Set within a luxe, contemporary medina, the Four Seasons Marrakech offers a refreshing counterpoint to other luxury resorts in the city. With a greater emphasis on comfort, lofty views of the Atlas Mountains, and classic Four Seasons service, the resort offers the best of old and new. Each guest room and suite has a private balcony with views of the grounds, the historic Menara Gardens, or the snow-capped Atlas Mountains.
The 16-hectare (40-acre) walled garden is threaded with arcades and fountain courtyards, with unobtrusive low-rise accommodation nestled amongst olive and palm trees. The resort boasts several pools, a great spa, five outstanding restaurants, bars and lounges, and a vintage cinema.
Perfectly situated between the airport and the crazy bustle of the centre of the town, the Four Seasons Marrakech strikes the ideal balance between Moorish authenticity and modern comfort.
There are two main restaurants. The casual Moroccan restaurant has live belly dancers and a vast buffet selection alongside tagines and local specials.
Arancino is a rather more exciting affair. Overseen by an eccentric and passionate Italian chef, it has a romance and colourful exoticism, with spaciously laid out tables and Bedouin canopies. We enjoyed truffle and Parmesan beef carpaccio, followed by an incredibly tender yet dense fillet steak. The food at the Italian restaurant was excellent in every sense.
The suites are lovely, and the bed was plump, bouncy, and soft. Having come straight from Amanjena, another key player on Marrakech’s luxury map, the level of comfort at the Four Seasons was unsurpassed.
Who Goes There:
There were fewer US guests than at most Four Seasons resorts: a mix of well-heeled Europeans and the odd Middle Eastern couple held court poolside. French society mothers and daughters were well represented, with the odd Brit clutching Tatler and sunscreen.
Out and About:
Marrakech needs little introduction; the Red City is known for its incredible souks, where Moorish and African craftsmanship combine in a heady coup of leather, marble, chess boards, mirrored slippers and Sherlock Holmes-style smoking caps.
Visit the central square Jamaa el Fna, and the air is rife with cries of gypsies, snake-charmers and wandering minstrels. Magicians and folk-singers wind in and around the crowded bazaars. There are tanneries on pavements, street artists in every corner, and vegetable vendors lining every alley.
If you’re not paying attention, you could end up with a monkey on your shoulder or a snake wrapped around your arm. And if you can sidestep the wild animals, coercive women wielding syringes of henna may corner you into an ill-advised tattoo.
The Worst Thing:
I’ve never had a bad experience at a Four Seasons. At a push the interiors weren’t quite as lavish as some Four Seasons—my personal favourites being Hulailai, Florence and New York—but the Four Seasons Marrakech is an oasis of civility and comfort amongst the beautiful, chaotic jungle of colour, scents, and culture that is Marrakech.
The Best Thing:
The well-appointed and tranquil spa operates with both Swiss efficiency and a tropical exoticism.
The main pool is timeless, beautifully laid out and elegant. The service, especially poolside, was second to none.