By Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny
Taking advantage of the forced closing due to the Covid pandemic the 5-star hotel “Domaine des Remparts” in Marrakech has been through an extensive renovation bringing it to a higher level of comfort and hospitality. It felt good to go back to Morocco to enjoy a sunny and warm autumn city-break in this quiet green haven.
Although the “Domaine des Remparts” (the Ramparts Estate) is only a 10/15 minutes drive from the bustling Jemaa El Fna Square in Marrakech city centre you will find there a haven of peace and tranquillity. The hotel is set in a vast 2-hectare park (5 acres) that was created out of the blue 15 years ago when the hotel was first built on a piece of desert. The local wildlife soon took of advantage of this new sanctuary, especially birds that offer a non-stop concert to the hotel’s guests. Banana, olive, pomegranate, orange and lemon trees grow next to the vegetable garden and the lush flower beds that surrounds the low hotel buildings and the two swimming pools.
Far from kitsch Moroccan decoration or from an impersonal luxury international hotel the Domaine des Remparts is a successful mix and match of contemporary design and local materials. The owners Abdallah Slaoui of Franco-Moroccan origin and his wife have carefully chosen the furniture and every object to create a homey feeling. For instance all the rooms are suites and have a fireplace where in wintertime a real fire is lit every evening creating at once a unique atmosphere of warmth and comfort. The hotel has 33 suites the “smallest” ones being 50sqm while the family suites with two bedrooms and a vast living room are 100 and 140sqm large. They all have a fireplace, a large lounge area, a private terrace and garden with a direct access to the swimming pools. The bathrooms all have a bath and separate shower and have been painted with the famous unique Moroccan tadelakt.
Yoga has always been a major activity proposed by the Doamine des Remparts. You can practice on your own in the dedicated “shala” (a traditional yoga house in India) or participate in organised courses. You can also play tennis, get pampered in the spa or simply relax by the outside pools (one of them is heated all year round) or play golf in one of the ten close by golf courses of Marrakech. To help you enjoy Marrakech the hotel proposes several free of charge transfers to the city centre every day.
Food is a great experience at Domaine des Remparts. You will start your day with a hearty delicious breakfast served on the outside terrace of the Tibipt restaurant. Homemade yogurt, granola, crèpes and cakes, a wide choice of croissants, brioches, savouries, cheese or fruits… make a tempting breakfast table. The chef was born in Morocco but travelled the world to work in fine restaurants including Michelin stared ones. He makes a simple yet creative cuisine mixing Moroccan and exotic tastes. You can thus enjoy typical Moroccan dishes such as a rich couscous or an international recipe where the vegetable freshly picked up in the hotel’s garden have a place of honour.
There is no doubt that the newly renovated Domaine des Remparts will quickly get an excellent word of mouth. As rainy cold autumn days settle down in Europe why not treat yourself and enjoy Moroccan hospitality?
More and direct booking at www.domainedesremparts.com
Text ©Annick Dournes
Photos ©Frederic de Poligny