Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, Morocco

LOCATION: This lavish new resort property, opened in June 2011, is set in 40 highly landscaped acres just two miles from the Marrakech medina.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Safe, spacious and plush. Any wary first-time visitor to Morocco will feel instantly cocooned by Four Seasons' warm embrace. Oddly, the reception area is so discreet that it took me a while to get my bearings. We were greeted with drinks and invited to check in from the comfort of the terrace. From there, we gazed at the hotel's lush water feature, the fully grown palm trees and, beyond, to the stunning snow-capped Atlas mountains.

THE FACTS: This five-star hotel fuses modern design with a Moroccan touch. It has 141 rooms, including 27 suites, cost €160 million to build and is Four Seasons' first property in Morocco.
All rooms have private balconies. My Premier Room was spacious, the bed extremely comfortable and the facilities excellent. There was a walk-in wardrobe, TV with channels such as BBC and CNN, a luxuriously deep bath and separate shower.
Locating the plug to the bath was a challenge, and there were rather a lot of light switches, but these are minor quibbles.
The Solano restaurant serves classic Moroccan dishes such as lamb tajine and spicy couscous, as well as Italian cuisine. Other outlets include the Inara Bar and the Azerra Grill.
For guests seeking post-souk shopping soothing, the spa's 17 treatment rooms provide a range of massages. The signature Massage de Marrakech treatment costs £63 for one hour.
Equally impressive is the hotel's Young Adult Centre, a highly-equipped sanctuary where 13 to 17-year-olds can enjoy Wii consoles, internet access, a pool table and their own movie theatre. No other hotel in Marrakech is said to have such a facility. It is complemented by a well-structured programme of activities for youngsters in the Children's Club, plus a babysitting service.

A GOOD BASE FOR: The hotel is ideally located for visitors who want to stay within a short distance of the city centre but in more spacious comfort and seclusion than some of the riads can offer. The souks adjoining Djemma el Fna, the Jardin Marjorelle and the Bahia palace are all just a taxi – or horse-carriage ride – away, while full-day guided excursions to the Atlas mountains can be booked at the hotel, or in advance through a reputable ground-handler such as Travel Link
WOW: The facilities are superb but, for me, nothing beat the simple pleasure of sipping mint tea from my secluded balcony while gazing at the majestic snowy Atlas mountains.

HOW MUCH: From €520 per night for a Superior Room.

fourseasons.com/marrakech

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