2016: Journeys | Hotels: Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech

Mandarin Oriental’s first outpost in Africa is a true spectacle and lush oasis of groves and gardens...

  • Mandarin Oriental’s first outpost in Africa is a true spectacle, where a double-height lobby is adorned with zellige tiles, and 50 acres of olive groves and gardens are set against a backdrop of snow-capped Atlas peaks. The hotel’s villas borrow from traditional riad style, with Berber motifs and private courtyards. In the Mes’Lalla restaurant, Morocco’s celebrated chef Meryem Cherkaoui takes traditional local cuisine to awe-inspiring new levels.  

  • A short drive from the medina, the Mandarin Oriental is a lush oasis of groves and gardens whose fragrant flora includes 100,000 rosebushes. 

  • Each of the 54 villas and nine suites has a private swimming pool; interiors are adorned with handwoven rugs, latticework accents, and tadelakt plasterwork.

  • Mes’Lalla’s contemporary reinventions of indigenous local dishes might include slow-cooked lamb in pear confit; more traditional Moroccan fare is served poolside at Le Salon Berbère.

  • Hammam and Berber-inspired therapies are highlights at the nearly 20,000-square-foot spa, where six treatment rooms overlook a private garden.

Mandarin Oriental, Marrakechmandarinoriental.com ($740–$4,300)

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