Royal Mansour, Marrakesh $$$$
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:So grand is Royal Mansour, tucked in a verdant eight-acre compound in Marrakech's bustling medina, that it could have only been created by kingly ambitionswhich it was. Sparing no expense, King Mohammed VI employed 1,200 master craftsmen for three years, and the result is a swoon-worthy showpiece of Moroccan decorative art, starting with the 2.5-ton etched bronze doors that open upon your arrival. Then there's the entrance courtyard's intricate mosaic of zellige tilework, the hand-carved marble moucharabieh screen behind the reception desk... and that's before you enter your roomor rather rooms. Each of the 53 individual three-story riads comprises a mini courtyard (with a canopy that automatically unfurls if rain is detected); a sumptuously appointed living room; an equally dazzling bedroom with silk-covered walls, hand-painted arched doorways, and generous MarocMaroc bath amenities; and a private rooftop terrace with a fireplace and heated plunge pool. You and all this space are tended to by a gracious staff, in particular a genie-like butler who appears silently through the riad's kitchen service entry (staff travel unseen via an underground tunnel system). Although Djemaa el Fna square is within walking distance, there's much to keep you ensconced in this city sanctuary, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a magnificent spa, and two superb restaurants, La Grande Table Marocaine and La Grande Table Franšaise (both overseen by chef Yannick AllÚno from Paris's Le Meurice), as well as the indoor-outdoor La Table, which serves a formally presented breakfast and lunch by white-gloved staff. 2011 Hot List
Which room to book: Standard one-bedroom riads are palatial, starting at 1,500 square feet.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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