Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tom Cruise stayed at the most beautiful riad in Marrakech, at The Selman, while filming Mission Impossible 5.

This is a re-post of my birthday weekend in Marrakech with a couple of horses last year, living a #Travelife. I decided to repost it this morning as I'm busy booking a place for this year's birthday weekend, and I'm having a really hard time topping last year's venue...



Tom Cruise stayed at the Hotel Selman in Marrakech So last year in Morocco, living a #Travelife, there we were on my birthday, celebrating with a little R&R in a beautiful private riad on the grounds of the Selman Hotel in Marrakech, after almost every one of my 35 friends had returned home from close to two weeks of living a #Travelife all over Morocco.


THE SAME PRIVATE RIAD
TOM CRUISE STAYED IN,
IN MARRAKECH

We'd taken this beautiful private riad at the Selman that supposedly was also occupied by Tom Cruise for something like three weeks, during the filming of Mission Impossible 5.

So it was known as the Tom Cruise villa until it became known as the Travelife villa...



We even had the same butler team that was assigned to Tom Cruise for his stay -- and weren't they just excellent. Most luxury private riads come with a full-time personal butler, and I've been lucky with my private butlers in Morocco so far, as they've all been wonderful and ever so professional.

But the Tom Cruise team of butlers at the Selman wins hands down. Better than any butler team I've had so far.

When we checked in, I invited some friends over to our riad for some champagne before dinner, so I called the butler and said: "Can you please prepare the house as I'm having some friends over?"

That's my butler, waiting for the guests to arrive
at the entrance to our private riad...

MAGIC'S IN THE AIR.
OR IN THE HANDS OF MY BUTLER
AT THE HOTEL SELMAN.

Just like that.

And then I went over to the gazebo at the other end of my private garden with a pot of mint tea to read a book on interior design in Lebanon and try and get better WiFi on my iPad as the signal seemed better in the private garden.



Meanwhile, while I was relaxing, my butler was busy at work.

Out came the candles all over the house, the lanterns by the swimming pool, the champagne and even a lovely multi-tiered platter of sweets.

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EVERYTHING DOWN TO AN AMAZING SCIENCE

Like clockwork, and ever so silently that I was completely oblivious to preparations.

When I looked up, everything was ready. So that when my friends came over to pop the champagne bottle with me, everything looked positively magical.

The gazebo at the end of my private garden
at the Hotel Selman

Everyone oohed and aahed over this riad.

The butlers did dozens of things like this for me during our stay, to make the whole experience seamless and quite unforgettable.

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And when it was time to go home, they packed every breakable object I'd bought in Morocco in bubble wrap -- and I did buy quite a lot of breakable stuff -- so that every single thing made it back home without a scratch.

All I did was lay everything out in one of the corridors of the villa along with two empty suitcases, and everything was ready by the time I checked out.

THE BEST STAY FOR 2015,
SO FAR



This private riad of the Selman is certainly the most beautiful place I'd stayed in for 2015, as well as among the most beautiful private riads I'd stayed in in Morocco -- and that's saying a lot as I've stayed almost everywhere nice by now.

I've stayed in most of Morocco's loveliest and most interesting places by now so I can write a guidebook on the best places to stay in five minutes. There are a handful, and each with its own strong points.



BIRTHDAY BREAKFASTS IN MOROCCO

The Selman gets overall top points from me just because they have the best private riads I've seen so far. There's enough space, enough decor, enough style and yet also enough calm so that the interiors are not just one explosion of color and lines.

And the the day after my birthday, Mr. Y said to me: "I've arranged a special breakfast today."

Every day actually has a pretty special breakfast in my never-ending Travelife, if I have to tell the truth. And yes, I realise that I'm one of the luckiest people I know.



The day before, we'd had the full Moroccan breakfast via room service served in the grand pergola at the end of our private garden -- and wasn't that just scrumptious.

I had my favourite Moroccan eggs with meat and sauce, those delicious light pancakes with raw honey, and lots of argan oil sprinkled everywhere for anti-oxidants.

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Then, for effect, our butler served my favourite Moroccan mint tea sans sugar with lots of flourish. It sure makes drinking mint tea a whole lot better.

I'm sure he impressed Tom Cruise too with these special effects, in this very same lovely riad.


POST-BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST WITH HORSES

But that day, post-birthday, our butler picked us up with the golf cart and then he took us to a clearing right in front the main building. Here, he'd set up carpets all over the grass and a table heaping with breakfast goodies.

It was definitely the breakfast to impress.


THE MAIN ATTRACTION

Then, the main attraction arrived -- and it wasn't the food. We had prize-winning Arabian horses, who incidentally are ensconced in five-star horse lodgings nearby, perform a private show for us as we feasted on food literally fit for a king.

Talk about beautiful animals in a beautiful hotel.

What a wonderful post-birthday treat, and rather surreal but nice. Even for a never-ending Travelife.


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