”I wanted to create a little piece of paradise for myself. And maybe one day, I would share with others…” says Philippe Soulier, a French entrepreneur who turned his dream of building a fairytale palace into reality. And his dream is called PALAIS NAMASKAR, an ultra luxury hotel situated in a blessed location just outside Marrakech, with stunning views of the Atlas Mountains and the Djebilet Hills.
Soulier shared his vision with the highly talented Algerian born architect Imaad Rahmouni and together, they created a unique estate, covering over 40.000 sqm of perfectly manicured gardens and lakes amid centuries old palm trees. Palais Namaskar features an eclectic design and architecture, carefully blending Moorish, Indian, Andalusian and European motifs, every single detail exuding passion and an extreme attention to details.
From the Marrakech international airport, I was whisked to the hotel in the hotel’s BMW 6 series, the trip taking approximately half an hour and making a very enjoyable ride. Guests arriving in Casablanca can book the hotel’s own private jet, a brand new Falcon 900 LX, with its interiors resembling those of the Palais. The flight from Casablanca would take maximum 30 minutes.
Nothing from the distance or the outside fence would give away the breath-taking first impression, from the impressive entrance, leading onto the majestic wide pathways. I could not help but stop and take pictures, almost like a child in the middle of a theme park. To access the pool villas, I had to walk down on a rather narrow path in the middle of a large rectangular water surface. Each time, I came out of my villa, it felt like I was walking on water.
On my first morning, I woke up early and was so thrilled to capture the sunrise, which is probably the most beautiful time of the day to see the entire complex take life. It was on that particular morning that I experienced the most unique welcome – as I was walking on the small bridges connecting the lakes in the lavish gardens of Palais Namaskar, tens of beautiful exotic fish, some in the most sharp colours, would all surround me, happily swimming up and down. A beautiful turtle made its way too…
This atmosphere of magic is what defines Palais Namaskar, a piece of heaven abundant in tranquillity and a dominant sense of positiveness. Comfort and warmth excel at Palais Namaskar despite the grandeur of the entire complex. No expense has been spared, all the elements of decoration being imported – wooden furniture from Bali, chandeliers from Murano, rugs from Germany, the cupboards and minibars from France etc.
Palais Namaskar features 10 pool villas, each with its own private garden and swimming pool, two impressive palaces and 29 deluxe rooms and suites, each with access to swimming pools. All rooms and suites are huge, with large bathrooms, most of them with separate shower and stand alone bathtub. The most beautiful accommodations are the pool villas. Watch here a short movie of Pool Villa no. 1.
Accessed through a huge wooden Moroccan door, my villa featured its own garden with palm trees and scented flowers as well as a private swimming pool. From the fireplace in the living room and the stunning reflection of candles in the pool during the night, there is an infinite precision in each element of interior design and technology – complimentary high speed wi-fi internet, Bang & Olufsen custom made LCD TVs, panel controlled lighting, individually controlled air-conditioning in each room, including the bathroom.
Simple daily activities such as sunbathing in your private garden, lounging on the couch in the garden to catch the sunset or tucking into the heavenly bed at bed – have all become special moments, which have made me miss the resort so much after my departure but provide inspiring dreams for the future.
Palais Namaskar would not be worth of its palatial stature without a masterpiece service and the owner could not find a better match than with the Oetker Collection company, which owns iconic hotels such as Le Bristol in Paris, Eden Cap Roc on the French Riviera or the Brenner’s Park Hotel in Baden Baden. Palais Namaskar is for the Oekter Collection a special project, being the very first property which it manages under a third party agreement (all other hotels are owned by the Oetker family).
I was truly pleased to discover, less than 2 months from opening, the perfect housekeeping service, almost identifcal to the housekeeping at the legendary Le Bristol in Paris and an exceptional quality and creativity in food & beverage. Other beautiful details include: the exquisit tea collection of French tea specialist Mariage Frères, silverwear by Cristofle, treatments at the SPA by British organic cosmetics brand ILA nd a very original ”Carnet de Voyage” a luxurious diary provided for all guests which includes photos and information on Palais Namaskar but also blank pages convenient for notes.
There is also room for improvement: service at breakfast, the training of therapists at the SPA and provide more natural bathroom amenities.
Oliver Petcu in Marrakech
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