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Add another tick mark in the Radisson Blu upcoming hotel column, as the super cool looking luxury brand expands for the first time into Morroco. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Marrakech Carré Eden is scheduled to open its doors "mid-2015." That's just around the corner as hotel development (and design) goes and just vague enough that the actual opening date will likely be tweaked.
In the meantime, let's have a brief look around.
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Much like Bali, the hotel openings keep coming for Marrakech, no matter how crowded it is already. A year after we looked at that long list of options, here are four big name hotels that will open in the next few years: Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, W Hotels, and Ritz-Carlton.
First up: the second attempt of Mandarin Oriental, which should arrive this year after missing a planned 2014 opening. Like Milan, the hotel now has a dedicated website, with a first few interior images. The hotel will have 54 villas, 7 suites, and 2 spa suites – all with their own pool. The seven suites have rooftop plunge pools and are part of the main hotel building, with the spa suites giving over 4,000 square feet and infinity lap pools.
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There are many reasons why we’d recommend a trip to Tanzania: the scenery, the wildlife, the outdoor showers, we could go on. And if a trip in your eyes is only complete if it includes some beach time, then the island of Zanzibar (technically an archipelago) is only a short flight away.
From early next year, you can stay at the new Park Hyatt Zanzibar, right on the beach in Stone Town, the historic centre of Zanzibar City. Above a rendering of the 67-room hotel, but you can spy a real-life snap on the hotel’s Facebook page.
Located in the city's Hivernage district, the W Marrakech will have 148 guest rooms nd suites, include one Extreme WOW suite, along with residences. there will also be a signature restaurant, an all-day dining venue, a bar, an outdoor bar, WET pool deck, an Away Spa and FIT, the W's branded fitness center. And of course, Whatever/Whenever will also be in place.
GA Design International, the folks who did the W Taipei and the St. Regis Osaka, will handle the interiors fror the property which is expected to be "cutting-edge" and "contemporary lifestyle." In a hotel scene, that's dominated by old world luxury hotels, we think this W will be very much necessary.
Up next for W Hotels? Quite a lot, actually. The group plans on opening 15 hotels by 2018.
Double departure this summer from Indian group Taj Hotels: as of last week, it has said goodbye and farewell to the Taj Palace Hotel in Marrakech, which you’ll perhaps remember was conveniently located in Abu Dhabi for the purpose of Sex and the City 2 (when in real life it was meant to be a Mandarin Oriental).
A very short statement has replaced the former hotel website, and as of now we can’t see what name the hotel will carry going forward. We’re curious what caused the breakup of this marriage though; perhaps it’s the overcapacity of luxury hotels in the Moroccan city?
The exit in Marrakech comes after a change on the other side of the world in July, when Taj sold Blue Sydney (what once was the W) to the Ovolo Group. While it’s still operating as Blue Sydney at the moment, the hotel will officially become an Ovolo by the end of October.
[Photo: Taj Hotels]
Surrounded by two hectares of grounds in the modern Palmeraie district. A beautiful hammam. Eight beautiful suites, including some freestanding ones in their own pavilions. Like the Pavillon à la Rotonde, which is “romantic and secluded”, “ideal for an intimate getaway” with its “private garden and jacuzzi”. How glorious! Until you come to the booking page, and it describes it as “Poo Suite: Rotonde”.
Yes, of course this is an extremely juvenile thing to be giggling over. But it’s also a serious reminder to hotels to check through every page of your websites, and to keep names uniform across the site – because even if it said “Pool Suite: Rotonde”, we’d be wondering whether that was in fact the Pavillon à la Rotonde we’d so wanted to book.
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Clarins is kind of the Ryan Reynolds of the beauty world: a solid little worker that’ll do a good job, but looking a bit dated amongst the
Benedict Cumberbatches and Channing Tatums Ilas and Amalas. But anyway, you know it’s good, and it’s probably time you gave them another whirl.
And here’s somewhere nice to do it: the Royal Palm Marrakech, which lies eight miles out of town, has just opened a Clarins spa, or Spa by Clarins, as they call it.
The spa has been “designed to resemble a Moroccan palace” – you’ll have to take their word for it, as they haven’t photographed it yet – and the menu is a beautiful array of Moroccan-inspired treatments, such as the perfumed “Supreme Rose” massage, the ghassoul body wrap, and, of course, a traditional Moroccan hammam ritual.
