Tag: Marrakech HotelsView All Tags
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?
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Just last week we were reminiscing about the days when The Delano would strike out for the wilds of Las Vegas and Dubai but thanks to the great economy meltdown of 2008, those desert dreams were merely mirages. Same goes for these Delano duds.
But today, we've got word that The Delano, under parent company Morgans Hotel Group is actually giving it another go--this time in Morocco.
Morgans has partnered up with Moroccan entrepreneur Ahmed Bennani and Hivernage Collection to open a Delano Marrakech in September 2012 (this year!) followed by a Mondrian Marrakech in late 2013. Here's the brief description on the 73-room Delano Marrakech:
Following the footsteps of its South Beach predecessor, Delano Marrakech will provide world-travelers with another sophisticated world-class urban resort marked by unparalleled style and five-star service. As a self-contained destination, Delano Marrakech will offer a haven of luxury and relaxation in heart of the vibrant, magical city.
We all agree that it’s getting harder to stand out from the crowd when it comes to providing five-star amenities for guests who now expect that luxury toiletries, flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi and iPod docking stations are de rigueur at five-star properties. What’s a hotel to do to up the ante?
Well, if you’re the newly-opened Palais Namaskar in Marrakech, Morocco you house a private jet to shuttle your guests to and fro – from the Marrakech airport, from airports around the world or to other Oetker Collection hotels, such as Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden, Le Bristol Paris, Hôtel du Cap Eden-Roc located on the Mediterranean at the tip of the Cap d’Antibes, and Château Saint-Martin & Spa in Provence. This means that you can zip over to Paris to shop for the day and then be back in Marrakech in time for a sunset swim in your private pool at the Palais Namaskar.
For the airplane geeks, because we know you’re out there, the plane is a 14-seat Dassault Falcon 900 LX jet fitted out with a dining table, king-sized bed and surround-sound music system. The decor is in keeping with the design of the hotel – a beautiful combination of elegant European and modern Moorish design. Renowned French-Algerian designer and former associate of Philippe Starck, Imaad Rahmouni, is responsible for the exquisite architecture of the hotel.
Positioned within the lush, landscaped grounds will be 54 individual villas, or riads, each housed in 300 square meters of private walled gardens, featuring their own pools and hot tubs, open-air showers, extensive areas for sunbathing and shaded alfresco dining. In keeping with traditional Moroccan customs, each riad will feature an interior courtyard, creating a calming, reflective arrival experience.
French architect Pascal Desprez is using Morocco's rich heritage and cultural influences as inspiration for the hotel's exterior while Paris based design-duo Gilles & Boissier will do the main building's interiors.
We're drooling over recently-released photos of Selman Marrakech, a new 56-room luxury resort that officially opens on May 1. In addition to completed rooms and suites, the 15-acre property also boasts a pool, a 12,000 square foot spa, and, bizarrely, sixteen Arabian thoroughbreds, which roam the property simply for guests to enjoy, and (occasionally) ride.
Our eyes, however, immediately fixated on the detailed craftsmanship that characterizes the walls, the floor, the furniture—from the looks of it, pretty much every surface here is marked by some little ingenious embellishment, from hand-laid mosaic tiles to arched columns to carved wooden balconies.
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.
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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.