As I am sure you saw in my posts last week, the Fellah Hotel in Marrakech is pretty much a gateway to a different world: a much more beautiful, cooler and interesting world. I am not sure where to begin to tell you about the hotel as there are so many different layers to it. I suppose I could start with the most obvious one: the luxury angle. The Fellah offers 69 rooms, all of them set inside villas which you can hire as a whole (and benefit from a private swimming pool, cook and maid service). It is a bonafide luxury hotel with all the amenities you would expect from such a place: restaurant, pool, boutique, spa, gym, large grounds, comfortable beds, beautifully decorated rooms and impeccable service. But that is not all, oh no, that is not all. Every single item from the list above is done ever so slightly differently at the Fellah: the menu at the restaurant doesn't offer that many dishes, but if you fancy, you can pick vegetables from the garden and learn to make your very own tajine, with the help of Touco the cook; the pool is surrounded by beautiful cacti, the boutique (Kalhenas) offers an interesting spin on local art and crafts, miles away from the usual tourist traps of the city's markets; the spa aka Wat Po is an authentic Thai spa overseen by Thai masseurs from Bangkok's Wat Pho temple; the gym is too beautiful for words (never thought I'd write that); everywhere around the grounds the air is heavy with the scent of jasmine, orange blossom and mint; the beds are dressed with locally sourced cotton blankets (from the nearby Atlas Mountains); the rooms and hotel are all decorated with mid-century furniture, dating from the French protectorate era of Morocco, a very different style from other identikit luxury riads in Marrakech's Medina whose "authenticity" often feels forced. I could go on, but I think you get it by now: the Fellah is a wonderful place, as welcoming as the warm heart of your very own family.
This brings me to my second point: the Fellah is welcoming... Not only to tourists coming to spend their hard earned money, but also to artists (they have artists in residence from all over the world from up to 5 months at a time - currently they are hosting James Holden amongst others) and more importantly they welcome locals. They are pioneering a new, responsible type of luxury where it isn't just about taking, enjoying and leaving but about giving back, constantly. When the hotel opened, its owner, former stockbroker Redha Moali also created the Dar Al-Ma'mûn foundation, a non-profit arts centre attached to the hotel and benefiting locals and hotel guests alike. There are literacy classes for children and adults in the library, workshops for the women of Tassoultante where they can learn a craft that will help them become financially independent - all this on the hotel grounds. Everyone is the same here and it is about getting everyone together around the same table, sharing knowledge and exchanging stories.
This may sound extremely cheesy, but this hotel touched my heart. The people who work there, what it stands for, the way it is run, everything felt like home. My life plan now is to make sure I go back there once a year and who knows, maybe one day I will work on a art project that will allow me to spend 5 months there... A girl can dream!
Mid-century furniture and kilims by the front desk
Some of the Fellah's donkeys
The living room of one of the villas
More mid-century goodness
One of the private pools // At Touco's
At the gym
Inspirational quotes everywhere
Inside the kitsch but wonderful Wat Po
The spice shop // The Library
Old radio and my clutch in our room
Lunch by the pool // Hotel grounds
Our bathroom, complete with all the necessary ingredients for a home-made hammam experience
Mint tea at Touco's
Mademoiselle Robot was a guest of Original Travel & Fellah Hotel. Original Travel (020 3582 4990) offers 3 nights at Fellah Hotel in Marrakech from £434 per person in a Superior Room including breakfast and return flights from London.