Ideal for aesthetes
With an intoxicating richness of aesthetic details, Royal Mansour is one of the most sumptuous hotels in the world. Owned by the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, this Moorish-style palace is a showcase for the country’s most dazzling craftsmanship: from intricately carved cedar wood to embroidered damask curtains, virtually every decorative detail was created by one of the best craftsmen of Morocco. The hotel seems to have everything else fine. Also: The spa is top-notch, and guests occupy stand-alone three-story riads, complete with a rooftop plunge pool. Rates are high, but pampering treatments, restaurant reservations, and pool passes are available for day guests (a day pass costs MAD 1,250 [£105]), which means that Mansour’s magic remains somewhat accessible. In fact, at £38, afternoon tea here is a relative steal.
Rooms: From €1,400 (£1,200) including airport transfers and fast track immigration.
Ideal for demanding diners
As delicious as tagines are, frequent visitors to Marrakech may find many menus repetitive. There’s no chance of that happening Dar Simons, however: Belgian chef Carlo Simons’ work of love, this little guesthouse on the edge of the souks feels more like a restaurant with rooms. These small rooms are understated, tasteful, and quiet, though the real reason to bed down here is to get priority reservations at the intimate 12-seat gourmet restaurant. Incorporating the best of the day, the minimalist menu can offer crisp sea bass soaked in honey and saffron, or homemade ice cream streaked with whiskey, caramel and butter.
Rooms: From €90 (£77).