La Mamounia Marrakech inspiring artists for 100 years

La Mamounia’s Love Affair With Artists for 100 Years

Updated on April 27, 2023

Update: La Mamounia’s love affair with artists has lasted 100 years! The luxury hotel provides a Beauty Break for the Soul and is a Muse to many. Congratulations, La Mamounia, for making the Condé Nast Traveler  Gold List in 2022 and Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award in 2018 for “Best Hotel in the World.” I’ll never forget an afternoon when you gave a southern girl living in Marrakech an early spring.

Winter in Marrakesh is usually shorter and milder than in most places, but I was ready for it to be gone. I needed a Beauty Break. Badly. I’m not talking about a manicure, makeover, fancy frock, or new ‘do. I’m talking about the kind of beauty we find in creation — nature spun by God and art fashioned by man. I needed an artist date so I took a ten-minute ride to La Mamounia. I’d read about its splendor — the architecture, history, and drama — that make the luxury hotel a masterpiece. Also, La Mamounia’s love affair with artists has lasted 100 years.

As much as I love to write on weekends, I needed inspiration. Julia Cameron convinced me long ago in The Artist’s Way that in order to create something, we need “artist dates.” She says, “Creativity lies in paradox: serious art is born from serious play.” Likewise, Clive Matson said in Let the Crazy Child Write! that our best work comes from our subconscious — our inner child — and that child needs room to roam. In Tennessee, my artist dates were walks beside a lake or weekends where I’d marvel at the massive arches and stained glass of a Gothic cathedral hidden in the mountains. I’d return home refreshed and write with clarity. Poet John Keats was right: “Beauty is truth, and truth is beauty. That is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.”

Looking up at blue and out at green is what we all need. Studies show that workplace productivity increases when employees have windows with views. Natural light and green space reduce stress and boost morale. The University of Washington lists many benefits of going green, including alleviating symptoms of Alzheimer’s, dementia, stress, and ADD.  Nature breaks also enhance cognitive, imaginative, and social functions.

From the moment I entered the gates, I was energized by the warm staff, gorgeous gardens, soothing waters, and palatial design. La Mamounia quenched my thirst for spring with fountains of blessings. Everywhere you look, beauty brims here.

La Mammounia Marrakech
Hope springs eternal at La Mamounia Marrakech
Focus on Beauty La Mamounia Marrakech
La Mamounia invites guests to focus on beauty.
La Mammounia Marrakech
 La Mamounia Marrakesh doorway
La Mamounia’s love affair with artists has lasted 100 years. No wonder, because the property is a portal to an exotic, creative world.
La Mamounia Marrakesh terrace
La Mamounia Marrakesh Terrace

Artists have been drawn to Morocco for its natural beauty and creative culture for centuries. For the last one hundred years, La Mamounia is where superstars have stayed … Nelson Mandela, Charlie Chaplin, Kirk Douglas, Omar Sharif, Sean Connery, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Orlando Bloom, Salma Hayek.

Until 1923, La Mamounia was the palace of Prince Moulay Mamoun, son of Sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, ruler of Marrakech in the 18th century. Guests are still treated like royalty and rock stars (and yes, Elton John and The Rolling Stones slept there, too).

While directing Doris Day and Jimmy Stewart in The Man Who Knew Too Much at La Mamounia, Alfred Hitchcock, the King of Thrillers, was inspired to make the movie The Birds. Judging from the way a flock of fine, feathered friends eyeballed me from orange trees while I had lunch on the terrace, I understand why.

Entrance to La Mamounia Marrakesh
Entrance to La Mamounia Marrakesh
La Mamounia Marrakesh Pool
La Mamounia Marrakesh Pool
La Mamounia Marrakesh Pool
La Mamounia Marrakesh Pool
La Mamounia Marrakesh Pool suites
La Mamounia Marrakesh Pool suites
Palm trees reflected in a Glass of wine on La Mamounia Terrace
Astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered that Earth orbits the sun and not the other way around. He also said, “Wine is sunshine held together by water.” While sipping a Chardonnay on the La Mamounia Marrakesh terrace, I saw beauty reflected in the glass and all around me. Beauty Breaks for the Soul remind us that all is right with the universe.
Bird at La Mamounia Marrakech
Alfred Hitchcock was inspired to write The Birds here.
IMG_4781
Alfred Hitchcock’s Muse at La Mamounia
La Mamounia Pool Buffet
La Mamounia Pool Buffet
La Mamounia Pool Buffet
La Mamounia Pool Buffet
La Mamounia Pool Buffet
La Mamounia Pool Buffet
La Mamounia Pool Buffet
Desserts La Mamounia Pool Buffet
 La Mamounia Pool Buffet
Dessert at La Mamounia Pool Buffet
Dessert at La Mamounia Pool Buffet
Desserts La Mamounia Pool Buffet
Desserts La Mamounia Pool Buffet
Cacti and Succulent Garden La Mamounia Marrakesh
Cacti and Succulent Garden La Mamounia Marrakesh
Cacti and Succulent Garden La Mamounia Marrakesh
Cacti and Succulent Garden La Mamounia Marrakesh
Cacti and Succulent Garden La Mamounia Marrakesh
Cacti and Succulent Garden La Mamounia Marrakesh
orchard at  La Mamounia Marrakesh
Orchard at La Mamounia Marrakesh
Garden Path La Mamounia Marrakesh
Down the Garden Path
La Mamounia Marrakesh

Winston Churchill said Marrakesh was “the Paris of the Sahara” and “the most beautiful place on earth.” He loved painting at La Mamounia. Con Coughlin reported in The Telegraph, that Churchill invited President FDR to meet him there where they made history.

