Le Palais Selman, or The Selman as it’s known, is a newer property in the beautiful Moroccan city of Marrakech, truly fit for the luxury-minded, fashion-forward traveler. This is not an over exaggerated statement as the hotel is furnished with invaluable artifacts from the home of late designer Gianni Versace which are mixed with personal pieces plucked from the homes of the hotel’s owner. Pulling-in, down a stone drive ladened with desert palms, you are aware of the experience awaiting inside. Fountains and bronze statues of Arabian horses greet you as the staff members welcome guests with wide grins. You are instantly at home.
The Selman is grand, large in scale and design, but intimate in execution. With only 61 rooms, suites and riads (personal homes), make no mistake that this is a boutique hotel experience. The property is privately owned and, therefore, makes it known that, as a guest, you are instantly welcomed as part of the family. The general manager, Karim Fehry Fassy, personally greets many at the door of the hotel as it’s his mission to make each person feel as if they are the king or queen of the castle. Check-in is done in-room, for those who wish not to be seen, and Romain, the “experience manager”, introduces himself. He is, shall we say, your advocate while on property. Romain will organize everything from dinner reservations, a hammam treatment in the hotel’s incredible spa or a private helicopter charter into the Sahara desert.
As guest at the hotel, you will notice throughout that no detail has been left unattended. Jacques Garcia, the property’s designer, challenged himself to stick to Moorish heritage while infusing international style and glamor into the space without being overdone. Ebony-stained plasterwork, antique rugs and the most perfect mosaic can be found in every corner. Fuchsia, purple and gold add bright pops to each public area. This hotel is sprawling, seductive and truly a sexy environment – one where it’s easy to feel completely to yourself and not bombarded by other guests staying on-property. Whether you’re in a standard room (which is anything but standard), a suite or one of the five personal homes, called riads, your experience will be outstanding.
Each guest room is decorated in a way that reflects the public spaces of the hotel, many with large balconies, sitting areas, daybeds, oversized bathrooms with free standing showers and tubs as well as my favorite, televisions which are disguised by a dark and smoky mirror. The influence of horses is everywhere as the hotel’s trademark is its award-winning Arabian horses. From many rooms you can see their stables as the horses reside on-site. The Selman offers guests the opportunity to witness a fantastic horse experience led by one of the master trainers – this is not to be missed. Photos of the horses dot the hotel and rooms, which adds an exotic air to the place.
The Selman offers a spa to rival most in Marrakech, Espace VItalité Chenot, which guests will find to be a true haven of relaxation, wellness and beauty. The incredibly long and visually stunning pool is outfitted with personal, butler-attended cabanas where you can relax with a seasonal cocktail and snack. The Selman has three on-site restaurants and bars: Assyl (restaurant) which is inspired by Ottoman and Andalusian flavors with a Moroccan twist, The Pavilion (restaurant) which is a casual place to have lunch poolside with fresh, seasonal international cuisine and The Selman (bar) which offers music nightly. The Selman often has a DJ spinning tracks in the evening, creating the perfect environment to sip cocktails and mingle with friends. You don’t have to leave the hotel to get a well-rounded and delicious culinary experience in Marrakech.
With so many luxury hotel options in Marrakech it’s often difficult to choose one that will suit your needs. The Selman is different. It’s not a hotel, it’s a palace. And, in a palace, things are not done the typical way. You will notice this and you will like this. The Selman is young, decadent and truly a monumental experience you will want to return to again and again. There’s just no place like it.