Built for the king of Morocco as an overspill for his diplomatic and royal guests, it's little surprise the Royal Mansour is jaw-droppingly opulent, with gold-plated walls, green onyx floors and carved ceilings. Instead of a room, expect a private three-floor riad with a rooftop plunge pool, sun deck and bath easily big enough for two.


A three-starred Michelin chef oversees the two restaurants - order the 36-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder - and, after dinner, get someone to show you the library, where the roof peels back for stargazing through a telescope. Ludicrous facilities aside, it's the perfect location to dive into the medina (old town) as the hotel is built into the city's ancient walls.

Souk-lined streets and Marrakech's hustling main square are within ambling distance. Yves Saint Laurent's garden, Jardin Majorelle, and a beautiful 14th-century Islamic college also make for easy day-tripping.


Return to the hotel's immaculate gardens for a cup of mint tea, then have dinner in the Agafay Desert. You'll rarely see staff at the Royal Mansour; they zip along underground tunnels in golf buggies for extra privacy. Hillary Clinton, Sam Smith and John Legend are among its recent guests.

WOW FACTOR: You'll be met on the runway on arrival, taken to a VIP area and  whizzed through security in the diplomatic lane. The same happens on departure: you are staying at the king's hotel after all…

GO: Scott Dunn (www.scottdunn.com) offers seven nights in Morocco including four nights at Royal Mansour, from £2,150 per person, B&B. Includes flights and transfers.

FLIGHT TIME: 3 hours, 30 minutes


LAST UPDATED: 17th November 2011 5:11pm

Owned by the King of Morocco no less, Royal Mansour wows on every level. You don't stay in a room here. Guests have their own three-storey riad complete with roof terrace and plunge pool.

Created with the A-list in mind and located minutes from the main square, the decor is classic Moroccan (a stunning courtyard and lots of lanterns), while the two restaurants (one Moroccan, one French) are managed by super chef Yannick Alléno.

The spa is a work of art, with a pool housed in a glass conservatory, a hammam and treatments including dreamy facials. It's simply perfect for privacy-loving couples.


WOW FACTOR: The gorgeous interiors; over 1,500 artisans crafted the mosaics, metal latticework and other details.

GO: Abercrombie & Kent (www.bercrombiekent.co.uk) offers three nights B&B in a one-bedroom riad from £2,285 per person. Includes flights and transfers.