Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 51

places: marrakech

perspectives
By Chip Conley

morocco bound
A personal tour of a city that our guest editor nds “beguiling, serene, and slightly on the edge”
When it comes to design, I like to be surprised. That’s also true of where I like to travel. One of my favorite spots for discovery and delight is Marrakech, a city full of antiquities on the surface but of hip, modern design behind the ancient gates. Every five years, I do a big birthday bash somewhere in the world (I just celebrated my 50th in the Nevada desert at Burning Man). I chose Marrakech for my 45th because it’s a perfect alchemy of festive and soulful, new and old, familiar and exotic. The grande dame of Marrakech hotels is the Mamounia, which was faded glory until its recent upgrade by Jacques Garcia. The bathrooms create a Moroccan hammam feeling, but with great natural light. The swimming pool was redesigned to mirror the Menara basin and the superb restaurant is now housed in what was once the private villa of Hassan II. Not that I would hang out there, but there’s a cigar room done in warm, lush green tones that’s sort of a private hideaway. Everywhere you look, you see symmetry in that lovely Arabian geometry. Most of the more interesting places to stay are the small riads; my favorite has to be Riad Farnatchi, with the ultimate hostess, Lynn Perez. Lynn runs an amazing small hotel with nine suites and knows this city better than most locals. Farnatchi has a funky dining room with a metal floor, carved tadelakt walls, and a nice rooftop garden. A couple of the other great riads are Dar JL, a private estate that’s just opened as a guest villa at the entrance to the Palmeraie (it recently made Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List); and for a more affordable option that’s still stylish, check out Riad Siwan. When it comes to restaurants, it’s almost as if each one wants to outdo the design of the next. Think Paris meets Miami meets Mecca. The design influences are both of the moment and timeless. BoZin is on the outskirts of town and is modern Moroccan with a nice outdoor garden. Le Comptoir Darna is a classic, with belly dancing and great food, and their new nightclub Silver is the talk of the town. For a true experience, go out to La Pause, about 18 miles away and full of Moroccan soul. You can organize a special sunset dinner, ride camels, and listen to great music. The food and design are simple and rustic. Finally, a visit to Marrakech isn’t complete without a shopping trip through the winding medina. It’s a complete sensory experience and can be disorienting (including the labyrinth nature of the streets). The best finds are little shops that are impossible for me to guide you to, but check out Ministero del Gusto, one of the originators of neoMoroccan design when it opened in 1998. This gallery/store sells odd art from all over the world, but also specializes in up-and-coming local artists. Spectacular interiors: Flintstones meets Mad Max. Some of the better-known designers (Yahya, Serge Lutens, Joanna Bristow, Fadila El Gadi) have showrooms in the Gueliz district, a new part of town where more expensive shops are located. In sum, Marrakech is beguiling and enchanting, serene and slightly on the edge. Snake charmers, Yves Saint Laurent’s gardens, the largest outdoor dining market in the world, the nearby Atlas Mountains and Sahara desert, gracious Moroccan hospitality (that rivals that of Bali), and a feast of design flavors make this a place you must visit. Promise me you’ll go soon.

Clockwise from top: The pool, cigar lounge, L’Italien restaurant, and Majorelle Suite at the recently renovated Mamounia hotel.

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October 2010

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - October 2010

Hospitality Design - October 2010
Contents
Online Contents
From the Editor
Guest Editor Letter
People
Sketchbook
Places
Interview
Profile
Best of Boutique
Textiles
Accessories
The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino
Hotel Punta Tragara
Ventana Inn & Spa
Tse Yang
Girl & The Goat
Zulu Camp at Shambala Game Reserve
Back Space
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Hospitality Design - October 2010
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 1
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 2
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 3
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 4
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 5
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 6
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 7
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 8
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 9
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 10
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 11
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 12
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 13
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 14
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 15
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 16
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Contents
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 18
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Online Contents
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 20
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 21
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 22
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 23
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - From the Editor
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 25
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Guest Editor Letter
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 27
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - People
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 29
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 30
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 31
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 32
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 33
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 34
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 35
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 36
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 37
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 38
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 39
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 40
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 41
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 42
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Sketchbook
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 44
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 45
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 46
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 47
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 48
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 49
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 50
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Places
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 52
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 53
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 54
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Interview
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 56
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 57
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 58
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 59
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 60
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Profile
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 62
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Best of Boutique
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 64
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 65
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 66
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Textiles
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 68
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 69
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 70
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Accessories
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 72
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 73
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 74
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 75
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 77
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 78
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 79
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 80
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 81
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Hotel Punta Tragara
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 83
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 84
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 85
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Ventana Inn & Spa
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 87
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 88
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 89
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Tse Yang
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 91
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 92
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 93
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Girl & The Goat
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 95
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 96
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 97
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Zulu Camp at Shambala Game Reserve
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 99
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 100
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 101
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 102
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - 103
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Back Space
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Cover3
Hospitality Design - October 2010 - Cover4
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