Get the best of CF straight to your inbox.

Subscribe, sit back, and let your mind travel.

CF Hot Hotels

Fairmont Royal Palm: The Hotel Haven On The Outskirts Of Marrakech

As the sun rises over the Atlas Mountains, gently flooding bedrooms at Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech with its warm, calming light, it becomes clear why this hotel is so popular among A-listers and those with busy schedules.

Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech is an ideal getaway for those who seek the spirited and colourful culture of Marrakech – the city centre is just a 20-minute drive away – yet also crave a respite from it all. Here, in the hotel surrounds, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of calm.

The Vibe

A long, winding drive through the carefully-pruned gardens on arrival at Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech helps scale the expansive 231-hectare grounds that the hotel sits within. Vibrant green cacti throw shadows onto rich pink and orange clay walls, accentuating the blue of the sky – a sky that blesses Marrakech with sunshine for more than 300 days of the year.

Inside, dark marble and oak interiors are designed by Marilin Spataro and pay homage to traditional Moroccan riads through tall, heavy doors, and rugs hand-crafted in nearby villages by local Berbers. Spataro has managed the interiors of the property since its construction – exclusively using locally-sourced materials and craftsmanship, and creating a coherent emporium of Moroccan treasures throughout, from the ornate wooden panelling and decadent light fixtures to the low-lit tapestry on display.

Purposefully designed in a U-shape, the hotel faces the hazy silhouettes of the Atlas Mountains and is centred around an outdoor pool and dining space. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood every room with natural light and reveal palm trees, trickling fountains, and an expansive golf course. Outdoor architecture and landscapes are inspired by the heritage of its French-Mauritian owners: the most obvious of which is the water tribute to Mauritian lagoons. There’s a harmony between the traditional architectural styles and the peaceful surrounds.

The Rooms

Junior Suite at Fairmont Royal Palm

With 134-rooms, this is no small hotel, yet the placement of each bedroom – housed across four buildings and with high ceilings – feels riad-like. Each features a king-sized bed with freshly-plumped pillows, a lounge area with burnt-orange sofas and Moroccan side tables, and a marbled bathroom decorated with dark-clay tiles and fitted with a dark-marbled tub, a walk-in closet and a spacious dressing table. Deluxe rooms and suites boast either a garden view – where large glass doors open onto freshly-watered grass and blush-pink flowers – or a view towards the Atlas Mountains. Higher up in the building, floor-to-ceiling windows in bedrooms open to a wraparound terrace featuring a small breakfast table and a large lounge space overlooking the pool and the ever-present Atlas mountains. This is a spot for unforgettable sunsets and sunrises.


Junior Suite at Fairmont Royal Palm

Photo by Alan Keohane

While the rooms – whether junior, deluxe or a family suite – uphold a spacious and sophisticated quality, for extra opulence book the penthouse suite (there’s only one) or one of the five presidential suites. The largest of them, the penthouse, comes with a terrace, a solarium and a private plunge pool, and the presidential suites feature an al fresco dining space, a private solarium for each of the two bedrooms, a jacuzzi and a tanning deck.


Bathroom at Prince Villa, Fairmont Royal Palm

Princes Villa

A short golf-cart ride away, amongst the hotel’s expansive gardens, ten 740 square metre villas offer two king-sized bedrooms with walk-in closets and bathrooms, a small kitchen, plus indoor dining and lounging areas. But perhaps the stand-out feature of these is the enclosed gardens with outdoor pool, Instagram-worthy shower, and hammam – the ideal space to enjoy the hotel’s wellness treatments in true privacy. Affording the intimacy of a private rental but with all the benefits of a five-star hotel, villas come with room service, housekeeping, complimentary breakfasts and airport transfers.

The Food + Drink

All four restaurants at Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech are led by head chef Guillaume Galvez, whose versatile style stems from his impressive cheffing portfolio across France, Chile, Bora Bora, Morocco and the Caribbean.


Le Caravane at Fairmont Royal Palm

Photo by Alan Keohane

Your day will begin at Le Caravane, where tables spill onto a sun-kissed, orange-tree clad courtyard. Here, a delicious buffet fuses traditional Moroccan dishes such as chickpea salad, potiron confit and roasted vegetables with French-style breakfast pastries, fresh fruit, and eggs as-you-like – soundtracked by birdsong and the peaceful lapping of the resort’s swimming pool. By night, Le Caravane transforms into a lively Italian restaurant with a focus on sharing plates such as ribs of lamb, roasted salmon fillets, fresh pappardelle (of course), and a beautiful tiramisu assembled table-side for a final (and very Instagrammable) flourish.

