This is the final part of my three part series for the Royal Mansour and, instead of emphasising over the fact that calling the establishment a hotel would be almost an insult due to its extravagance, I wish to focus on the spa and restaurants.
Of course, the Royal Mansour is technically a hotel, and a luxury hotel would not be complete with its own spa and gastronomic restaurants. The spa is situated in the quieter courtyards of the hotel, next to the lush lemon gardens. Its interior filled with white lattice and florals, with four spacious sofa areas for guests to decide on their desired treatment in a lavish setting.
I was invited to try the hammam treatment, followed by a signature massage. A hammam is known as the Arabic variant of the Roman bath. Privacy is a respected aspect, as to the traditions of the culture, so it was not surprising to walk into a space that was windowless and quiet. The perfect setting to hear your own thoughts. The space was definitely not claustrophobic as it had extremely high ceilings, complete with Moroccan ceiling lights and characteristic domes.
The hammam is a deep cleaning ritual that combines the use of steam, exfoliation and water to rejuvenate the body. Guests are invited to lay down on a heated marble slab and are energised by the splashing of hot water by a therapist. This process is repeated to ensure the whole body is ready for exfoliating and, prior to that, guests are left to relax on the marble slab with water flowing from the hot tap to soften the skin and open the pores. The therapist then returns to clean the surface of the guest’s skin and proceed with the exfoliation process with a scrub. The treatment is finished with a plunge at the cool water jacuzzi.
I, myself, have never been a sauna regular, though it seems that heat is good for the soul. By raising the core’s temperature, the muscles in the body become less tight and more relaxed. It encourages taking fuller breaths and encourages guests to breath properly. I left the hammam feeling extremely energised with soft skin. The spa spans over three floors and I then proceeded to the first floor tea lounge for a Moroccan mint tea before the body massage.
All of the restaurants at the Royal Mansour is supervised by Yannick Alléno - a French chef who’s previous experience includes names such as the Royal Monceau and Le Meurice. There are two gastronomic restaurants supervised by the 3 Michelin Star Chef, Yannick Alléno: La Grande Table Marocaine for Moroccan and La Grande Table Française. These are situated at the courtyard at the entrance of the hotel, while the more informal restaurant, La Table, is situated at the heart of the hotel. Both of the reputable restaurants perhaps could have had more original names but when both the setting and cuisine have the ability to literally blow you away from your senses, perhaps the simple names are preferred so guests can attempt to focus on the food rather than overcomplicated names. Guests have the option to have their breakfast at La Table or to have their butler to prepare them directly to their riad.
For breakfast, I always try to sample traditions when I travel and I insisted on having the Harira Moroccan traditional soup, traditionally served with dates and bread. For La Grande Table Marocaine, I sampled the Menu Découverte - a menu that allows guests to sample dishes in smaller tapas-like portions, tailored to your specific diet. It was a great way to discover Moroccan cuisine without the fear of over-ordering. Moroccan cuisine can be very focused on the traditional side and Yannick Alléno stresses on renewing these traditions and adding a newer dimension to the way dishes are prepared to make sure they are updated and suitable for the modern crowd. A tailored meal, as I sampled, is just another example of the strategy Royal Mansour - to never give guests the benefit of doubt. In the field of hospitality, it’s most important to know what guests want and need. If guests are given the luxury of choosing which dishes appear on their table, how would it look if they later complain? I, for sure, left the Royal Mansour with absolutely no complaints. Everything was so faultless that the only concern is how I will look into my future hotel stays. It has opened my eyes to the field of hospitality and I truly appreciate the whole experience. No doubt an experience incomparable to any other.
Wardrobe - Dent de Man
To be continued... #tbc