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Hotels Bloom This Spring in Marrakech

Nearby between the Atlas Mountains and Djebilet Hills is where visitors will find the April debut of the Palais Namaskar, a showstopper resort property that could soon join the ranks of Amanjena and La Mamounia as the chicest addresses in Marrakech. It's from the European luxury brand the Oetker Collection, which operates such fashionable masterpieces as the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d'Antibes and Le Bristol in Paris. Oetker plans a regional expansion that includes Le Bristol Abu Dhabi in 2013.

Palais Namaskar seems fit for a king with its ethereal archways and swimming pools that seem almost too formal to brave a wake. The mostly single-story building is small when compared with the area's competition, but its mere 41 guest rooms and suites include an even higher room category of villas and private palaces fit for the most regal and wealthy guests. Interiors show inferior luxury brands how it's done with a sophisticated design aesthetic of spare lounges mixed with rich upholstered pieces, Italian-inspired furnishings and a pop of antique flair that will likely find its place atop the local hotel competition.

Parisian designer Jacques Garcia follows up his success at La Mamounia with the much-anticipated Selman Marrakech. A stately property far smaller and less historic than the iconic La Mamounia, it features a stately brick facade with palm tree colonnade and prominent swimming pool (and a stable of white Arabian horses more for looks than actual use). Interiors mix an aged glamour and gilded aesthetic ubiquitous on even new hotels by Garcia.

The 56 rooms and suites of Selman Marrakech have a one-of-a-kind feel, with hand-carved wood paneling and plush modern decor set against dark hardwood floors and hand-painted tile wainscoting. An upscale resort destination with a boutique feel, the property will also be home to a spa by Dominique Chenot and destination French eatery set to open in early May. There are special opening rates in place from $500 per night that grant entree into one of the top hotel openings of the spring season.

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Michael Martin is the managing editor of, a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in InStyle, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine and on ITV and the BBC.
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