A six year, US$100 million renaissance orchestrated by Parisian interior designer Studio MHNA has brought the age of Morocco’s Saadian dynasty to architectural life in the dramatic form of the new landmark Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech.
Comprehensively reconfigured as a modern reinterpretation of the traditional architectural hallmarks found in noble Moroccan mansions of the 16th century, the hotel’s design features include a central fountain, cloistered gardens and peripheral double gallery, while the iconic interiors feature contemporary variations on traditional Moroccan decorative arts.
Inspired by the notional journey of a nomad discovering the refuge of Ahmed Al Mansour Eddahbi, sultan of the Saadian dynasty from 1578 to 1603, Studio MHNA’s innovative design draws guests through a series of differing, complementary spaces, to the majestic central ‘oasis’ or lobby.
On arrival, guests are plunged into the world of an imaginary oasis, passing through a promenade lined with gardens; various inviting lounges, fountains and water features; an ‘airlock’ overlooking a monumental door; and finally a majestic lobby with the ‘oasis’ at its heart.
Modern techniques have been applied to many traditional Moroccan design features to create several remarkable signature pieces.
A dramatic wall of 3D mashrabiyas, or latticework panels, was made using laser cut metals.
A backlit wall of mother-of-pearl provides a stunning contemporary showcase for the ancient mosaic techniques of local craftsman.
Crowning the lobby, beneath a cupola, is a magnificent nine metre high chandelier, made using a high-tech stamping technique from the aeronautical industry.
Ambient lighting includes a stunning feature wall adorned with 1,200 bespoke LED lamps, developed especially over two years by Studio MHNA to recreate the luminous flicker of candlelight – conjuring not just a magical warm atmosphere, but also significant reductions in energy consumption.
With the hotel adjoining the city’s largest and most important convention centre, the Palais des Congrès, Studio MHNA also had to ensure its design was suitable to simultaneously accommodate two very different types of guests, providing an equally appropriate and warm welcome for leisure and business clientele.
In order to achieve this, two distinct guest journeys were created, each taking its own path to a separate, dedicated lobby.
Each type of clientele is thus able to enjoy a tailored, privileged welcome experience: the group lobby is designed to smoothly manage large flows of people, whilst the individual guest lobby offers a more private service.
Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech reopened in October 2016 under the management of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts after completing an extensive renovation and expansion programme.
Inspired by the vision and achievements of Ahmed Al Mansour Eddahbi, Sultan of the Saadian dynasty, the hotel is a contemporary oasis from the enchanting buzz of the Red City, just a few minutes’ walk from the bustling Medina in the central L’Hivernage district, and only 15 minutes’ drive from Marrakech Menara Airport.