Jnane Tamsna

Marrakech, Morocco
Book from GBP Book from £167 per night

Jnane Tamsna

Marrakech, Morocco

Exquisite country estate in Marrakech's Palmeraie, offering understated style, pampering and cultural insights

Exquisite country estate in Marrakech's Palmeraie, 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 guest rooms, spread over 5 houses, that can be booked individually or exclusively. Big by any measure - scale, style, ambition, heart, range of activities - yet informal, relaxed and endlessly welcoming, the property reflects the huge knowledge and warm presence of the owners. Charismatic Meryanne Loum-Martin, a French-Senegalese lawyer-turned-designer (and pioneer of understated Moroccan style), and her charming husband Gary Martin, an American ethnobotanist - aim to offer a personalised stay with an unusual cultural slant.

Beyond lazing by one of the five swimming pools (yes, five!), playing tennis or being soothed by aromatic in-room 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 medina's closed doors, into herb shops and landmark gardens, or out 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.

Highs

  • The ultimate treat to the senses, from the fragrant flower-lined courtyards, exquisite design and blend of rich colours to the five pools and candlelit roof terrace, all of it surrounded by an extraordinary garden
  • In contrast to many other upscale riads, the atmosphere here is not hushed and intimidating; children will feel as welcome as honeymooners, and there are imaginative activities on offer for them in school holidays
  • A perfect bohemian venue for a wedding or private party
  • Delicious food, a fusion of Mediterranean/Moroccan/Senegalese and Indian cuisine utilising organic produce from the gardens
  • The owners' presence is felt everywhere: in the antiques, the artworks, the collection of books to borrow, Gary's botanical tours, Meryanne's dinner recommendations...

Lows

  • 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, but these are easily arranged
  • The effects of an unforgiving climate are noticeable on paintwork and furnishings - this isn't an uber-smart and perfectly polished place - which adds to the relaxed air
  • The rooms don't have TVs or minibars; but that's not their style - and staff will serve you drinks at any time, or even bring a TV to your room if you ask
  • Service is good, but note the buildings are spread out so it can take longer to deliver
  • Unfortunately, the best doesn't come cheap
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    Large Rooms, Garden Rooms and Pavillion Suites have enough space for a couple of extra beds or a cot; if your children are bigger or you need more space, book a Large Room for yourselves and a Standard Room for them. All except the Small Room have bathtubs.

    Parents should know...

    There are some steps but otherwise few hazards. There is mobile phone signal everywhere here. You can buy nappies, food and toys nearby at a local supermarket. Some of the rooms are farther from the main house, so intercom systems may not work.
  • 10 cots
  • 4 high chairs
  • Baby bedding
  • Bottlewarming

Some equipment may need to be requested in advance

Babysitting available by arrangement.

There is food available all day, with a kids\' menu (pizza, pasta, chicken and chips) and half portions of adult mains for children. Kids can also have a high tea earlier in the evening, and guests can use a blender and microwave for baby food with some advance notice.

  • Five swimming pools (two are heated)
  • 9 acres of gardens to play hide and seek in
  • Tennis court and coach on request
  • Magic, belly dancing and cookery lessons on request
  • Arabic calligraphy tuition
  • Marrakech Medina; guides can be booked to take you and your family through the souks and to flea markets
  • Oasira waterpark
  • Camel riding (the camels can come to the hotel and kids can ride around the estate)
  • Horse riding
  • Bike riding
  • Stand-up paddle-boarding at Lake Takerkoust (1hr away)
  • Day trips to the Atlas
  • Sidecar tours of the Palmeraie
  • Hot air balloon rides

Great for...

Eco
Family
Foodie
Spa
  • Boutique Retreat
  • 24 rooms
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Suzani Room

Rooms

Decor aficionados, indulge yourselves! The lush grounds hold 5 houses, each of which has its own pool and various luxurious bedrooms categorised according to size and amenities. Many have been designed by Meryanne Loum-Martin, internationally renowned for her sober, chic and eclectic mix of styles with an African twist. You’ll find colourful woven Moroccan and Senegalese fabrics and rugs, canopies from Uzbekistan, handpicked antique objets d’art, plump tassels, Syrian chests and tables with mother-of-pearl inlays, ancient carved wooden doors, and Meryanne’s own creations - contemporary wrought-iron lamps, daybeds and low chairs.

The bathrooms are decked out in earthtone tadelakt with shiny copper sinks, and stocked with sweet-smelling herbal bath products. Some rooms boast fireplaces, canopy beds and private terraces, and there’s also a comfy rooftop terrace for lounging, with superb views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and the neighbouring palm grove.

The Jnane Main House follows the traditional Medina style, with bedrooms arranged around two central courtyards. With glass doors leading to terraces on the outside of the house, they feel lighter and airier than usual. The ground-floor rooms have kingsize beds and spacious (though shared) verandas; the remaining rooms are located upstairs with access to the roof terrace.

