Luxury Hotels

MARRAKECH – 5

As Sven Van der Broeck, MD EMEA for Aman and on-site GM of Amanjena, Marrakech, was walking Girlahead around just a little of the 15-acre property, a joint comment was made how perfectly manicured all the palm trees were – including one that could be described as the runt, or the skinny wobbly one. Later, when a Swiss hotel school graduate was asked to take the photo above, of course as luck would have it that is the starring palm tree. Well, it just shows Aman’s inclusivity.

Interestingly Van der Broeck says Amanjunkies are getting younger the whole time. They are travelling with kids who are not grown up but little ones, which is relevant to the Belgian boss as he has a five-year old daughter. Now he knows the quality and brands of baby food and diapers hotels provide for really little kids is vital to their parents. And those who have five year olds want appropriately-sized robes and toys for them. It changes one’s entire perspective, he says.

He had started studying criminology but found it boring so switched to his passion, of making people happy. No, criminology was no use per se to hospitality but it did include a lot of sociology and psychology, both essential to hospitality. So he talked, about his time at sea, working with Crystal and Regent Seven Seas and The World.

And the sun shone, nonstop, as it does 300+ days a year, here in much off Morocco. No wonder so many Europeans, and others, are moving here. Amanjena, in fact, is building 23 villas for sale (apparently two are pre-sold before even a stake has been driven into the ground). Before Amanjena opened in 2000, designer Ed Tuttle toured Morocco for two weeks and the timeless result is an amalgam of his post-tour thoughts. It IS all very addictive, as Amanjena’s 50%-plus repeater guests testify.