Luxury Hotels

MARRAKECH – 10

The master of all he surveys at La Mamounia, Marrakech, is Pierre Jochem, the epitome of finesse. This is a cognisant from Alsace who really understands minutiae.

Some examples. See suite 066, below. It, like all the rooms, has many things covered in handstitched orange leather. Kleenex covers therefore exactly match the citrus fruits that are, a-plenty and more, almost causing the trees on the 17-acre estate to groan with overbearing. The estate is also plentiful with date palms, all carefully, like the entire gardens, groomed and manicured. Workers with rakes are rattling gravel on the pathways from dawn on.

Moroccans, and visitors, love gardens. La Mamounia is right next to Arset El Mamoun gardens.  It’s also only a couple of minutes from Marrakech’s walled Medina and its treasure trove of history and culture. One good way to explore, which Girlahead wants to do on her next visit, is to ride sidecar in an historic motororbike. Pierre Jochem smiles as he suggests this.

He’s run other signature hotels – The Imperial in New Delhi, Raffles, THE Raffles, in Singapore. He has found his perfect stage here, at La Mamounia. This is haute couture, he says. He benchmarks with Paris’ Plaza Athénée, in the heart of fashionland. As it happens, incidentally, the boss of Plaza Athénée, François Delahaye, retreated to La Mamounia for an extended Christmas stay – which goes to show that one stylish gentleman attracts others of that ilk.