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Our series on Marrakech concludes with the grandest suite we saw during our four day jaunt to the Moroccan city.
Dar Ayniwen, like Jnane Tamsna, is located in La Palmeraie, providing a sea change in terms of environment when compared to the Medina. The estate-turned-hotel that doesn't shy away from pomp and circumstance: stately excess best describes its decor, from the textured Berber rugs layered and peppered throughout its interior, to walls plastered with vintage travel posters, to the plush gardens surrounding it, with a variety of bird species chirping a natural soundtrack for the villa.
Removed from the frantic climes of Marrakech's Medina, Jnane Tamsna is located in the city's Palmeraie district, tucked away from other sizeable resorts in the area. We planned an afternoon sojourn to the grounds after learning about on-site cookery classes featuring staples of Moroccan cuisine. Fans of former Gourmet Editor-in-Chief Ruth Reichl may remember Jnane Tamsna's house chef, Bahija, featured on an episode of Adventures With Ruth.
Morocco Hotels / Marrakech Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Hotel Reviews / Africa Hotels / Hotel Service / → All Tags
Yesterday we teased today's full review of Riad Joya, a boutique hotel planted squarely in the middle of Marrakech's Medina, the most ancient part of the city. Having made the claim that Joya provided us with the best service ever experienced, it's only fitting that we elaborate on such a bold statement.
Mint tea and fresh Moroccan pastries: now that's a check-in greeting
Though London's winter has been comparatively mild to previous chillblain-inducing, blustering holiday seasons of years prior, us local Hotel Chatter-ers found ourselves craving a mid-season warm weather getaway nonetheless. Marrakech, Morocco won out over other similarly balmy cities for its proximity to the U.K. capital (it's just a three hour flight away) and the promise of tangines peppered with Ras el Hanout and preserved lemons.
If you've always wanted to go on an African safari, but aren't really that into roughing it, the Bilila Lodge Kempinski in Tanzania can help you out with a three-night glamping package that will let you see the animals in the Serengeti and get pampered at the same time.
As part of the Beauty and the Beast package, you get to stay in a room—no tents here—overlooking the plains of the national park, giving you a chance to observe the wildlife from your sun deck. Your days will be spent out in the bush, alongside veteran guides on game drives in search of the elusive Big Five—lions, leopards, rhinos, buffaloes and elephants—or floating overhead in a hot air balloon.
Madonna is now facing criticism for squandering money while she neglected to pay up the millions she pledged to Malawi, the homeland of her adopted children, David and Mercy James.
The money was supposed to fund schools, orphanages and hospitals, but Madge has been instead using her loot to store gym equipment in a hotel in the African country.
According to Daily Mail, the Material Girl's staff had to book two rooms in Malawi's most upscale hotel to store all of her fitness equipment for three years, just in case she ever returned to the country.
Last year, we told you about the hottest (and hautest) new trend in travel: glamping. That’s right, glamorous camping- that most ridiculous, and ridiculously awesome, of adventures that let travelers experience the glories of nature in five-star luxury settings (and sometimes with Campfire Butlers).
This week, we’re going to give you a little glamping update, as HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen tells us about some of the most exciting new experiences out there. So pack your limited edition hiking boots and your diamond-infused sunscreen, because we’re going glamping!
Let's start our global perambulation in the birthplace of both mankind and the luxury camping trend itself - Africa - and the newest adventure from one of our favorite safari outfitters, Sanctuary Retreats. On June 1, they're opening Sanctuary Zebra Plains Walking Safari Camp, a first-of-its-kind walking safari in the pristine wilderness of South Luangwa, Zambia. Guests will spend their days doing things like wandering along riverbanks, observing elephants at their toilette, and then canoeing over to an island where they’ll get to spy on game such as buffalo, zebras and hippos, before returning for sunset cocktails, canapés and then dinner on the Luangwa River. It's designed to be part of a larger safari experience, with a recommended three day stay. Here's the lowdown.
Let’s be honest, we’re not outdoorsy people here at HotelChatter; we spend all day at our computers dorking out about hotel properties around the world.
