La Mamounia, ‘The Best Hotel in the World’, is up for sale
The Moroccan government plans to sell its 51 per cent stake in Marrakech’s famed La Mamounia hotel sometime in 2019, two people involved in the plan recently told Bloomberg.
Named Best Hotel in the World at the 2018 Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards, La Mamounia was built in 1923, on just over three hectares of gardens that the Moroccan king gave to his son Prince Al Mamoun as a wedding present in the 18th century.
The hotel’s regal connections is reflected in its opulent interiors. Rooms are decked out in rich velvet upholstery, traditional Zellige tiling and plenty of enticing curios, courtesy of a 2009 renovation at the hands of French interior designer Jacques Garcia.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the hotel’s regal charm has won countless admirers among the world’s political and cultural elite.
Winston Churchill described the 95-year-old palace-turned-five-star hotel as “the most lovely spot in the world”, and Alfred Hitchcock used it as a backdrop for The Man Who Knew Too Much.
According to the hotel’s website, Charlie Chaplin, Edith Piaf, Ray Charles, Marguerite Yourcenar, Elton John, Marlene Dietrich, Maurice Ravel, Yves Saint-Laurent, Paul McCartney also “graced La Mamounia with their presence and contributed to the legend of this luxury hotel”.
News of the government’s intention to sell came less than a week after Economy and Finance Minister Mohamed Benchaaboun announced at a press conference that the government was exploring the possibility of selling its stake in Maroc Telecom, the country’s largest telecom operator.
According to Reuters, Benchaaboun said that the government aimed to raise 5 billion dirhams from the sale of public enterprises, in a bid to boost liquidity on the Casablanca stock exchange and narrow the budget deficit to 3.3 percent in 2019.