Staying at La Sultana in Marrakech was like reaching my outstretched hand into the hopeful, regal, and quintessentially Moroccan hand of Morocco – then to have my hand squeezed back.
It was stunning. This was truly one of the most awe-inspiring, restful, and attentive places I have stayed. It was grandeur meets kindness continuously.
Our arrival was drawn upward – to the 1500 m2 gazebo-dotted rooftop overlooking the old city of Marrakech. We were told we’d go somewhere “more comfortable” as our arrangements were put in order (passport numbers and the like). We were amazed to be situated in a wooden gazebo, misters refreshing our 100+ degrees Fahrenheit faces; a tier of Moroccan snacks flittering in on a silver tray; and, of course, Moroccan tea ministering to our souls with its delicate strength and refreshing essence. This was a welcome to befit royalty. We felt loved.
Once in our room, we were elated. It was palatial, yet homey. The Moroccan architectural details which consistently make me swoon were there too: carved cedar panels, stunning latched windows, and a view of our courtyard that could sing my soul to higher dreams. We were even given a tagine (traditional Moroccan clay dish) to take home with us. (The presence of the tagine is also a hat-tip to the Moroccan cooking classes offered daily in the hotel.)
La Sultana has 28 bedrooms or suites, each with their own sensibilities and architecture. We stayed in an exclusive suite. Though we did not need it, the room can accommodate two extra beds. The room is 7,700 MAD (895 USD at the time of publication) during low season and 10,900 MAD ($1,268) during high season. Our visit was during low season. The room was impeccable. I often dreamed of staying for weeks. We were in our own abode; and it felt marvelously right.
Once we were nestled in, we wafted out of our classy apartment onto the streets of buzzing Marrakech. Hours later, we returned by horse-drawn carriage to the place our hearts felt peaceful comfort: La Sultana. Even the walk from Kasbah Street through the corridor to the hotel is thrilling. It glows with a sense of home- like your mom leaving the light on.
We returned to our room delighted to see the way our room was turned down for the evening: our bed an open embrace; and the terrycloth slippers of the day tucked away and artfully replaced by our leather slippers of the night. These details make La Sultana stand out even more. There is a confident hospitality which is sincere and carried out with extravagant finesse. It is apparent why La Sultana was selected as among the 400 best hotels in the world by Forbes Traveler Magazine. The lodging and attentiveness is par excellence.
The next morning we had breakfast on the rooftop. It was resplendent. As in many moments at La Sultana, I found myself squealing internally and then glowing with the beautiful, Moroccan character of the experience. I adore Morocco. Thus, I wanted to stay somewhere which embodied the nation. La Sultana does that.
After breakfast, we ventured to the spa. Even the walk to the spa was divinely transporting.
Once within, my insides got all squirrelly again with effusive joy. The architectural glory was stunning.
We choose the Royal Hammam: 45 minutes in length and described as a, “complete traditional experience of Moroccan Hammam with body scrub.” (MAD 400) We added the “body wrap with two clays.” (MAD 150) It was otherworldly. Thankfully, my husband and I got to travel through the various rooms and processes of the treatment together. That made it more fun, as well as relaxing. And, I will say, that we were very relaxed when it was finished. Oh my goodness. I had become one with an ephemeral cloud.
After the spa experience, we bid farewell to the precious La Sultana. We took another look at her main courtyard, and we walked out her front door.
It felt significant to turn away from that door. La Sultana inspired me. It seemed to gather the nearly 20 years of Moroccan affinity and photograph-cutting-gathering-and-keeping that my life enjoyed, and glazed a luxury hotel in those same sentiments. It gave me butterfly wings of rich textiles and sent me soaring ever higher. I was impacted by that place more than most hotels. It spoke to me of doing things well and doing things sincerely. I suppose that is part of the marvel of a butterfly, its refined delicacy blended with a friendly charm.
As I do with each hotel I review, I wrote a poem at La Sultana for La Sultana. Fittingly, it is titled, “Impeccable Charm.”
Filed under: Lodging Reviews