The only way you’ll get us into a tent (apart from one that morphs into a jacket) is if it has WiFi, a deep soaking tub, chilled champagne, and, okay, maybe a few artfully arranged animal prints. Lucky for us, these sorts of luxury tent digs actually do exist, thanks to the "Glamping" trend. Yes, Glamping--glamorous camping.
All this week, we’ll be trekking across the globe on a trendspotting tour of the more intriguing properties we’ve come across where those in the know will be "roughing it," starting with Africa.
However, we must warn you that our version of glamping is far more toned-down that fashion designer's Dsquared. There will be no see-through rain coats with hot-pink piping here or ballgowns paired with fishermen hats. Of course, you could always pack them in your suitcase if you like.
All publicity is good publicity, right? Erm, maybe not for the British Airways staff who were caught carousing in a posh Cape Town hotel just before they started their strike. No word on whether it was the same group who earned the airline the nickname British Bareways last month.
But this may be some good publicity for the hotel in question, the Lord Charles, outside of Cape Town in wine country, since the Telegraph had the mind to tell us that there are two swimming pools, “multiple sun decks and seven acres of manicured lawns should one opt for a midnight stroll” (presumably you can also stroll in the daytime).
This week, a combination of wanderlust and hotel lust led us to research the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, which a roving HotelChatter correspondent briefly had the chance to visit last year. We deemed Mount Nelson worth a second look from afar, because of the consistent buzz it garners for its exaggerated sense of luxury. Then again, if it weren't exaggerated it wouldn't be lust-worthy, would it?
Fat cats who travel to areas of the world deemed "exotic" aren't usually in the game of roughing it. Maybe they've come for a safari, but they better be welcomed home at the end of the day by plush linens at the very least.
No need to worry about that at Mount Nelson, where Garden Cottages located away from the main hotel building offer grown-up Richie/Regina Riches their very own white picket fence, rose garden, marble bathrooms, and use of an adults-only pool. Socialite's kids can be notoriously snotty, so this division of property is welcomed by singles and child-free couples alike. The price of privacy: approximately $1,478 per night, according to listed rates and our currency conversion.
The luxury-minded people who build the Anantara Resorts have already persuaded us that their south-east Asian properties look like killer places to stay, like the Anantara Phuket or their fancy Anantara Seminyak in Bali. But Anantara seems to be turning a different corner now, with big plans for the Middle East and North Africa shaping up.
Later this year, the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab (pictured) will open its doors near Abu Dhabi well, an hour and a half from Abu Dhabi, actually, since the resort will be in the middle of "rugged desert". This Anantara is already taking bookings for stays starting from November 1, with the cheapest room (a Deluxe King) being offered for $1,700 a night.
Not quite so close to being open (but with a promise that they'll all be open by 2011), Anantara is also looking to expand into Oman and Morocco. In Oman, Anantara will be opening up in Muscat, while in Morocco, they're putting resorts into both Marrakech, near the central medina, and Mogador (Essaouira), about two hours from Marrakech. These new spots might not be the romantic beach hideaways we're used to seeing from Anantara resorts, but they definitely still fall in the exotic category.
International banks aren't the only ones having issues with making good on their loans; the entire government of Senegal, on Africa's northwest coast, is so seriously in debt to local businesses that they are having to sell off their prized possession: the Le Meridien Dakar. While this may be great news for aspiring hoteliers who value a bargain, it is nonetheless devastating for the Le Meridien chain and the state of hotels in Senegal.
Even if we had a bankful of money to throw around right now, buying a money-hungry property in an unstable country wouldn't exactly be at the top of our list. Still, a Le Meridien for (a billionaire's) chump change is pretty tempting.
According to Reuters, the announcement of the decision to sell was made thus: "A public tender published in Senegalese newspapers on Wednesday invited bids from local or international investors for the hotel complex, which has a 35-hectare site including a 9-hole golf course, but gave no price guidance." Oh, how we wish we knew the starting bid on this place, because certainly there is no greater motivation for reasonable pricing than having an entire country's economy resting on it.
[Le Meridian photo via Le Meridan Hotels; For Sale image via wikipedia]