Marrakech, Morocco – Reported by Erin Riley for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
Marrakech is something of a haven for hoteliers who, captivated by the vibrancy of the city, indulge in wildly opulent and eager designs. While this provides for an array of flashy retreats, luxury travelers seeking a more tasteful alternative may need to take some time to rifle through the city’s recent boom of options, with 19 new hotels set to open by the end of 2012.
Only upon entering Selman Marrakech does one realize what it takes to create a chic boutique feel from the grandeur of Moroccan Arab-Andalucían design. After three years of intricate planning and work, and since its soft opening in May, the palatial-boutique resort is now preparing for its official opening in September. Owned and managed by a local family, Selman Marrakech sprawls over a re-sculpted 15-acre park that lies at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, just ten minutes from the city center.
Its delectable, escape-it-all luxury comes in the form of 56 rooms and suites that juxtapose stylish mod-cons with traditional Moorish décor. Intricate artisan craftsmanship and warm terra-cotta tones define the five VIP Riads, each of which comes with a private garden, heated pool and 24-hour butler service. Renowned Parisian designer Jacques Garcia reveals his striking tastes through elements like suede walls and black lacquer, while elaborate wood paneling is contrasted with distressed hardwood floors and hand-painted tile wainscoting to throw off any distinct associations.
The destination’s pride and joy, a majestic collection of 16 purebred Arabian horses, reveals one of the owner’s reasons for purchasing the property. A staff of luxury leaders runs the resort’s five-star facilities as the Espace Vitalite Chenot, renowned among spa connoisseurs for its innovative treatments and approach to rejuvenation, will be Marrakech’s foremost spa retreat. Additionally, Antoine Perray’s destination eatery blends contemporary Moroccan cooking with haute French touches in a playful restaurant teeming with fuchsia upholstered decor.