Royal Mansour, Marrakesh, Morocco
We are incredibly lucky to have lots of truly amazing hotels located in some stunning locations around the world for our clients to choose from. Sometimes though, too much choice can make deciding where to go on holiday a tricky decision! So, we had a quick chat with the Oxford Private Travel team to find out which hotels they felt fell into the ‘Amazing’ category and have selected four for you to take a look at!
This article does come with a warning however… these really are amazing hotels and and we guarantee you’ll want to jump on a plane and head on holiday the moment you read about them, so we hope you don't have any commitments you can't get out of this month!
Recently featured in the aptly named ‘Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby’ a BBC Two TV Series, was the Royal Mansour. A truly fabulous hotel and the perfect choice to begin our tour of amazing hotels available to Oxford Private Travel clients!
Built with a limitless budget by Royal decree to showcase the Moroccan kingdom to world leaders and billionaire and celebrity guests, the Royal Mansour is the byword for luxury and attention to detail (think sensors which close the roof to your Riad at the first sight of rain and you’ll get the idea!).
There are no hotel rooms at the Royal Mansour. Instead you are treated to your own private Riad residence. Choose from one to four bedrooms, with the larger Riads having their own dining room. You’ll be guided to your Riad through a maze of courtyards and winding pathways lined with local flora, exquisite mosaics and a central water fountain.
Your Riad (one of 53) is uniquely decorated and lavishly appointed. Distinctive fabrics of silks and brocades are fused with contemporary works of art and the finest custom made furniture. Once you have settled in, make your way to the rooftop terrace and soak up the view of the city. You’ll hear the call to prayer, an evocative sound which rings throughout the city and adds to the mystical charms of this vibrant destination.
Unsurprisingly for a hotel of this calibre, the dining experience is unforgettable. Home to three outstanding restaurants, the Royal Mansour is one of Marrakesh’s finest gourmet destinations. The restaurants are overseen by the renowned chef Yannick Alléno who throughout his illustrious career has been awarded three Michelin stars. Begin your dining experience at the Grande Table Marocaine – a restaurant synonymous with sublime Moroccan flavours. Mix things up the following night with a visit to Le Grande Table Française and enjoy a stunning meal in an ornate all-white dining room complete with candlelight ambiance for a truly romantic evening.
And where to start with things to do on your holiday… Marrakesh itself is right on your doorstep and is one of the world's truly exotic and vibrant cities. Explore the Medina amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday living. Take in the sights and sounds of the city at Jamaa el Fna Square where you’ll see snake charmers and much more! Particularly vibrant in the early evening, the Square is the epicentre of Marrakech and not to be missed. Heading outside of the city, we know you’ll enjoy a Hot Air Balloon flight allowing you to discover Morocco from the skies. A magical experience. And to round off your holiday take a one-day excursion to the Saharan desert… fly over Atlas peaks in a helicopter and ride across the sand dunes on a camel before returning to the cool sanctuary of your Riad at the Royal Mansour. An amazing destination for an amazing holiday.
Nothing quite says ‘amazing’ like an exclusive private island for you to enjoy! Well, that’s exactly what you’ll get when you book a holiday at North Island in the Seychelles. With just 11 private villas located on a pristine island, this destination really delivers the ‘wow’ factor!
Let’s start with the location. Located to the north (the name gives it away!) of Mahé, the largest island in the Seychelles, North Island is a fertile paradise and home to an incredible array of native wildlife such as White-tailed Tropicbirds thanks to an active conservation program. Four brilliantly white beaches, fringed with palm trees, surround the island which is lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Granite peaks tower overhead and provide a visually interesting backdrop to the island. Described as a true barefoot luxury escape, this is one of the few locations where you really are able to enjoy copious levels of luxury combined with privacy, peace and quiet.
The villas offer each guest an unparalleled sense of exclusivity and luxury. Constructed from natural materials that were harvested during the islands rehabilitation process, they balance luxury with simplicity. Your villa is your own private beach home for the duration of your stay. The villas are open plan and set along the East Beach which is just a short walk away. Total privacy is ensured by careful siting of each villa within the surrounding vegetation, but positioned as such to guarantee a stunning view of the ocean. Each villa comes with all manner of mod cons including Apple Macs in the study which can double as a second bedroom for those of you with children. Cool off in the plunge pool, or take a long soak in the sunken bath tub before relaxing for the evening on your private terrace.
Although one doesn’t typically associate holidays with rules, North Island are at pains to stress that this really is a rule free environment! No dress code and no set menus here! Upon arrival, you will have time to discuss your culinary likes and dislikes with the chef who will provide you with a completely personalised dining experience. You will also be free to eat where you wish… at your villa, on the beach or in the refined surroundings of the Piazza restaurant. Enjoy incredible dishes to include freshly caught Red Snapper, Langoustines and Lobster. We would suggest you also spend some time with the sommelier who will guide you through the impressive wine cellar!
