The image in our minds of Marrakech – a loud, bustling, assault on the senses – melted away the second we walked through the enormous, intricately carved, antique wooden doors of Amanjena (Peaceful Paradise). The stripped-back, yet still quintessentially Moorish architecture is simply breathtaking. Long colonnades of perfectly proportioned arches upon arches lead you around the resort. There is a tranquillity, created both by the architecture and the presence of water, notably the man-made, perfectly square lake which the resort sits around.
Our two-storey pool villa, modelled on the typical Moroccan townhouse, was equally impressive, with its own private courtyard and shaded outdoor seating area, ideal for sitting and reading in whilst sipping on sweet mint tea. The pool connected directly into our riad-style sitting room, large enough to walk a camel through, with a vast bedroom and bathroom. Upstairs, the opulence continued with a luxuriously large bed and a bathroom overlooking the pool.
Amanjena is the kind of place where you can totally switch off if you so wish. Discreet, respectful but friendly staff were on hand to service any little luxury we wanted to indulge in, and yet somehow disappeared into thin air when we wanted to be left alone. The facilities, assuming you ever want to leave your villa, include a large communal pool (bah) and three restaurants, one al fresco, where they serve a delicious breakfast. Another randomly specialises in Japanese food. The last, our favourite, is in a traditional Moroccan style, serving local cuisine. Impending, is the opening of a new hammam-style spa, along with exquisite (of course) residences.
Route de Ouarzazate km 12, Marrakech