If you’ve watched Inventing Anna, you may be familiar with the La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco. In the series, which is based on the life of fake socialite Anna Delvey. Anna and her friends stay at a glorious hotel in the center of Marrakech… the one and only La Mamounia.
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The story goes that Anna booked a $6,000/night stay in a private villa at the La Mamounia for her and three friends. Unable to cover the whopping final bill of $70,000, her friend had to cover the costs, with the promise that Anna would pay her back. Anna did not in fact pay her back, and the friend eventually discovered Anna was a con artist and went to the police, leading to Anna’s eventual arrest in 2017.
Anna Delvey may have cast the La Mamounia Hotel into the headlines, but this five star hotel has long been center stage among the travelers. Among its many honors is being named the world’s best hotel by Condé Nast Traveller for many years running.
Since its opening in 1923, the La Mamounia has welcomed many famous and influential guests such as Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Regan, Paul McCartney, and of course, the Kardashians. And now of course, me! (Just kidding).
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Why La Mamounia?
I stayed at the La Mamounia Hotel in January 2023. January is part of the tourism off-season in Marrakech, so hotel prices are typically not as expensive at this time of year. My mom and I booked a “Koutoubia room” with two double beds and a balcony facing the street and the Koutoubia Mosque, which is the largest mosque in Marrakech.
The street-facing rooms are more affordable than the rooms facing the gardens. Personally, I often like facing the street as I enjoy people-watching and listening to the noises of the city. We definitely went above our normal budget, but felt staying at the La Mamounia was a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and it was definitely worth it!
Arriving to the Hotel
We arranged for the hotel to have a driver pick us up at the airport (I believe this cost $60 each way). The driver arrived in a black Mercedes, which was only a taste of the luxury we were about to experience once at the hotel. After a 15 minute drive, we arrived at the hotel grounds.
As we stepped out of the car, hotel staff quickly began carrying our bags into the lobby. We were a few steps behind them, ogling at the beauty of the front entrance. We were greeted warmly by the reception and brought to sit down on velvety armchairs as they checked us in.
No standing at the reception counter here! We were welcomed with an orange blossom-infused almond milk drink and figs, which we quickly learned are very popular in Morocco. While we waited we admired the grand lobby and spotted the famous Churchill bar, named after former patron Winston Churchill.
A few minutes later, we were taken on a tour of the hotel and brought to our room on the third floor. Our room looked like something out of a painting with beautifully decorated wooden doors and intricate details on the bed frames, desk, pillows, and walls. The room wasn’t huge, but it was perfectly suitable for two people. The balcony held a table and two chairs, and had a great view of the Koutoubia Mosque.
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Exploring the Grounds
Over the next week, we explored the hotel and gardens whenever we had extra time between our planned activities and meals. It’s honestly hard to describe the beauty and luxury of the hotel in words, which is why I am including a lot of pictures in this article.
In addition to numerous restaurants and luxury stores (including YSL and Dior), the hotel has a large garden that is open to the public. Like the hotel, the La Mamounia gardens are famous in their own right. The gardens demonstrate agricultural finesse, boasting olive trees, orange trees, lemon trees, rose bushes, cacti, and much more. One night before dinner we wandered around the gardens for 30 minutes admiring its beauty and taking photos.
The grounds of the La Mamounia are huge, and there’s a lot we didn’t even see during our week there, like the gym, game room, and hammam. We also only dined at one of the restaurants, the Le Marocain (mostly because we wanted to opt for some less-expensive food options in the city).
The service at the La Mamounia Hotel was absolutely unbeatable. Most mornings we ordered room service, which was brought to the room exactly at our requested time. We didn’t only get a tray, but an entire table. I felt so glamorous sitting in my robe eating breakfast while looking out at the city of Marrakech.
The room was serviced twice a day, so it was basically always clean. When we stopped in the room during the day there would be a small pillow and throw blanket on the bed, but when we got back at night it would be gone! I’ve never stayed at a hotel that was so on top of the rooms.
The entire staff was extremely professional and accommodating. They constantly ensured we had everything we needed. They were especially helpful in terms of hailing us taxis when we needed them, however I should note that the taxi drivers often changed the pre-agreed price once we arrived at our destination.
All in all, staying at the La Mamounia was an incredible experience, and I feel so lucky to have been able to stay there for five days. “Mamounia” means “safe haven” in Arabic. I really felt that the hotel was a refuge of tranquility and charm, especially in a bustling city like Marrakech. I definitely hope to go back some day!