La Sultana courtyards & hideaways

November 12, 2010 in MOROCCO | Comments (6)

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Friday. Sitting right now on our wonderful rooftop garden at La Sultana. It’s so much quieter today, a public holiday. The sky is blue and the air feels light. Sun drenches the roof garden. Doves are nesting in holes in the old stone turrets adjoining us. Cooing. A stork sits on a chimney top – ah two of them. It is full of life up here in our castle world.

We see a group of tourists down by the Saadian tombs of ancient kings…it is tempting never to go out again, just stay here. After all we can see three tourist attractions from our rooftop – one in constant dynamism…

Our little souk down in the Kasbah below Sultana has been cleaned after the late night chaos yesterday. Fewer wares are out.

Looking down from our “castle”

La Sultana hotel inspection

Tropical exotic view from the bar on the rooftop – and from the restaurant and the chill area.

La Sultana has 28 rooms in five riads or town houses each with one or two traditional courtyards open to the sky in good weather (in bad weather plastic screens are folded out). All the rooms open into these inner courtyards.  There are very few windows outwards, in the tradition of Moroccan town houses, a way of keeping cool and preserving peace and quiet. Some of the courtyards have gardens and water features, including the heated swimming pool. And all are decorated with traditional mosaic tiles or intricate plaster work and woodwork.

Original art and antiques further decorate the rooms and public areas. Little lounges and cosy corners for tete-a-tete abound on every floor.

Probably as many little conversation places in the courtyards as there are rooms.

If you want to loll, there are sunbeds by the heated pool in the restaurant courtyard.  And more sunbeds on the roof by the plunge pool, today full of sunbathers in glorious sunshine, as well as big comfy chairs enfolding people with laptops.  (A  bit dazzling on the screen today, and the wi-fi is down.)

A third pool (a roomy Jacuzzi) is in the spa, between marble pillars.

All rooms feature a fireplace, dressing room or large cupboard, king bed, bath and separate shower, double basins. Suites feature marble floors, and rooms feature tiled floors. Seven of them have balconies.

View through inner hatch to bathroom of Tiger suite with ample bathtub (marble and Tadelak), golden hand basins and fluffy gowns and slippers. Below lounge section.

Apart from our own delightful Tiger suite, we saw three others.

Ocelot suite deluxe  lies in the Sheherazade riad, where it has a private “balcony” at a higher level than the courtyard. This suite is popular with business people because of its separate office.

Dromedaire suite is fancifully decorated with a camel table and other eccentricities including a secretive kind of walk in cupboard and pillars around the bath, which is meant to resemble the traditional bridal carriage on a camel’s back.

The most popular suite and a favourite with men is the Puma suite, which comes in dark colours spiced with red or cerise for vivacity, and has separate sitting room and bedroom. This is a suite deluxe and as such has a balcony, hanging out over the riad’s upstairs courtyard.

The sales manager Julie explains that since every room is so differently decorated people actually like to move, and even book a series of different rooms for their stay.

The spa sports the aforementioned Jacuzzi between marble pillars, as well as relax beds, 3 hammams, hair salon, 2 aesthetic cabins for facials, and 3 treatment rooms for massage.  Sometimes the whole spa is booked for a wedding party and the women for example may take over one of the hammams. Modern exercise equipment is found in a tent on the flat roof.

The bar is upstairs on the rooftop. Dining: breakfast and lunch within view of the Kasbah mosque on the uncovered rooftop, indicating the low chance of rain in Marrakech. If it does come then breakfast happens downstairs in the main restaurant round the heated pool, lush with palm trees. At night this is a very romantic setting, with lanterns and live Moroccan music. Booking a table essential.

One of the slower inhabitants of La Sultana lives in the banana palms of a courtyard 🙂

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