You’ll find the four other houses in Jnane Tamsna's garden. Dar Moussafir ('House of the Traveller') is beautifully styled by Meryanne to represent the craftsmanship of Islamic style from North India to West Africa. Jnane Villa has its own dining and breakfast rooms, plus a living area with a library, fireplace and veranda. Dar Ylane is Meryanne and Gary's house, but it also has rooms for guests. Finally, the Pavillion, perhaps the most exclusive option, has just two suites (each with fireplace, sitting room and outdoor dining area), and its pool is delightfully placed among lavender and olive trees.

All rooms have air-conditioning and central heating, and some have walk-in wardrobes.

Please note that Jnane Tasmna cannot guarantee a particular room or villa, only a room category.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots available
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • WiFi

Eating

Most meals are served outside on one of the colourful patios, in the fragrant garden, or in an inner alcove that has its own little Zen garden of olive trees. There's also a monochrome African-themed indoor dining room if it's cooler.

The immense organic garden, a labour of love mostly created by Gary Martin, yields countless varieties of herbs, vegetables and fruit that make their way into the meals. Some of the flour is home-grown and -ground. The result is a delicious fusion cuisine inspired by the owners' tastes and backgrounds, taking in Senegalese, Indian and "modernised" Moroccan recipes with classic fresh Mediterranean fare.

Sample lunch and dinner dishes might be a silky courgette soup, lamb tagine with tomatoes and caramelised spring onions, or a roasted pepper, cucumber and tomato salad. These are followed by the likes of spiced pears with oranges and caramel sauce, or fresh strawberries with pistachio ice cream. The menus are set and they change daily - aiming to recreate the ambiance of dining at a close friend's home. We recommend you let them know if you're planning to have dinner, as the ingredients are fresh and bought in daily.

Breakfast is no less delicious. A big spread awaits of juices, cheeses, Moroccan and French breads, amlu (a local speciality with Argan oil), eggs cooked to order, fruit salads, muesli and jams (both homemade). All of this is washed down with freshly made Moroccan mint tea, known for its excellent digestive benefits.

Features include:

  • Kids' meals
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Explore Marrakech: Morocco's most exciting city. It's a 15-minute drive to the Medina, the old walled city dating back to the 12th Century, with its labyrinth passageways, spices stalls and crafts from Nomadic tribes. Meryanne and Gary organise excellent cultural and ecological trips through a local company
  • Shop 'till you drop in the souks - hand-woven rugs and berber jewellery are some of the best buys. You may want a guide to show you around initially
  • Golf. Nearby is Morocco's finest golf course, the 18-hole Palmeraie Golf Club designed by Robert Trent Jones. Two other fine courses are within a 15-minute drive
  • There are horse riding stables within 15 minutes drive of Jnane Tamsna. Biking can also be arranged
  • Take a trip to the Atlas Mountains (1 hour's drive); go hiking, visit Berber villages and meet the locals
  • Go to the Atlantic coast - Essaouira is one of Morocco's most relaxed towns (2 hours' drive)
  • For longer excursions, check out the Southern deserts where you can go camel trekking (the hotel can assist)
  • Enjoy a hot air balloon ride
  • Back at Jnane Tamsna, sign up for a Moroccan cooking class with the hotel's chef, select your own ingredients from the garden and find out how to use all those exquisite herbs and spices
  • Lie or read in an oasis of peace by one of the swimming pools, the library or somewhere more secluded in the enchanting garden

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Best Time to go

The estate is open year-round. Marrakech is baking hot in the summer months of July and August, so Meryanne advises coming for a week in hot weather so you get acclimatised. The best times to visit are certainly the spring and autumn. By the end of October, the evenings are cold, although the midday sun is still warm enough to bask in. The weather in winter, from November to March, ranges from cold and rainy to sunny days, warm enough to sit outside. As Jnane Tamsna is one of few places in Marrakech to have heated swimming pools (two of them), there is swimming almost all year round.

Our Top Tips

Bring an empty suitcase! Not only is there superb shopping in the Medina, Meryanne also has a permanent pop-up shop in which the inventory is ever-changing. Here you can find handwoven fabrics, lampshades, pillows, loafers, ceramics, glassware, jewellery and more.
Kid Friendly:

Location

Jnane Tamsna lies in the Palmeraie: the palm groved outskirts of Marrakech, Morocco.

By Air:
Fly into Marrakech Menara (10km).

By train / bus:
Marrakech has good rail and bus connections to the rest of Morocco, including Casablanca and Agadir.

From the airport:
Jnane Tamsna is about 30 minutes' drive from the airport, but however you arrive, ask the hotel to meet you - it is impossible to find otherwise!

By Car:
If you do want to hire a car (for your travels outside Marrakech) see our car rental recommendations.

Airports:

  • Marrakech Menara 10.0 km RAK

Other:

  • Beach 180.0 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 5.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
8/10
Food
9/10
Service
8/10
Value
9/10
Overall

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Rates for Jnane Tamsna

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