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Mandarin Oriental Opens Its First Hotel in Africa and the Results Are Stunning

Each villa at the Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, has its own private swimming pool…

Tadelakt plaster walls, handwoven rugs, and zellige mosaics are nothing new in the Red City. But at the Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, which opened in October, such traditional touches form only part of the picture. Infused with Mandarin Oriental’s high-gloss style in a sleek black-and-white palette, the hotel’s 63 suites and villas strike an intricate balance between historic Morocco and modern-day minimalism. The harmonious blend extends to the kitchen, where the Moroccan chef Meryem Cherkaoui (formerly of Paris’s Hôtel de Crillon) brings new life to traditional favorites. At least one local custom, however, remains intact at the Mandarin Oriental: Lined with colorful tiles, the spa’s two hammams offer suitably ornate settings for indulgent Moroccan treatments. 

What: Mandarin Oriental’s first African property features 63 suites and villas (each with a private swimming pool), a 19,375-square-foot spa, and three restaurants. Where: A short drive from the medina, the hotel is on 50 lush acres of olive groves and gardens—all looking out to the Atlas Mountains. Why: In a city filled with first-rate hotels, the Mandarin Oriental is one of the few contemporary-style options.

Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, mandarinoriental.com ($1,030–$4,300) 

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