As we start to take stock of 2013, there is no doubt that it was yet another eventful year for hotels, full of ups and downs – something we’ll talk more about before the year is officially out. Many destinations saw new additions to their hotel scene, but seeing yet another release for a new luxury hotel floating into our inbox for this particular city made us pause: Marrakech.
The Moroccan hotspot has seen an influx of new hotels in recent years few others can match. While lots of competition in some ways can only mean good things for us guests (read: better rates), a city needs to be able to support the number of hotel rooms it has to offer to create a viable environment. With the Royal Palm, a Beachcomber Resort, taking advantage of the magic 11.12.13 date to soft open, we wondered how long a quick off the cuff list of current options, recent arrivals and upcoming openings would be. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Update: Morgans Hotel Group has sent over this statement regarding the situation:
"Morgans Hotel Group reached the difficult decision to terminate its management agreement for Delano Marrakech and discontinue all affiliation with the hotel, including the removal of the Delano name and management of the property, effective November 12, 2013. This unprecedented action was taken as a result of severe and recurring breaches of contract by the ownership group. Morgans Hotel Group took this necessary recourse to preserve Delano’s reputation, the integrity of the company and the high standards that our guests expect from the Delano brand."
Just a little over a year after the Delano Marrakech opened, we've now got word that the Delano Hotels brand is OUT at the property. The hotel 71-room hotel has reverted back to its original, pre-renovation, name--The Pearl.
We're not sure of the details behind the departure (if you've got them, let us know) but Delano Marrakech has been removed from the Morgans Hotel Group website. Interestingly, Delano still has plans to expand to Las Vegas, Cesme (Turkey), Moscow and Cartagena.
In other Morgans Hotel Group news, the company still hasn't officially appointed a new CEO since Michael Gross stepped down in early September. Jason Kalisman, whose investment firm OTK Associates, is the company's largest shareholder, has been appointed interim CEO. This, after he led a takedown of the Morgans board and its celebrity investor, Ron Burkle. Now, Burkle has offered to buy the hotel group for $8 a share. No word yet on whether Morgans will accept.
So with all that going on, we can kind of understand this recent development. But what does it mean for all those future Delanos? We're not sure and we're not so sure we want to find out.
[Photo: Delano, er, The Pearl Marrakech]
Nearly three years ago the movie (or borderline international incident – sorry, SJP, but just. no.) Sex and the City 2 came out. Way back when, we reported on the backdrop for all the hotel-room scenes in the movie being the (then) future Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma, Marrakech, which substituted for Abu Dhabi in the film.
One delay to the first quarter of 2011 later and the hotel was taken over by Indian group Taj Hotels, still optimistically scheduled for the fall of that same year. Now, another year plus later, the Taj Palace Marrakech is finally ready for all those people who have been saving for an SATC-themed journey to Morocco.
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Some very lucky people got to enjoy never-before-slept-in rooms at the Delano Marrakech this weekend, as the brand new 71-room hotel—and its four dining spaces, including Bon R, by Michelin-starred chef Michel Rostang—celebrated its official opening on Friday. As we reported last month, this was quite a quick turnaround for Morgans, who only announced the hotel as recently as June.
What we don't get—but are very, very happy about—is the new "special offer" Delano Marrakech is advertising on its website: for a limited time, guests can book a room at the swank hotel for just $197/night. That's a good chunk of savings right there that can go directly toward your plane ticket to Morocco (which will cost significantly more, in case you had any doubts).
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Wow, that was fast! We only found out that Morgans Hotel Group was opening a Delano Hotel in Marrakech just the other month. And now we learn that hotel is already accepting reservations for its September 21 opening.
We found rates on the hotel's website for opening night at 4,090 MAD which is roughly $453. That's for a 400sq.ft. deluxe room with a king bed and a Juliette balcony which also includes free WiFi, breakfast and parking. Those perks are rather unusual for a Morgans Hotel! And if you book more than 21 days in advance you can get that room for just 3,440 MAD or about $380.
There's not much photography on the website yet but the hotel--designed by Jacques Garcia-- will have 71 rooms total, 30 of which are suites as well as the Bon R restaurant from Michelin-starred executive chef Michel Rostang and a Mediterranean Italian concept from Giancarlo Morelli. There will also be a 20,000-sq.ft. spa called The Pearl and a Sky Lounge bar.
This all sounds very swank indeed. So now, who's going to Marrakech on September 21st?