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October 15, 2009updated Feb 08, 2013

La Mamounia Opens Doors To Guests Following Three-Year Restoration

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The much anticipated La Mamounia, Marrakech’s illustrious hotel is fully open, following an extensive restoration project led by internationally-acclaimed interior designer, Jacques Garcia. Even more breathtaking and magical than ever before, La Mamounia offers a sensory travel experience.

“An icon of Marrakech, La Mamounia is the incarnation of Moroccan identity and a true jewel among international hotels,” said Didier Picquot, General Manager of La Mamounia. “Heir to a rich tradition, La Mamounia meets all expectations of contemporary travelers who are in search of an authentic experience, yet keen to preserve the heritage they find,” Picquot said.

A legendary property, such as La Mamounia, steeped in history and grace, and which has hosted the “who’s who” of international royalty, politicians, celebrities and the jet set, comes with its own elegant trademarks and legends that make La Mamounia truly unique:

-The name ‘La Mamounia’ can be traced back to the eighteenth century, starting with King Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah. At the time, it was customary to offer one’s sons a house and a garden located outside the Kasbah as a wedding gift. La Mamounia is located on the site of the King’s gift to his son, Prince Moulay Mamoun. Today the garden, noted for its ancient olive groves and wide array of flora, covers almost 20 acres.

-Fragrance expert, Olivia Giacobetti, famed as one of the seven ‘noses’ in the world worked tirelessly to produce a series of scents for La Mamounia. These draw inspiration from local flavors and ingredients, such as the fresh date, and are used to fragrance in-room guest amenities and scented candles that flicker and glow throughout the property.

-Winston Churchill declared the site to be, “the most lovely spot in the whole world” and regularly used La Mamounia as his winter quarters. Indeed, his granddaughter is still a regular visitor to the property.

-French fashion design team Terre & Ciel Conseil recently sewed the final buttons and sequins on La Mamounia’s tailor-made staff uniforms which clothe all 777 employees. Over 170 different exquisitely detailed uniforms have been hand-made in Europe and embroidered in Morocco for every hotel role, including distinctive designs for airport collection staff, bellmen, concierge, F&B staff, guest services and garden staff uniforms.

-Under the direction of Paris’ acclaimed celebrity coiffeur, La Mamounia’s hair salon by Jean Michel Faretra Paris offers high styles for both men and women. Noted for his creativity and skill, Faretra has been recognized as one of the world’s top “hair designers” by industry leaders and media alike. He regularly styles in France, Argentina, Japan, the UK, Colombia and Peru. An ambassador for Sebastian and Wella Color, Faretra works with SHISEIDO make-up and cosmetics and can transform guests’ hair and makeup with flair.

-Essences du Maroc, a specialist division of marocMaroc has created a luxurious skin care line exclusively for La Mamounia. The all-natural signature products, include: Savon Noir, an black soap exfoliant made from pressed olives and salt; Ghassoul, a mineral clay extracted from the Atlas Mountains, traditionally used as a gentle cleanser for skin and hair; Huile d’Argan, a regenerating Moroccan tree oil; a toning and smoothing Eau de Rose (rose water); and a refreshing Eau de Fleur d’Orange (orange water).

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-Two clay tennis courts are available for guests play within the gardens. As an exclusive to La Mamounia, international tennis legend Henri Leconte is developing Tennis by Henri Leconte, offering clinics and classes throughout the year at La Mamounia, as well as several exhibition matches between himself and other global tennis stars.

-La Mamounia features six different restaurants and cafes to fulfill your every craving. L’Italien features fresh, Italian entrees created by Alfonso Iaccarino. Le Francais is a contemporary French restaurant run by Jean-Pierre Vigato. Le Marocain is on site for you to indulge in the rich food of Morocco, prepared by Chef Rachid Agouray. Le Pavillon de la Piscine tantalizes guests’ taste-buds with Meditteranean cuisine. The Salon de Thé is the perfect spot for an afternoon tea, and Le Menzeh ‘Glacier & Pâtissier’ offers delicious ice cream, chocolates, candies and hand-made pastries by Chef Richard Bourlon. While staying at La Mamounia you are sure to enjoy some of the best cuisine in the world.

-Le Bar Churchill, located in the La Mamounia Gallery, evokes the flavor of bygone days with a distinctive air of a ‘speakeasy’ or hidden jazz club. This space has kept much of the original wooden structure of the bar, as well as, its iconic murals and images of famous musicians, creating a truly authentic location. Florida resident and chanteuse, Margaret Bell performs at Le Bar Churchill at La Mamounia during its first six months of opening. Margaret has toured internationally with Carly Simon, as well as, Bebe and Cece Winans and has performed with Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole, Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack and Quincy Jones.

-The Majorelle Gallery at La Mamounia, adjacent to L’Italien restaurant houses an original mural painting on the ceiling by artist Jacques Majorelle, who created the world-famous Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, which was later acquired by Yves Sant-Laurent. The painting has been painstakingly restored and maintained throughout the property’s renovation.

These are only a few of the small details that make La Mamounia a thoroughly luxurious and enchanting destination. Retreating to La Mamounia evokes a modern day fairytale come true.

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