Our last hotel for our holiday in Morocco, living a Travelife, was also one of the most beautiful hotels either of us have ever stayed at. Yes, it was right at the top of a long list of simply lovely destination properties, even in a never-endingly amazing Travelife.
More on this lovely hotel, the Royal Mansour in Marrakech, later. This hotel really took our breath away from the first instant.
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THE HOTEL THAT FLOORS
EVEN JADED TRAVELERS
For now, let me tell you that it floored even the Travel Companion, who is probably hands down the most jaded traveler in the world.
You can’t blame him for being jaded, though, because he’s been there and done that way ahead of 99.99% of the world’s population. No exaggeration.
So it’s really hard to impress him.
FINDING HAPPINESS & BEAUTY EVERWHERER
A photo from Birkenhead House, one of my favorite low-key hotels in the Western Cape
As for me, I’ve stayed in many of the world’s most beautiful hotels and resorts, but I’m not a jaded person at all. So it’s easy for me to find happiness and beauty everywhere — although I will admit that I’m a real stickler for luxury and comfort.
There are very few instances when I compromise on luxury hotels, especially for private holidays.
THIS HOTEL REALLY FLOORED HIM
Dinner at one of Morocco’s most elegant restaurants, hands down
Anyway, about this last hotel of ours in Morocco, the Travel Companion said to me over dinner, in such a way that made me giggle the whole evening, for some reason: “We’ve done three trips to Africa in 18 months, and a total of 40 days of hotel stays. This is truly the first time I’m walking around with my mouth wide open. As in you’re going to have to pick my jaw up from the floor.”
He’s enjoyed almost every hotel I’ve picked out, of course, but this hotel is really one for the books.
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THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
And our private riad, which is really a jewel of a villa straight out of Arabian Nights, came with the services of the best butler in Marrakech.
His name was Mohammed, and he made a world of difference to my stay.
The simply beautiful Royal Mansour in Marrakech
THE BEST BUTLER IN MARRAKECH
Many top hotels have great private butlers for their best suites, but Mohammed of the Royal Mansour offered simply flawless service.
The Travel Companion likes unpacking and packing his own bags, so his dealings with Mohammed were mostly for the uncorking of the champagne and the ordering of meals.
But I just loved having our private butler unpack my stuff when we arrived — and then having him wrap everything up ever so carefully in tons of bubblewrap on the day we checked out, for the long and bumpy trip back to Asia.
This alone gave me time for a massage and some spa time before checking out and flying back to Asia.
A TON OF SHOPPING
The Travel Companion and I each bought a gold tea set because we both loved Morocco’s green tea with mint. And this somehow seems perfect to serve in a real teapot from a Moroccan souk
I’d bought a ton — literally, a ton — of breakable things in souks, antique shops and fancy boutiques all over Morocco.
Everything about the lovely and very different designs of the places we’d stayed at in Morocco — and we did stay in the best places in Morocco, each so different and therefore so interesting to me — had so inspired me to turn my house in Manila into a mini-version of an Arabian Nights.
I bought these golden dessert plates in the souks of Fes, and the handpainted glass plates in a pretty upscale antiques store in Marrakech
My house in Tokyo is very minimalist, modern Italian and high-tech, you see, so it’s nice to have this ornate place in Manila as a contrast in style and atmosphere.
ENOUGH LUGGAGE TO CHECK IN AN ELEPHANT
As for our luggage on the way home to Asia from Casablanca just two nights ago, I think we checked in a total of 85 kilos between both of us.
I know my two suitcases were incredibly heavy because I could not lift either of them even an inch off the floor by myself.
That’s our car, waiting to be loaded with a ton of luggage…
This was really quite something — and much of it had to do with the very heavy pitchers and handpainted dinnerware sets I’d bought to use for fancy dinner parties back home.
Nothing was terribly pricey, mind you, but I so loved the idea of having unique things that also will serve as a nice memory of a pretty wonderful trip to Morocco, living a never-ending Travelife.
I happened to choose the heaviest teapot in the store. And I love it.
Frankly, I’d bought these on a whim and an inspiration, surrounded by the amazing colors and intricate designs of Morocco.
But I’d not really thought about how these would make their way back to Asia in one piece.
MOHAMMED TO THE RESCUE
These were just the first courses for lunch at our private riad, while our butler Mohammed packed my bags for the long trip back to Asia
And on the afternoon we were supposed to drive to Casablanca airport to catch our Qatar Airways flight to Doha, I was able to take my sweet time and have a leisurely lunch in our private dining room.
We ordered several kinds of salads, and I had a Moroccan style pasta, while the Travel Companion had his usual club sandwich.
As always, the choice of dessert was left to me, and I ordered a chocolate fondant and home-made ice cream made with vanila beans from Madagascar.
EVERYTHING MADE IT IN ONE PIECE
A red pitcher I bought in a crafts workshop in Fes
And while we were sampling everything so relaxedly, Mohammed was repacking all my shopping and wrapping everything in bubble-wrap so that there was not a single breakage anywhere in a very tight luggage of glass, brass and porcelain, when I finally got home.
So thanks to Mohammed, the best butler in Marrakech and our private butler at our riad in the Royal Mansour, everything is already displayed so nicely in my home, reminding me of just another simply wonderful trip in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.
And now I’m ready for a fancy Arabian Nights-style dinner party….