Julie Mautner / January 2013
Marrakech, Morocco—So widespread is its reputation, it’s easy to forget that in all these years there’s only been one hotel that bears the Delano name. While other boutique brands have expanded worldwide and countless hoteliers have knocked off the distinctive Delano look, the New York City–based Morgans Hotel Group has chosen to sit tight with just its original Delano hotel in Miami Beach…until now.
In September, the company unveiled the Delano Marrakech in Morocco, in partnership with Ahmed Bennani and his Hivernage Collection. The 71 suite hotel sits in the heart of the Hivernage district (also home to the Four Seasons and Le Méridien). The partners aim to launch a Mondrian in Marrakech as well, slated to open in late 2013. MHG has a 15 year management contract to run both hotels.
Designed by Jacques Garcia, the Delano Marrakech has a Baroque interior combining precious marbles, draped velvet, and rare fabrics. The lobby boasts hand-carved detailing and a retractable roof, while guest rooms feature Moroccan lighting, headboards painted by local artists, city panoramas over the Koutoubia Mosque, and Juliet balconies. The hotel has a 20,000-square-foot spa, three pools, and several bar and lounge concepts. Rates begin at $330. And just as the Delano South Beach had, for many years, retained high-profile chef Claude Troisgros to oversee its food, the new hotel has not one but two internationally known Michelin-starred chefs in charge of its restaurants: Michel Rostang (for the two French concepts) and Giancarlo Morelli for the Italian.
Rostang, who holds two Michelin stars at his namesake restaurant in Paris, is operating the all-day Galerie, with a classic and modern French menu, and the gastronomic French Bon R. To handle the day-to-day cooking at the 96 seat Bon R, Rostang chose Alexander Visciano, who moved down from Michel Rostang in Paris.
Morelli’s restaurant, Pomiroeu, meanwhile, was designed to bring “a slice of old-school Italian glamour to Marrakech.” When Morelli is back at his one-star Pomiroeu in Milan, Fabio Moriconi, who has worked with him for seven years, will be in charge.
The hotel executive chef is Fouad Amri, who was most recently at the Four Seasons and, before that, La Mamounia, both in Marrakech. The general manager is Aziz Bendriss, who came from The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park.
MHG was founded by Ian Schrager, with the opening of Morgans on Madison Avenue in New York City in 1984. The company went public in 2006 and now owns or operates 13 properties worldwide, with signed deals for 10 new hotels under the Delano, Mondrian, and Hudson brands. Meanwhile, the next Delano is slated to open in Las Vegas before year’s end, followed by the Delano Moscow in 2015.