Exquisite hideaway offering understated style, pampering and cultural insights
Situated in a 15-acre adobe-walled estate in Marrakech’s Palm
Grove, Jnane Tamsna ("Big Garden") is a luxurious country villa
with 24 guestrooms, spread over 5 houses, that can be
booked individually or exclusively. The owners - Meryanne
Loum-Martin, a French-Senegalese lawyer-turned-designer (and
pioneer of understated Moroccan style), and her husband Gary
Martin, an American ethno-botanist - aim to offer a personalised
stay with an unusual cultural slant; and it is thanks to their huge
knowledge and warm presence that it works so well.
Beyond lazing by the pool, playing tennis or being soothed by aromatic massages, guests may take advantage of their private Diversity Excursions led by local university–educated guides that will take you off the beaten tourist track - behind the closed doors of the medina, into the herb shops and landmark gardens, or to the nearby countryside to learn about Moroccan customs, cuisine and art. But whether you choose to relax or explore, the Martins will go out of their way to ensure your stay in Morocco is an unforgettable one.
Reviewed by Lanie Goodman
- The ultimate treat to the senses, from the fragrant flower-lined courtyards, exquisite design and blend of colours to the delicious organic cuisine and heated pool, all of it surrounded by an extraordinary garden
- In contrast to many other upscale riads, the atmosphere here is relaxed and children will feel as welcome as honeymooners
- It's also a perfect venue for a wedding or private party
- This is no ordinary hotel: the owners' presence is felt everywhere, in the antiques, the collection of books to borrow, Gary's tours of the garden, Meryanne's dinner recommendations...
- The flip side of the peaceful Palmeraie is that taxis are a must, since you’re a 15-minute drive from the centre of town, and getting a taxi to and from the medina can be a bit of a hassle - best to book if you can.
- The rooms don't have TV/DVDs or minibars; but that's not their style - and staff will serve you drinks at any time, lend you a local cellphone or even bring a TV to your room if you ask
- Unfortunately, the best doesn't come cheap
Mellow-inducing, effortlessly elegant...Lonely Planet