Despite a central location, the Mandarin Oriental Marrakech does not feel like a city break – it is more like an oasis retreat. The first Mandarin Oriental in Africa, the hotel chain’s latest outpost offers the luxury and outstanding service for which the chain is famous.

The glossy monochrome lobby opens up into a view of the breath-taking pool garden and beyond to the Atlas Mountains, creating an immediate sense of awe. It is conveniently located 30 minutes from Menara Airport, and 15 minutes from the Medina – a must for any visit to the city. Hotel cars and local taxi services are at the disposal of hotel guests.

Suites and villas

There are no rooms per se, the entry level accommodation are the suites, which are located on the top floor of the hotel and spacious enough for a family. The terraces offer views out to the crimson Atlas Mountains.

The majority of guests stay in one of the 54 villas scattered throughout the gardens. Behind opulent wooden doors there is 3,000ft2 of private living space, including a swimming pool, hot tub, outdoor shower, fireplace, indoor shower with steam room, kitchenette and an array of areas for al-fresco dining.

Forbes called Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, “A Moroccan haven of Oriental charm.” Image Credit: The Mandarin Oriental

Service levels

‘Staff goes the extra mile’ might sound like an overused cliché, but the Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, has embraced this mantra fully. Each villa has its own butler available via WhatsApp service, which guests are added to upon arrival. Need your hot tub turned on? Fireplace lit after dinner? Bikes delivered to your door? Guests can easily arrange such requests with a quick message from a sun lounger by the pool or a restaurant in the Medina.

Dining options

Given the careful thought gone into other services of the hotel, it should come as no surprise that guests have an array of top-quality dining options.

Shirvan restaurant is open all day, starting as a dreamy breakfast spot overlooking the hotel grounds. Guests can enjoy an impressive buffet, or order traditional breakfasts such as shakshuka and msamen (pancakes drizzled with honey and almond butter). In the evening, its doors are open for a world-class affair. Inspired by the history of the Silk Road, the sharing plates menu includes favourites like the lobster pastilla and pistachio cake.

The spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, is inspired by Andalusian mosques and cathedrals architecture. Image Credit: The Mandarin Oriental

For a more upbeat affair, Ling Ling by Hakkassan blends dining and dancing. Much like its iconic Mayfair hotspot, the menu offers traditional Cantonese dishes and innovative cocktails. Ling Ling is popular with Marrakech locals as a late-night bar.

Some guests, understandably so, would prefer not to be torn away from their luxurious villa. The Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, has predictably got this covered, with in-villa dining available 24 hours a day. The chef can do a poolside BBQ or candlelit dinner for two, all from the comfort of your villa.

The Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, covers 20 acres. Image Credit: The Mandarin Oriental

Hammam is central to the spa

The hotel covers 20 hectares, so you really can get lost in paradise. In an elegant twist, each villa has a different variety of rose in its garden, helping guests to find their way home. The grounds also have farm animals and a vegetable garden, which can be set up for a dining experience. And if guests prefer a more active stay, they have access to two golf courses, tennis courts and bikes available upon request.

Villas at the Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, include a private pool, hot tub and steam room. Image Credit: The Mandarin Oriental

For fans of a fly-and-flop holiday, there is of course the hotel spa. Inspired by the cathedrals and mosques of Andalusia, light speckles through the shutters down the corridor and dapples the pool. In keeping with the hotel’s loyalty to local culture, Hammam is a central feature of the spa treatments. Enjoy two hours in a private wet room while your body is cleaned, scrubbed and massaged – even your hair is washed. Other treatments have a specialist focus, such as digital wellness escape to recover from strains of frequent digital device use, or oriental harmony for those suffering from jet lag. The spa suites all have a private terrace or garden, allowing for outdoor treatments.

Ling Ling by Hakkasan entertains with modern Cantonese cuisine, innovative cocktails and a late-night DJ. Image Credit: The Mandarin Oriental

With so much for guests to enjoy in the hotel grounds, it is possible to holiday without stepping a foot outside. However, the more adventurous will enjoy excursions organised by hotel staff, from a trek in the Atlas Mountains to a guided tour of the Medina.

Fact file: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group ­

  • Luxury heritage: For more than 60 years, Mandarin Oriental has set the standard for luxury hospitality, boasting a rich history. Its Asian flagship, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, stands as the oldest hotel on the island. ­
  • Global expansion: Originating from its properties in Asia, including the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, the group has evolved into a global brand. With a presence spanning five continents, it continues to expand. ­
  • Tailored wellness: Setting the trend in spa innovation, Mandarin Oriental introduced the ‘Time Ritual’, prioritising guests’ needs over specific treatments, ensuring a personalised experience. ­
  • Signature luxury: Crafted for Mandarin Oriental by Aromatherapy Associates, the group’s signature spa products offer a blend of natural ingredients, free from parabens, meticulously curated to meet the highest standards of luxury. ­
  • Culinary excellence: At Mandarin Oriental, culinary artistry has earned 26 Michelin stars across the globe in 2024. Each meal is a testament to the group’s dedication to creating unforgettable dining experiences. ­
  • Legendary service: With a team of over 14,000 colleagues representing 133 nationalities, Mandarin Oriental prides itself on delivering service synonymous with its esteemed brand. ­
  • Iconic logo: The iconic ‘fan’ logo, conceived in the mid-1980s by Pentagram in Hong Kong, stands as a symbol within the tourism industry, representing Mandarin Oriental’s commitment to quality and distinction. ­
  • Commitment to sustainability: Dedicated to environmental responsibility, Mandarin Oriental strives for energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction, reporting progress annually as part of its commitment to sustainability.

All-star spas

In the annual Forbes Travel Guide Awards for 2024, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group garnered an impressive 24 hotels and 16 spas with Five-Star recognition.

Across its diverse portfolio, Mandarin Oriental properties have met Forbes’ stringent criteria, delivering customised service of the highest calibre. Notably, 12 of the group’s hotels have achieved the coveted Five-Star status in both hotel and spa categories, reflecting a standard of excellence upheld across destinations such as Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, and Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, London.

In the US, Mandarin Oriental, New York, has maintained its prestigious Five-Star ratings for both hotel and spa, a testament to its unwavering dedication to quality over 18 consecutive years. Similarly, Mandarin Oriental, Boston, has upheld its Five- Star ratings since opening in 2008.

Internationally, Mandarin Oriental, Milan, remains the sole Five-Star hotel in its city, while Mandarin Oriental, Luzern, received recognition in its inaugural year of operation, further affirming the group’s global reputation in luxury hospitality.

Forbes’ comprehensive evaluation process, considering up to 900 objective criteria, serves as a testament to Mandarin Oriental’s commitment to excellence and superior service standards across its global network of properties.