Travelling abroad with little people certainly requires some trade-offs, but on a recent trip to Marrakech I found that this needn’t mean letting go of a little luxury. The Moroccans adore children, and welcome them vivaciously, adding to the captivating city’s appeal as an enchanting – yet surprisingly accessible – family holiday destination for some welcome out-of-season sun.
With five-star dining, sumptuous spas, serene landscaped gardens and Kids’ Clubs to scream about, these three high-end hotels marry indulgence and fun with convenience and comfort for all the family. Le Selman, Royal Mansour and Four Seasons Marrakech are all in close proximity to the vibrant city’s thronging Djemaa El Fna , flanked by stunning views of the Atlas mountains – with airport transfers shorter than the average commute to work. If you’re looking for a luxury family break without compromise, your journey starts and ends here.
Prepare for a fairy-tale stay at Le Selman, aptly described as an ‘Aladdin-style terracotta palace’ paying tribute throughout to thoroughbred Arabian horses which reside in palatial stables on-site.
As captivating for children as adults, the handsome horses from Persia make this magical-feeling hotel truly unique. The enigmatic design and opulent furnishings (think silks and velvets in royal reds, purples and golds), majestic manicured gardens and a striking outdoor swimming pool all serve to instantly seduce. Who said romance when you have kids?
Our son was dazzled by the stallions and the classy Kids’ Club, complete with an outdoor playground and trampoline granting views of the horses exercising. With babysitters on-demand (over-fours attend Kids’ Clubs for free in Marrakech, but below that one-on-one supervision must be booked), everyone won.
Four Seasons Marrakech
Somewhat more accessible, and just as blissful, is the Four Seasons Marrakech. Reassuringly slick, you can expect those trusted Four Seasons standards at this well-oiled operation – plus some distinctive Moroccan magic; snow-capped mountain views and colourful flora and fauna filling the property’s sprawling Moorish gardens.
The contemporary set-up delivers the ultimate convenience for families. There are changing mats, nappies and baby bathing products in the rooms as well as supplies at changing stations within the restaurant bathrooms. By the swimming pools you’ll find sun hats and SPF on tap where you’ll also be brought complimentary water to your loungers. While one pool is adults-only, another caters to families, with children even able to enjoy the jacuzz
Magnificent Royal Mansour is the epitome of hotel excellence and hushed luxury. Opulent and exclusive, you’re treated like royalty in this residence which was commissioned by the king of Morocco – and its attentive staff couldn’t do enough for our lucky two-year-old, however trying his toddler temperament felt at times.
Lunch in Le Jardin, one of the three outstanding restaurants, is a must. The highly creative cuisine blends South American and Asian influences with North African; think juicy cervice and sashimi, tender spicy grilled meats and sweet-yet-savoury cocktails. The experience was made all the more enjoyable knowing that our son was having a high time in the plush Kids’ Club, which boasted top notch in-and-outdoor facilities and very reasonable babysitting rates.