Tea & oranges in Marrakech

November 11, 2010 in MOROCCO | Comments (5)

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Starting a visit in Marrakech as always with the ritual of peppermint tea.

Lunch at Villa des Orangers

11 November 2010, 6 Rue Sidi Mamoun – Medina

We expected that oranges would be featured somewhere in Villa Des Orangers.  And we found some. But first we walked along a chaotic street in the Medina with its pavement lined with men fixing motorbikes and selling tyres. What a dramatic contrast when you entered the door into the peace of the Riad.

Wow, we said…its so different in here…

“Yes,” said Director Jean-Paul Compagnon. “Didn’t you know  – every door in Marrakech has a surprise behind it.” (Said with charming French accent, and smiles in green eyes.)

The Riad was built by wealthy residents in the 1930s, and has a really authentic feel despite intense renovations by new French owners. Plenty of chiselled white plaster decorating walls and arches. Its main features are two lush inner decorated courtyards and a garden of olives, flowers and, yes, orange trees. Here is a restaurant, a world away from the hustle & bustle but just 10 minutes walk to the famous and ebullient Square.

There is also another indoor restaurant in traditional colonial style, and public lounges with a deep and weighty colonial feel. All with fireplaces.

Our meal was served in style, with explanations from the Maitre’D.

Starting with mint tea, samoosas, olives and nuts, went on to a special kind of white fish in a roll and then a dessert to remember forever. On a shortcake base, there was a chestnut cream and on that another (vanilla) cream.

This is probably the closest place to the famous Square for a delicious meal in peace and wonderful quiet.

Hotel inspection Villa des Orangers

Of course, Villa des Orangers is not just a restaurant but a five star hotel offering 27 rooms and suites, with the top of the range featuring balconies over the garden. Rooms on the top level have little private areas on the roof each with two sunbeds (semi-private – not secluded). There is also a smaller swimming pool on the roof, surrounded by a public area of sunbeds. Up here on the roof you have views over the rooftops of the Medina and Katoubia mosque. Downstairs in the garden is a long lap pool also with comfy sunbeds around it. And lounging corners tucked away here and there inside and in the courtyard gardens.

A third smaller pool is private, within a walled area, shared by just two suites, along with solarium. These suites also have the privilege of a balcony over the garden.

Of course any establishment of class in Marrakech offers steam treatments. In addition to a hammam, Villa des Oranges also features two massage cabins, beauty treatments and fitness equipment.

A serene place to stay exuding Marrakech style, a few strides from the hectic life of of the city. A favourite of English and French, newly discovered by Americans, Germans, Scandinavians.


5 Responses to “Tea & oranges in Marrakech”

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