5++ STARS • 34 PAVILIONS & 6 RESIDENCES
Amanjena’s 32 sunset-red-coloured private pavilions are spacious and exquisitely designed; eight with private pools, and all with multi-faceted high domes with dimmer switches to highlight or lowlight the occasion and wood-burning sunken fires appealing to primal desires. The terraces have pillared gazebos with cushioned seating areas and candle lanterns creating a secluded area to chill or dine, from sunrise to sunrise.
Amanjena is honest and faithful to the ethos of Morocco, using exotic local materials to maximum effect. The chorus of colours at Amanjena; turquoise, midnight blue, burnt rouge, muted glazed greens and rose pink, serenade the beauty of its surroundings: olive groves and fruit trees, snow-capped Atlas Mountains, authentic Berber villages and the intriguing Medina of Marrakech.
The health and beauty centre, with indigenous hammams or steam rooms, alongside a glass-encased whirlpool, is both quintessentially Moroccan and deeply nourishing. Essential oil massages are skilfully carried out in inviting candlelit rooms with burning incense, floating rose petals and warm mint tea.
The magic here is that the resort caters for individuals who wish to maintain a high level of physical activity by making use of the ‘timber-floored gym, being privately coached on the clay tennis courts, working the manicured golf courses or hiking in the mountains. However, it is also fully possible to simply lie back like a pampered Pasha in a tranquil paradise.
Open only for dinner, the Restaurant offers innovative approaches to the local cuisine as well as Continental dishes. Soft lighting lends warmth to the generously proportioned room. A scalloped onyx fountain rimmed by olive trees climbs to a commanding central skylight. Moucharabieh-wood screens play at the higher reaches. The tinted plâtre ciselé walls are the colour of honeyed eggshell and chiselled with ancient Berber designs. Banquettes and tables dressed in white cloth, pink rose petals and thuja-wood settings hug the walls. During the summer months, dinner seating is moved outdoors. The Thai Restaurant alongside the swimming pool is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Authentic Thai cuisine is featured for lunch and dinner. The light-filled room features banks of glass doors and coral-tadlekt walls spiked with old Moroccan leather horse saddles. The Pool Terrace is open for breakfast and lunch and overlooks the pool and the adjacent championship golf course. Guests can enjoy private dining in their Pavilion or Maison. Special dinners or buffets to celebrate a unique occasion can be arranged. Upon request, intimate dinners accompanied by local music can be organised in the Caidal Tent, a traditional and romantic setting located in an olive grove.
Ceiling lanterns and Arabic carpets colour the two storey room. Light filters in from dozens of windows cut, on varying levels, into the Library’s tadlekt walls. Recessed glass shelving keeps books, magazines and newspapers, as well CDs and DVDs and the distinctive green pottery of Tamegroute, in the Moroccan Sahara. There is also a selection of travel books and boardgames available. Library tables are of wild-cherry wood inlaid and stained to an ebony gloss. The room’s upper level is cloaked in a Moucharabieh-screened railing, which runs round most of the room. The fireplace is framed by cozy masria (Moroccan daybeds). A laptop is available for Internet access.
There are three boutiques within the cedar-ceiling colonnade that follows the swimming pool. The shops have some exclusive objects including a good selection of Moroccan art and handicrafts, jewellery, brass lanterns, pottery and antiques. All the linens, which include shawls, tablecloths, caftans and djellabas, are hand-woven. Some of the boutiques’ offerings are created exclusively for Amanjena.
Health and Beauty Centre
The hammam or steam bath is central to Moroccan life. Unsurprisingly, it has pride of place at the heart of the Amanjena Health and Beauty Centre. Each hammam (one each for men and women) is complemented by showers, washrooms, a change area and glassed-in whirlpool. Treatments at the beauty centre include massages, manicures, pedicures and facials. The Centre also features a timber-floor gym.
Amanjena’s heated outdoor 33m swimming pool is finished in zellij (mosaic) of glittering green écaille de poisson tiles. The patio is filled with chaise lounges and bordered by hibiscus flowers. The pool area features a pisé-style arch over a wide wall fountain and a separate shallow pool.
Two clay tennis courts, floodlit for night play, are available with complimentary rackets and balls. The tennis grounds include a central arched pavilion with minzahs for drinks and rest breaks.
Wireless broadband connections are available in all resort accommodations and public areas.
The Moroccans call their country Maghrib which, in Arabic, means “sunset” or “west”, acknowledging this North African kingdom’s place as the westernmost Arabic country. Bordered on the north by the Mediterranean Sea (Spain is just an hour’s ferry ride away) and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, Morocco has numerous beaches and a long, dramatic coastline. With four mountain ranges, great oases and the dunes of the Sahara, Morocco is a land of remarkable geographic diversity.Most international flights to Morocco from Europe and North America fly daily into Casablanca, where they connect with frequent daily internal flights to Marrakech. British Airways has a daily direct service from London and Manchester to Marrakech, and Royal Air Maroc has daily flights between London and Marrakech. Ryanair offers direct flights from London to Marrakech four times a week. There are also daily direct flights between Paris and Marrakech with Air France and Royal Air Maroc.From Marrakech airport, it is a ¼ hour complimentary transfer to Amanjena. A car transfer may be arranged between Casablanca airport and Amanjena for Dhs 2,500 + 10% per car per way. This takes approximately 2½ hours.