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June 16, 2009

Royal Mansour, Marrakech Slated for November 2009 Opening

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Le Royal Mansour is owned by the King of Morocco and serves as the pinnacle project for Vision 2010. With no expense spared to ensure the property as one of the world’s finest hotels, the King has hopes that Royal Mansour will help establish Marrakech as a premier luxury travel destination.

Elegantly composed of 53 individual riads, three restaurants, and a Moroccan spa, the property extends over eight acres. Built into the ancient wall of Marrakech, the hotel recreates an historical medina and is punctuated with Andalusian courtyards, winding alleyways, and spectacular water displays and fountains.

Each riad (ranging in size from 1,400 square-feet to 21,520 square-feet) is uniquely designed and furnished with silks and brocades, ornate tiles, and handcrafted wood and antique furniture. Riad lobbies welcome guests into open-air courtyards surrounded by a bar, living area, and in some cases, a dining room; first floors house bedrooms that overlook the private courtyard below; and roof terraces with sun beds and private pools provide stunning views of Marrakech or the Atlas mountains. The 26,900 square-foot spa is located in its own glazed pavilion surrounded by a moat and features a fitness center, spa treatment rooms, and an indoor pool.

In 2001, King Mohamed VI presented Vision 2010 as Morocco’s national tourism strategy with a goal of reaching ten million visitors by 2010. The main objectives were to increase tourism as well as jobs in the hospitality sector; as a result, hotels have been steadily opening since 2001, and a handful more will open over the next two years.

Jean Pierre Chaumard has been named General Manager of Royal Mansour Marrakech. Hailing from a uniquely cultured background, Mr. Chaumard has served at such iconic hotels as La Mamounia in Marrakech, Evian Royal Resort in Geneva, Hotel de Maris in Monaco, and Hotel Byblos St. Tropez; most notably, he gained recognition as General Manager of the Royal Palm in Mauritius for the past twenty years.

Three-star Michelin chef Yannick Alléno heads the cuisine as Executive Chef with three different restaurant concepts, all focusing on reinterpreting traditional Moroccan cuisine.

The spa concept is designed by Odile de Vars based in Paris; landscaping design is done by Luis Vallejo, who previously did landscaping for the Alhambra de Granada. The entire property will be serviced by 350 expert staff via a comprehensive underground network.

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