Destination Dispatches: Merry Marrakech, All Four Seasons

- Mary Gostelow, arguably the most-traveled, and most-traveling, lady of the 21st century. She is owner and president of The Gostelow Report, essential monthly market intelligence briefing for the top levels of the hospitality industry. She is also contributing editor to Elite Traveler, The Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine and EnRoute.

The fireplace in the lobby of Four Seasons Hotel Marrakech provides a warm welcome to this marvelous Moroccan city.

Statues of musicians on an outside staircase also make you smile, as do the 300 team members–95 per cent of whom are Moroccan–who look after what is a 140-room hotel, set in a 16-hectare oasis only a few minutes away from the Medina. After the sometimes tiring sightseeing, relax here in the gorgeous gardens, among mature palms and lush greenery. You have two pools (one adult-only), and two clay tennis courts. In summer there is even a rooftop bar, and of course the spa.

The hotel, opened June 2011, is not the claustrophobia and dark colors of yesteryear. There is space and creativity. I opened the big sliding door on to my very private terrace one morning, before the sun came up, for a few stretches. Later, at dawn, I realized the sand color of my marble floor and rug matches the ragged walls and leather headboard. I realized, too, what a real soaking tub is: my bathtub is nearly three feet deep.

You also know you’re in Marrakech looking at the breakfast buffet in the Solano restaurant. Red earthenware pots with tall conical lids hold, for instance, flat pancakes, to go with honey. Nearby is a stack of dates. You feel like singing at the array of fruits, including the juiciest peaches.

Actually the hotel, like Marrakech, is full of music. The General Manager Jean-Claude Wietzel studied the piano for nine years at Nice Music Conservatory. What is more, Executive Chef Christophe Gillino, from Aix en Provence, France, composes professionally for EMI as Chris Milano. Composing music is really not so different from working on menus and creating dishes, Chris says. He wants to indulge the senses. When you get the balance right, the results can be captivating.

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