Marrakech, the Moroccan capital of modern tourism

It was not long ago that the Mamounia, a former patrician villa, was the only palace in the red city dear to Winston Churchill, a great traveler, faithful to the fifth-floor suites with panoramic views of the Atlas: a site unique above the orange grove, all the charm of a Moroccan pleasure hotel.

Atlas mountain. † Jonny_Joka from Pixabay

Sir Winston, who painted his canvases in the sublime gardens of the palace from 1900, was one of the pioneers of stays in Marrakech, followed in the 1970s and 90s by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé who launched the fashion for holidays in Marrakech. imperial city with perfectly preserved sites. No concrete towers or soulless buildings in the mythical city with historic ramparts.

Despite the tourist fashion and ritual events such as the International Film Festival which was founded in 2001 at the initiative of King Mohammed VI, Marrakech remains a fascinating, fashionable destination.

And what an explosion!

Currently there are over a hundred hotels, riads (traditional city residences), guest houses at any cost and the surrounding countryside is teeming with palaces, residences for rent.

The summer season lasts all year round: Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter, the highlights of the visits of Marrakech. Even in summer, in July-August (40 degrees and more), Marrakech is full and many believers have bought riads, villas and apartments: real estate is booming.

Three hours flying from Paris and you are projected into another world of discovery, of oh-so-civilized well-being.

The many four- and five-star hotels attract a wealthy clientele who enjoy a unique happiness in life far from urban pollution and urban stress.

In fact, Marrakech and its hoteliers-restorers have forged a lifestyle infused with culture, a change of scenery and gastronomy, because the Moroccan cuisine of mothers in the kitchen has acquired its letters of nobility. Good local chefs compete in the famous Bocuse d’Or competition, such as maestro Abdessamad Ferhat, chef of the L’Olivier and Le Tibipt restaurants at the new Domaine des Remparts.

Chief Abdessamad Ferhat. † Nisrine Bricxic

The Domaine des Remparts Hotel & Spa

The five-star hotel located on the outskirts of Marrakech and at the gates of the Sahara desert has had a facelift! The establishment has done recent work and completely overhauled the decor, redesigning it with finesse, creating an environment that is both chic and authentic, blending Moroccan heritage and influences with more current trends: a blend of tradition and modernity.

At the Domaine des Remparts, the entrance hall and the bar at the back. † Nisrine Bricxic

A true haven of peace in a lush oasis, nestled in the heart of a two hectare park, the Domaine des Remparts is the ideal place for a Moroccan immersion, a break of well-being to recharge your batteries and take care of yourself during a weekend or a week-long family vacation. The chic hotel has reinvented itself to offer its guests a peaceful place to relax.

At the Domaine des Remparts, the swimming pool. † Philippe Dignon

The Domaine has two swimming pools, one of which is heated, a fitness centre, a tennis court and two restaurants: Le Tibipt for breakfast and dinner and L’Olivier for lunch by the pool. The already mentioned chef offers world cuisine and typical Moroccan dishes, grilled fish or meat: a rich, varied and refined menu.

At Domaine des Remparts, breakfast in your room. † Philippe Dignon

The thirty-two warm and comfortable rooms of Domaine des Remparts all have a large surface area and a fireplace for the winter evenings. Each room is a jewel bathed in light and has a terrace with direct access to the garden and pool.

In a room at Domaine des Remparts, dinner on the terrace. † Nisrine Bricxic

Surrounded by the most prestigious golf courses in Marrakech, Domaine des Remparts concentrates in one place a range of services for pampered customers. The sports activities on offer are diverse: individual or group yoga classes, tennis, boules, dance, fitness, golf…

Beauty rituals are also part of traditional Moroccan culture. The Domaine spa is dedicated to facial and body treatments: a place designed for a moment of relaxation and well-being.

Yes, a remarkable address well worth the trip.

“We especially want our guests to have a unique experience in an environment that we wanted to be welcoming, intimate and warm. The size of our hotel and its design allow us to provide personalized service, special attention to each of our guests to give them the opportunity to experience unique moments”says Abdallah Slaoui, general manager of Domaine des Remparts who knows the secrets of his trade.

Director Abdallah Slaoui. † Field of the ramparts

The chef’s kitchen at L’Olivier . restaurant

Moroccan chef Abdessamad Ferhat was a 2016 gold medalist in the competition for the best chef of Moroccan gastronomy. In 2017 he received the prize for the best emerging chef in Morocco and in 2018 he received the gold medal in Marrakech. the “Best Chef in the World” category. He knows how to combine the recipes of Moroccan mothers, harira soup, lamb shoulder cooked for five hours with cumin and finds from the modern kitchen.

By the pool, the restaurant L’Olivier. † Philippe Dignon

Here are some of the specialties on offer at the five-star hotel’s large restaurant:

• Garden salad with ricotta (10 euros)

• Quinoa salad, seasonal fruit, avocado and argan oil vinaigrette (10 euros)

At restaurant L’Olivier, the quinoa salad. † Nisrine Bricxic

• Salmon gravlax with avocado mousse and a small herb salad (15 euros)

• Beef wok, noodles, mushrooms, onions, white cabbage, carrot, broccoli (15 euros)

• Shrimp tempura with fried vegetables, hummus with sesame oil (12 euros)

At the restaurant L’Olivier, shrimp tempura. † Nisrine Bricxic

But also pizzas, club sandwiches, fajitas, meat and fish skewers, Moroccan batbout bread filled with tuna and olives, apple pie, vanilla ice cream: a very attractive palette.

In restaurant Tibipt, tenderloin, potato pancake with mushrooms. † Nisrine Bricxic

Au restaurant Tibipt: le tapioca et les gambas, le risotto et le homard bleu, la salad marocaine, les briouates, le pavé de saumon, le magret de canard, la dorade royale, le tajine berbère, la pastilla élégante, la pavlova pour le dessert…

At restaurant Tibipt, the frozen lobster risotto. † Nisrine Bricxic

Certainly, two tables of excellence and memory that can grow even further if the chef, highly regarded by the French clientele, enhances his creativity by varying the accompaniments.

The dining room of restaurant Tibipt. † Philippe Dignon

If the Michelin of Marrakech were to see the light of day in the coming years, Abdessamad Ferhat would star like the chef of La Mamounia, both followers of mother chefs since the dawn of time: a long gastronomic tradition.

A room at the Domaine des Remparts. † Philippe Dignon

Route de Tallaght Marrakech 40000. Tel.: +212 5243 27060. Quality staff. Visit to Marrakech by limousine. Souvenir shop. Rooms from 185 euros.

Restaurant L’Mida (The Table)

Good address for Moroccan fusion cuisine, above the souks, cozy terrace and perfect vegetable couscous, tajine in the Indian way, unfortunately no wine.

The terrace of restaurant L’Mida. † the Mida

78 bis Derb Nkhel Rahba Kdima Marrakech 40030. Tel: +212 5244 43662. Ideal for a meal after a swim in the shopping streets of Jemaa al-Fna square.

The Mamounia

This luxurious palace on the edge of the old center of Marrakech is considered a mythical place (1923). It is owned by the National Railways and the Moroccan Caisse des Dépôts. La Mamounia has four restaurants: the Frenchman Jean-Georges Vongerichten is the chef of the Italian and Asian tables. Fine Moroccan restaurant in the park, we come to this address in the hotel. And Le Pavillon de la Piscine: Mediterranean specialties, catch of the day and grilled meats, desserts by Pierre Hermé.

Avenue Bab Jdid Marrakech 40040. Phone: +212 5243 88600.
Spa, rooms from 470 euros.

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