Tucked out of sight in true Aman style, you’ll find the peach-pink, peaceful paradise of Amanjena hidden between the mountains and the Medina on the outskirts of Marrakech. Designed as a modern homage to the once-epic, now-ruined El-Badi palace, Amanjena looks as though it’s been standing for centuries.
Of course, it hasn’t, but amidst the packed-earth Pavilions and dramatic Moorish motifs of this ultra-tranquil resort, you can certainly expect a transportive stay and an enchanting taste of the ancient Red City.
THE PACKING EDIT
Resort en Rose
Just over the threshold of a set of heavy wooden doors, you’ll get your first little glimpse of the impressive Amanjena oasis. But it’s only once you’re beyond a passageway of towering keyhole archways – the first in a resort-wide network of breezy corridors and colonnades – that you’ll appreciate the true scale of this spectacular Moroccan palace. Unfurling around a central jade bassin is a 15-acre rose-hued world of trickling waters, date palms and plenty of very pleasing symmetry. And with so few guest rooms for the sheer size of the resort, it’ll feel like yours and yours alone.
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In fact, if you’re after ultimate peace and privacy, well, that’s what Aman does best. Between the resort’s high-walled villas and waterways, you’ll seldom see another soul in sight – utter bliss for those who like to go off the radar from time to time and for all who appreciate a luxury base with a real sense of place.
Sunbathe & Slumber
Look beyond their slightly dated furnishings and Amanjena’s elegant Pavilions with their domed ceilings and their rich green marbles are akin to mini temples. Each houses its own enclosed patio featuring a dramatic curtained lounge, but if you’re all about the outdoors, you’ll appreciate the handful of Pavilions Piscine that have their own private plunge pool in the mix too.
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As the name suggests, these cool dwellings are all about the poolside chill, making sunbathing under the scorching desert sky a pleasant prospect. Can’t hack the heat? Enjoy the A/C and a juicy bowl of peaches indoors instead from your chaise longue, or take an even cooler dip in the sunken bathtub that sits splendidly beneath Amanjena’s signature horseshoe arch.
For larger parties, Maisons offer more space, but whichever room category you choose, one thing will always remain constant. In the Aman world they like to call it “Magic Service”. What that really translates to is some seriously ninja housekeeping. Throw something in the bin and it’ll disappear so fast you’ll wonder if you ever discarded it. Take a sip of water and before you put the bottle down there’ll be a miraculous second one by its side just in case. Lay a finger on your sheets and they’ll be replaced while you’re out – even if that’s for little more than 30 seconds. Impressive to say the least.
Wine & Dine
From dawn right through to dusk, dining at Amanjena is a tasty affair. Days start poolside with pastry platters piled high followed by delectable a-la-carte fare including fluffy French toast with roasted peaches, caramelized almonds and creamy vanilla yogurt alongside the many egg dishes you’d hope to find. Later in the day, the complimentary afternoon tea featuring freshly baked miniature cakes and hot Moroccan mint tea is not to be missed either.
After dark, evenings are well spent at the very romantic Moroccan Restaurant, if not to sample the melting-pot cuisine of Morocco, then to dine in a truly enchanting, candlelit mini-riad. Alongside gourmet national favourites you’ll find a fine selection of Italian dishes too, but if Asian takes your fancy instead, try Nama, the Japanese restaurant that’s slowly popping up across the entire Aman collection. Pull up a chair at the sushi counter and order in your fill of exotic rolls, izakaya sharing plates, and fresh bass from the Essaouira coast hot off the robata grill.
When you’re not out exploring the souks, there’s plenty to keep you entertained in house. Catch some rays at the pool courtyard, or book yourself in for a traditional hammam at the spa. Disclaimer – you won’t be wowed by the space but the treatments themselves are some of Marrakech’s best. If you want to get a sweat on outside the hammam, you’ll also find an indoor gym and a pair of clay tennis courts. As for exercising the mind (and the wallet), Amanjena’s two-storey library houses a solid collection of interesting reads, while its vast boutique is populated with a fine selection of bespoke wares and beautiful locally crafted products for all those guests who find bartering at the medina all a little bit too intense.