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A Marrakech make-over

Morocco’s most fashion-forward city gets its glad rags on with the arrival of the Jasper Conran hotel, plus new extensions to Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Marjorelle and the gardens at the Royal Mansour

A Marrakech make-over
L’Hôtel Marrakech

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For Marrakech, beauty has always come from within. From private riads to labyrinthine royal palace hotels, the city’s charms are often veiled. While the fashion world has never been very good at championing inner beauty, it makes an exception for Morocco’s most happening city. The latest from the catwalk: English fashion designer Jasper Conran makes his hotel debut with L’Hôtel Marrakech, a 19th century riad with secluded courtyard, gardens and pool. Soaring white zouak ceilings are the perfect backdrop for a 1930s aesthetic that recalls Morocco’s heyday as a bolthole for boho Europeans. Walls of jasmine and scented roses surround the pool; fragrant citrus and fig trees shade the roof terrace. There’s probably no prettier place to tuck into a tagine.

Garden leave

Royal Mansour: Four hectares of landscaped grounds clearly weren’t enough — another 1.5 hectares have been unveiled. The Moorish-Andalucian gardens by Spanish designer Luis Vallejo are accompanied by Yannick Alléno’s new restaurant.

Jardins Majorelles: The gardens are due to get their own museum annex later this year — a new home for hundreds of haute couture Yves Saint Laurent outfits, plus thousands of books on fashion and local Berber culture.

Published in the Jul/Aug 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)