Al Aïn restaurant at Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech

Though located just outside of the city centre, you won’t have to travel far for an excellent tagine. Al Aïn fuses Lebanese and Moroccan cuisine, balancing the flavours in dishes including spiced hummus, roasted vegetables, couscous, and five variations of tagine; fish, lamb, chicken, chicken liver, and vegetable. Dinner here is an animated and memorable affair, set to the backdrop of live Andalusian music, with characteristically intricate melodies performed on lute and the Arab darbouka (a hand drum).

L'Olivier at Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech

Poolside sun-trap, L’Olivier, is a Mediterranean-inspired lunch spot focussing on freshly-caught fish and seasonal produce: don’t miss the quinoa salads or fresh salmon tartare. The final of the four restaurants, Le Sabra, is a short golf-cart ride away, overlooking the immaculately-kept golf course at the hotel’s Country Club. There’s no rush here; savour each course whether in between golf tees or as a spectator. In need of a pre- or post-dinner tipple? Head for one of the two bars: Legend’s Bar and Le Bar. Red seating and woollen rugs in a large space make the latter a sultry spot to enjoy the resident DJ by night, too.

The Spa

Royal Palm Marrakech spa

No trip here would be complete without time in the extensive spa, and we indulged in the signature treatment, Hammam Dada. Taking its name (Dada) from the women who take care of the local community’s children while parents work, the treatment is an all-encompassing, revitalising cleanse for the body – but leaves the mind refreshed too. For 90-minutes you’ll be steamed and scrubbed, before being oiled with black olive soap and a Ghassoul clay body mask, as well as many other delicious-smelling products from the hotel’s partners Maison d’ASA and Natura Bissé. All the ingredients – whether argon oil, eucalyptus, olive, rose, pear, or fresh orange – are locally-sourced and 100 per cent organic. The treatment is followed by fresh mint tea and Moroccan sweets served by the spa pool. Within the 3,500 square-metre spa, you’ll also find plenty of other treatments including signature massages, couples’ treatments, haircare, facials and mani-pedis.

The Little Extras

Club House at Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech

In addition to the incredible-smelling products and complimentary hygiene sets left in the bathroom, it’s important to take note of the hotel’s careful consideration of its surrounds. Solar panels heat water and contribute to the electricity production, and the hotel grounds are delicately placed around a protected river and ancient olive trees – none of which were felled to make way for construction. The olive trees also form part of the hotel’s olive orchard made up of 8,500 trees and provide the kitchens with its virgin olive oil. Guests can participate in the olive harvesting between October and December.

The To-Do List

With four clay tennis courts, a fitness studio, Hatha, Vinyasa, and power yoga classes by Om Yoga, an 18-hole golf course designed by Cabell Robinson, a kids’ club, and a semi-Olympic sized pool (the largest in Marrakech), the hotel has considered everything you might want to do and enjoy during your stay. On top of the plentiful facilities, an extensive programme of experiences is also on offer, from cooking classes using organic fruit and vegetables grown on the hotel farm to natural cosmetics workshops and a Henna tattoo ceremony. There almost seems no need to leave. But you should – to see the souks, visit Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle and, if your stay has converted you to Moroccan interiors, ask the hotel for a car transfer to Beni Rugs. The studio – with a showroom in New York as well – uses heritage craft in conversation with contemporary design to produce bespoke, custom-made rugs. Lastly, don’t miss the experience of a lifetime – a ride atop the Atlas Mountains in a hot air balloon for one of the most spectacular sunrises you’ll ever see.

In collaboration with the hotel, Ciel D’Afrique transfers you into the heart of the Moroccan desert (where you’ll need to leave your fear of heights earth-bound as you’re very gently lifted into the chill, wakening air). The sky floods with a flurry of hot air balloons as the bright sun rises over the Atlas Mountains, before you’re welcomed back to ground with a breakfast spread. A classic flight costs 2400 MAD per person, including a welcome Moroccan tea, breakfast in a traditional Berber tent, and 4×4 transfer, and can be arranged by the hotel.

Lead image: Prince Villa at Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech
We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.

What to Pack

You May Also Like

Any Questions or Tips to add?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What to Pack?