On trend in Marrakech with architect Charles Kaisin
10 Oct 2016
• Independent design focused Almaha Marrakech was designed by famous architect
• Almaha Marrakech brings together centuries-old Moroccan craftsmanship with a contemporary aesthetic, making this an inspiring base
Almaha Marrakech was unveiled earlier this year and it celebrates Moroccan craftsmanship throughout. Charles Kaisin the architect, actually drew inspiration for Almaha Marrakech from Charles Baudelaire’s famous poem ‘L’invitation au voyage’. All of Almaha Marrakech showcases work by local artisans, many on the hotel’s doorstep. Charles Kaisin offers destination tips around the city for guests staying at the hotel inspired by the many styles throughout the hotel (detailed below).
The whole of Almaha Marrakech has furniture and art from the souks, a must visit when in Marrakech. As visitors walk the medina they experience craftsmen and women working on their products including smaller jewellery and leather items. Everywhere visitors go, mint tea flows and energy dominates as shoppers seek a bargain. Larger items including carpets and lanterns or other home furnishings are also on sale across the souks. In fact, the medina is almost divided between shopping sectors; arts & crafts, beauty, fashion, food and home accessories.
The hammam in the basement of Almaha Marrakech and each individually designed and themed bathroom in all of the bedrooms draw some inspiration from Les Bains de Marrakech, a must visit.
Designed in the 1920s and 1930s, the Jardin Majorelle is a cool, tranquil spot. The bright colours are striking throughout with the floor painted a welcoming sea colour/Majorelle blue whilst orange flower pots add to the tropical feel. Restored by Yves Saint Laurent, today guests can visit a memorial dedicated to him. The garden is a living work of art filled with exotic plants.
Le Jardin Secret dates back to the Saadian Dynasty and has just opened its doors to visitors. Le Jardin Secret has been the home of some of Morocco’s most important political figures. Visitors can experience outstanding examples of Islamic art and architecture. Visitors can discover both an exotic and Islamic garden. The Islamic garden has been designed to reflect heaven; a sacred place, laid out according to rigid geometrical rules. Many water features throughout the venue enhances the sense of purity.
Some uniquely designed areas by Charles Kaisin at Almaha Marrakech include:
The Pixel Room - The energy of the Jemaa el-Fnaa square – and the countless people who cross and interact inside it daily – is rendered still and peaceful in 23,000 padded cubes of coloured silk. It took 20 people to assemble, one by one, all the pieces and guests could spend hours in this unique room.
The Library - It took well over a month for the 1,083 books in the library to be folded to recreate the poem that inspired Charles Kaisin. The pages of all these French literature books have been expertly folded but not damaged, and are still able to be read. Each book is folded to form a letter. With all these letters together, guests can discover and read the whole poem.
The Patio - located on the ground floor, the patio is draped in white curtains that reflect off a green tiled water display, which fills each evening, illuminating the stars. The gentle lighting through traditional lanterns makes this a very romantic setting for an evening photograph under the night sky.
Almaha Marrakech even has its own scent throughout the riad. The orange tree fragrance, which burns throughout the day, draws guests to the many plants and vegetation around the riad.
Charles Kaisin offers tips for guests to uncover the real Marrakech commenting: “I like to lose myself in the souk, exploring all of the unique aspects of the different places. I have been a number of times and still keep uncovering new wonders. If I wake early I like going to the flower market. In the evening I enjoy crossing the ‘Jemaa el-Fnaa’, smelling the different spices of the cooking, it feels like outdoor theatre. What I really enjoy is the guilty pleasure of staying in the hotel and sharing a meal with friends in The Library. After a day exploring Marrakech, nothing beats relaxing on Almaha’s roof terrace where I enjoy reading with the backdrop of Marrakech sounds.”
Derb Ben Zina 55 – 40040 La Kasbah, Marrakech – Morocco +21 252 4386782
Instagram: @almahamarrakech or #almahamarrakech
Accommodation, breakfast, return airport transfers, afternoon mint teas and pastries from €310.00 per room per night
Charles Kaisin available for interview http://www.charleskaisin.com