And when you are not eating there is no shortage of activities on the island. With your stay tailored 100% around you, you are free to head out diving or snorkelling, explore the island on foot or mountain bike, take a deep sea fishing trip or a sunset cruise. And North Island is home to probably the best swimming pool we’ve ever relaxed in! An amazing hotel? Yes... Definitely yes!
The Oxford Private Travel team have a soft spot for Greece. There is something really rather special about the country and we always receive a warm welcome from such friendly people. In keeping with our theme for this week, we have selected the amazing and very beautiful Amanzoe located on the Peloponnese peninsula in the south of Greece for those of you who fancy a European break this summer.
Situated on a gentle rise surrounded by undulating olives groves, Amanzoe enjoys a 360 degree view of the Peloponnese countryside and rocky coves. The resort is within easy reach of a wealth of archaeological sites and the bustling town of Porto Heli.
From the moment you arrive you’ll enjoy the superior service offered by the resort's fantastic staff. In a true reflection of the Aman brand, Amanzoe offers a slick and pared down experience with unmatched attention to detail. Airy spaces combine with mellow lighting to create a unique environment for you to enjoy.
Choose from a Pavilion or Villa for your stay. Arranged over different levels to maximise views, you’ll find the design draws on classic Greek architecture with strong lines and pared-back aesthetics. Pavilions all open onto terraces with private plunge pools complete with views of the surrounding land and sea. Each Pavilion is accessed via a stone walled courtyard, leading to a high-ceilinged living area and king sized bed positioned in a marble alcove with views. Amanzoe’s Villas are cool, spacious abodes surrounded by olive groves. Overlooking the Aegean Sea, each of the four to nine bedroom Villas feature an open terrace with marble floors and traditional columns and cornices. A chef and host serve each Villa. The Aman philosophy is that simplicity is best, so gadgets are left out in favour of clean, flowing designs which bring the outside world in.
Simple, contemporary Greek and Mediterranean dishes feature heavily on the menu at Amanzoe. Provenance of food is very important and locally sourced ingredients arrive daily including incredible fish such as bass and bream. Meals are served in the airy Restaurant with extensive sea views. You can also opt to dine in private, surrounded by candles for a romantic evening.
You are spoilt for choice on the activity front. Enjoy wandering around the extensive grounds where you will come across a library, a boutique selling locally made jewellery, a gym, a Yoga and Pilates studio, tennis courts and swimming pools. The Aman Group is well known for its spas, and the Amanzoe spa certainly doesn’t disappoint with an extensive array of treatments on offer. Outside of the resort make the most of the close proximity to countless ancient ruins, millennia-old amphitheatres and Byzantine monasteries to visit. We’d also suggest you take a water taxi out to the car-free island of Spetses, just minutes across the water. Known for its quaint villages and verdant pine forests, you are free to explore by scooter, quad bike or bicycle.
Nestling in the hillside of Phuket’s stunning north-west coastline, Trisara is described as Phuket’s most luxurious villa resort… and is definitely amazing!
Set between two private headlands in twenty one hectares of centuries-old ficus trees and breezy coconut and fishtail palms, you are left at one with nature, with just the shoreline, ocean and horizon for company. With renowned year-round sunsets, this really is an idyllic location.
An intimate collection of private villas and residences sit on a terraced, tropical hillside and look straight out to the Andaman sea. With impeccable attention to detail, all accommodation combines a luxurious, yet contemporary Thai style for the design of the interiors. Each residence has its own teak sundeck and a completely stunning infinity pool which overflows directly towards the Andaman sea. Villas are available which have up to six bedrooms and include a kitchen, living pavilion and a dedicated staff team including a chef, making it perfect for families or larger groups.
If you are a foodie, then you are in for a treat. The Trisara Seafood restaurant is renowned as one of the best on Phuket. Some of the freshest seafood from the best local markets is prepared with exquisite care. Enjoy dining on the open, palm shaded deck leading out to the beach. For a more relaxed vibe The Deck restaurant is a great venue for cocktails accompanied by a menu of local and international favourites. And let’s not forget brunch! A mid-morning repast on sunwashed decks with live jazz make it Phuket’s must-do Sunday dining experience!
Talking of must-do’s, a trip to the Spa is highly recommended! Jara Spa is located within the lush jungle and pure air of the hills above the resort. Enveloped by century old spiritual Ficus trees, this is the perfect place to melt away stress and tension. We would suggest you indulge with the signature ‘Royal Trisara Six Hand Massage’ performed by three therapists. Bliss!
Our team is here to help you plan your amazing holiday. Whatever you have in mind we are here to help. Please give us a call on +44 1993 899 430 or alternatively click here for more contact details.