With its authentic Moroccan architecture, decoration, gardens, and cuisine, it’s hard to find a compelling reason to leave the grounds of La Mamounia. Indeed we did meet a few guests at the hotel who hadn’t set foot beyond La Mamounia’s walls! Being ever curious however, WIJW did feel the need to explore and experience some of the significant palaces and historical sites that Marrakech has to offer.
As many of our readers know, I’m always looking to expand my visual palette and I can tell you the experience in Marrakech will definitely affect the decorative narrative I’ll be capable of offering my clients in the future. In fact I’m feeling positively inspired!
One of our favorite sites was Bahia Palace, which is the only royal palace here that is open to the public. Despite having been stripped of many of its details over the years, one still can get a good sense of the lavish Moroccan craftsmanship that once surrounded the Sultans and Pashas.
The El-Badi Palace is another must see—this 16th century structure was built by Ahmad al-Mansur to celebrate a victory over the Portuguese. The palace became known as “The Incomparable.” Although what remains of it today pales in comparison to what it once was, the quality of its original decoration still reveals itself here and there in all of its magnificence. The palace was designed with an incredible 360 rooms, a huge inner courtyard and four sunken gardens separated by gorgeous reflecting pools.
Parts of the palace have been restored and one is struck by its strangely contemporary appearance—it’s pretty clear where the Amanjena Hotel designers got much of their inspiration!
A quick 5 minute taxi ride from our Palace excursion, and we were back to La Mamounia to relax and reflect on the rich history of this exotic land.
Enjoying one of the many fabulous fountains at La Mamounia (top), I’m dressed for a bit of exploration. I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci khaki cotton safari shirt, white cotton shorts by Mario Matteo, Gucci python belt with silver buckle, aviator sunglasses, Tom Ford brown suede tasseled loafers, vintage Rolex watch, and my fragrance is Creed Orange Spice.