Set on 130 acres of palm and olive groves at the foot of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, the 161-room Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma, Marrakech is now scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2011, nearly a year later than planned. The traditional riad-styled guestrooms and suites feature large terraces with daybeds and views of the mountains and gardens. Amenities include an expansive spa and a vast Mughal style marble pool.
With numerous World Heritage sites, 12 centuries of history and 2,300 miles of coastline, Morocco has become an emerging travel destination, aided by a favorable U.S. exchange rate and direct flights from New York.
The Marrakech project heads an extensive Mandarin Oriental list of “Hotels Under Development” planned for the next five years in locations such as Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Guangzhou, The Maldives, Taipei, St. Kitts, Grand Cayman, Milan, Moscow and Paris. The Paris development, announced four years ago, includes 138 guestrooms and suites at 247-251 rue Saint Honoré, featuring an expansive inner courtyard with year-round al fresco dining overseen by Michelin-starred chef Thierry Marx. Although well behind its original schedule, Mandarin Oriental has said the hotel will open in mid-2011.
Within the past 12 months, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has opened hotels in Macau, Barcelona and Las Vegas, and now operates or has under development about 10,000 guestrooms in 42 hotels in 27 countries.