There was a four-floor round tower in Marrakech, a tower with a straight tail. A drone up above might envisage a tadpole… the tail had bedrooms down both sides of it. The round tower had segment-shaped bedrooms all around.. Erected by one Ahmed Bennani, the hotel toyed with being Delano but mostly operated simply as The Pearl.
Then the Shamoon siblings, who own Marbella Club Hotels MCH and Small Luxury Hotels SLH entered the picture. They bought 50% of The Pearl, which comes with Morocco’s only Louis Vuitton store, as above, and a couple of nightclubs, see below. Since the Chamouns own substantial parts of Nobu Hotels in Ibiza and Marbella, why not turn this Marrakech operation into Nobu?
Nobu Hotel Marrakech evolved, without any interim closure, January 2023. The 70 bedrooms are comfy-lux and for best views of the Atlas mountains go for #02-04, any floor. There’s a lifesize looks-real tree in the circular atrium. There’s an is-real lazy, or wild, river up on the rooftop, which is gathering for seemingly all Marrakech’s fun-seeking tourists from 10 a.m. Non-stop.
What were neighbouring Italian and Moroccan restaurants are now one massive Nobu, doing over 300 covers every night. Oh so-Italian chef Giulio Lombardi insisted, fortunately, that we start with one-bite pancake fold-overs holding scrambled eggs and black truffle from Tenuta San Pietro a Pettine. Dish after dish, of course including black miso cod, followed. Girlahead, exhausted, collapsed into #203’s bed, aware somewhat minutely of revelry going on rooftop and, somewhat surprisingly, from the neighbouring nightclubs in the street below (memo, light sleepers might prefer rooms in the tail).
In the morning the hotel’s ground floor was transformed, a beautiful breakfast base with a buffet that no-one should miss. Cut-up kiwis, the fruits of course, and what is becoming an eggs essential if energy is needed, an omelette with Swiss cheese for its goo. What made the meal really remarkable, however, was a real live lute player, performing with panache. And what made Nobu Marrakech so memorable were its fun fittings and its super with-it workers, led by chameleon Spaniard Alberto Munoz, last seen in Ibiza and here he is, younger than ever, leading the charge of the Nobu brigade.