I come from a place which invites first time conversations to be along the lines of discretion. I'm from Hong Kong - not born, but raised. That fact alone proved enough for strangers to approach me and tell me about my country, in the eyes of their friends. Mostly said in the right tone and for the right reasons: motherland in the eyes of tourists seemed to be a place without discretion and cramped elevator stories. That is to have high population density and humidity to follow. All of which I won't deal with further - not today, and most definitely not on a Tuesday evening.
So one can imagine what Marrakech felt like to me; for starters, it was dry. That is compared to what I'm used to. I am currently typing up this post in a 100% humidity and foggy Hong Kong, and reminiscing drier Moroccan days. Second to that is the topic of discretion - hence the title and part two of my 'A Trip to Marrakech' series (please do forgive the adventurous title).
My tour guide so very kindly pointed out the Riad d'Honneur (The Grand Riad) at the Royal Mansour, a 35,000 euro-a-night, 2,500 square-meter riad at the edge of the resort that has its own private entrance that 'large families like'. If unknown, Moroccan laws are strict and discretion is always advised. Discretion is something that was bound to Moroccan culture and it's appreciated like an art. That bleeds into the process of how King Mohammed VI wanted to rebrand Morocco as a luxury destination and the designing process of Royal Mansour. It comes to a point where discretion is so discreet that it later became apparent to me that little to no staff were seen in the guest areas of the hotel; the reason came to light, after a few Google searches, that the hotel has a secret-not-so-secret underground passageway that allows everything to run smoothly under the 10:1 staff to guest ratio).
The same secret underground passageway was used to make sure my suitcases moved, as if by magic, from the arrival limousine to the riad. In fact, a butler is assigned to each riad and has access to every floor of the riad; I found out so in the most amateur way - by mistakenly opening the doors that guests should not have touched and must have led to the secret underground passageways. In short, staff are asked to offer their best services to the guests and do the difficult with utmost discretion in minimal appearance. That certainly went well when I didn't lock my bedroom door one evening, turned off the bedroom lights and saw the corridor lights turn off, once again, as if by magic.
Call it culture shock or what not. I'll leave you with this thought and sweet dreams.
Floral top and trousers - Dent de Man
Sandals - Prada
To be continued... #tbc