The Royal Mansour, Marrakech, Morocco. More of a regal experience than a hotel.

Moroccan King Mohammed VI issued an edict for a sumptuous hotel, and he got his wish, reports the Independent. The King’s pet project, The Royal Mansour opened in June, a showcase for national decorative arts rather than a tourist draw.

More a luxury city-within-a-city than a hotel, guests have their own three-floor riads within the newly built pink-walled medina, which took 1,000 craftsmen four years to build. Each has its own roof terrace with plunge pool and living room with open fire. With servants using an elaborate system of underground tunnels and back staircases, the excellent service is discreet par excellence.

To say the design is impressive is an understatement. A ‘money-is-no-object’ approach has resulted in delicate fountains, marble pavements, Moorish arches, winding paths and a massive bronze entry gate weighing four tons. Inside, the riads are decorated with intricate tilework and carved cedarwood. As to be expected, there is a huge spa, a number of classy bars and two superb restaurants, one serving local cuisine and the other arguably already the best French restaurant in Africa.

And a truly special touch is being met from the plane by immaculately dressed staff, served drinks while passport formalities are dealt with, then Mercedes driven to the Royal Mansour free of charge. Such luxury comes at a price: a one-bed riad costs from around £1,245 per night.

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