Enclosed within the ramparts, La Mamounia is preserved like a jewel and sets the tone before you even set foot inside. Upon confirmation of reservation we read, "Smart and elegant dress code is obligatory in public areas of the hotel." Given the setting, it's hard to imagine turning up in shorts and flip-flops, even if this is sometimes seen during the daytime. But we understand this rule straight away as soon as we enter the hotel lobby. The porters, in their immaculate red and white uniforms, lead the way towards the iconic La Mamounia where we discover a lavish décor rich in refined and opulent details; marble columns, plush carpets and Baccarat crystal chandeliers. The black and white Moroccan tiles and traditional mural decoration on the walls transport us to another time. A series of comfortable individual lounge areas allow us to admire the surroundings upon arrival, refreshed with the help of a cold towel and a serving of sweet almond milk. The main building has been constructed in harmony with the architectural style typical of Marrakech. Even with only four floors, the hotel remains impressive.
The visit continues in the perfectly manicured hotel garden, elsewhere a large path leads you to other parts of the hotel. To freshen up, head to the main pool (heated), the second pool is found in the spa facility. It's a shame that the main pool's shape is so simple; we had imagined something more elaborate and original. Here you'll find an army of sun loungers at your disposition, lined up one next to the other. Should you prefer not to get to know your neighbour, it might be more pleasant to find a spot on the grass in the park where you're more likely to find some peace and quiet. Here, the service is at your beck and call so settle into a lounge chair and an attendant will arrive with the towels or whatever else it is that you may need. As long as you don't find yourself amongst a group of children splashing about in the pool, the scene is quite calm. We are not so keen however, on the incessant noise coming from the exterior vents of the restaurant, situated opposite the pool.
The hotel's fitness area is found a little bit further, close to the restaurant's vegetable garden. The gym is very well equipped, sporty guests should have all they need to keep in shape during their stay. After exerting effort in the gym, it's time to move on to pleasure and comfort. Head to the spa where its 2,500m² have been totally overhauled, just like the rest of the hotel. However be careful; the dim lighting and steep stairs could have you finishing with a tumble. There's not much to see at the spa but it is a place dedicated to relaxation and while it is very well set out, beware of the slippery surfaces.
Eighty treatments are offered in the nine indoor cabins, six exterior cabins and the spa suite. However, after a spa therapist has met your needs with a relaxing treatment you may experience feelings of frustration when you realise that the treatment that was supposed to last one hour comes to an end after only 40 minutes; the deception is there. During the massage, while attention was paid to all parts of the body, do not expect a deep or intense treatment. We were also surprised that no information was provided concerning potential health risks before, during or after the massage. While the treatment allows you to relax completely, it is however expensive for the service you receive in the end.