Marrakech feels like the Las Vegas of Morocco, and it certainly has no shortage of breathtaking hotels, but even in a crowded market (or should that be souk?), the Namaskar is very special indeed.

Formerly a private residence (nope, not at all envious), it still retains a cosy, personal feel - yet everything has been done on an epic scale. A 30-minute drive into the countryside from Marrakech airport (or a quick trip in the Palais Namaskar private jet!), you are met by the smell of wood smoke rising from an outdoor fireplace, and the service from here on in is faultless. Past the bougainvillea-draped colonnades and walkways, surrounded by tile-bottomed pools, lie the Namaskar's private villas.

The single-storey sanctuaries have huge gardens to themselves, and a pool large enough to do laps in should you want to (but we'd recommend sprawling on the giant day bed next to it). Namaskar's restaurant - picture satin curtains, velvet banquettes and extreme mood lighting - serves Moroccan and French food. If you want to venture further afield, the most atmospheric eatery in Marrakech is La Mamounia hotel's extraordinary Le Marocain. Housed in a replica of a traditional riad, decorated with wood carvings, and packed with snug, romantic corners, the food is exquisite - try the traditional pastilla (an elaborate meat pie). To die for.

WOW FACTOR The prize for one of the best views in the city - towards the mountains and out across the sand - has to go to the hotel's rooftop No mad Bar, where DJs play nightly, and guests mingle, Mojito in hand.

GO A deluxe room costs from £485, B&B