Art Deco Bar La Mamounia Marrakesh
Art Deco Bar
Art Deco La Mamounia Marrakesh
1920s Art Deco Design at La Mamounia Marrakech
Art Deco at La Mamounia
Plush Art Deco Seating at La Mamounia
La Mamounia Marrakech
Southern Girl Gone Global at La Mamounia Marrakech
Cindy McCain La Mamounia Marrakech
From the La Mamounia Marrakech Gardens
A romantic bouquet from the gardens is fitting. La Mamounia’s love affair with artists has lasted 100 years.

Table Tennis at La Mamounia Marrakech
Table Tennis at La Mamounia Marrakech
Cindy McCain Southern Girl Gone Global at La Mamounia Marrakech

We are art, spun from the hand of the Creator. Made in His image, we get pleasure from creating, too. I learned at home in Tennessee that sometimes writers need to close their laptops and go find pretty. I found inspiration then in paintings hanging on the Frist Center walls, in light reflected off Old Hickory Lake, and in woods surrounding a Monteagle B and B. I now live in Marrakesh where beauty energizes me on a grand scale. No hotel I’ve seen thus far compares to this.

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La Mammounia Marrakech
View of Mosque from La Mamounia Marrakech
View of Mosque from La Mamounia Marrakech
Fountain at La Mamounia Marrakech
Fountain at La Mamounia Marrakech
Fountains are ubiquitous at La Mamounia Marrakech as they are in the Abrahamic religions. In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam fountains represent blessings, cleansing, abundance, and paradise.
Fountain at La Mamounia Marrakech
Water Feature at La Mamounia Marrakech
Fountain at La Mamounia Marrakech
Ceiling at Fountain at La Mamounia Marrakech
Architectural details are gorgeous at La Mamounia Marrakech, a pillar of the artistic community.
Fountain at La Mamounia Marrakech
Fountain at La Mamounia Marrakech piano
La Mamounia’s love affair with artists includes rock stars, like Sir Elton John.
cobalt blue glass Fountain at La Mamounia Marrakech
Cobalt blue glass
Reception at La Mamounia Marrakech
Columns at Fountain at La Mamounia Marrakech
Fountain at La Mamounia Marrakech
Nothing but blue skies at La Mamounia

Cindy McCain

I'm Cindy McCain, Southern Girl Gone Global, who flew from my empty nest to write/teach for three years in Marrakesh, Morocco and the Caribbean. Now back in Nashville, I'm sharing tales, tips, and takeaways from exploring 27 countries and finding treasures in my backyard. My blog offers itineraries, travel/hospitality reviews, and inspiration for letting go of fear, holding onto faith, and finding freedom in roots and wings. Featured in Yahoo!, US News and World Report, Expedia, Orbitz, StyleBlueprint, SheKnows.com. Named a Top 35 Baby Boomer Blogs 2020-2023 and a Top 50 Travel Blog of 2016.

5 thoughts on “La Mamounia’s Love Affair With Artists for 100 Years

  • February 11, 2015 at 12:10 AM
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    Not sure why I am not getting this; however, Sue was kind to forward and I loved seeing the beauty. Enjoy every moment and know many are thinking of you and praying. We are about to start up Discernment for the spring (?) session.
    Blessings
    Marsha

    Reply
    • February 11, 2015 at 6:21 AM
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      Hi Marsha–so good to hear from you! I am glad you are reading the blog. 🙂 You ladies were a huge part in my moving abroad and I so appreciate your thoughts and prayers. The button above the Eiffel Tower icon should allow you to follow so posts are sent to you. If not I publish links to posts on my A Move to Morocco Facebook page; I think if you “Like” I’ll be in your newsfeed. Hope to see you ladies this summer when I’m home in July.

      Reply
  • February 12, 2015 at 2:52 PM
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    Cindy– this is beautiful. Thanks for the peek into your journey. I am in agreement with you in your notion of catching beauty and creating as necessity, especially with those folks who work against injustice day in and day out.
    Wishes of continued grace and peace on your adventure.
    Kate

    Reply
    • February 12, 2015 at 3:11 PM
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      So good to hear from you, my friend! Your musings have understandably been more melancholy given what you’ve faced this last semester. I hope you can relax–breathe– live freely and lightly during the break. I’ll be home in July so save a walk on the green way for me.

      Reply
      • February 13, 2015 at 12:04 AM
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        Thank you for the kind wishes! I would welcome an opportunity to walk the green way and catch up on all life’s adventures. Look forward to it!

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