Beginning at a portion of the walls of the Medina, fashionably located within striking distance of the French colony in Marrakesh lays the Royal Mansour. The arrival at the hotel is a flawlessly choreographed affair. Literally. A host of smiling staff await you, symmetrically positioned, as you pull into a courtyard from the olive tree-lined road of the hotel’s extensive grounds. Marrakesh has enjoyed a sustained growth in its tourism economy thanks to its relative stability compared with other Arabian destinations and its easy distance from London and Paris. This has led to a rapid rise in the number of Riads, traditional Moroccan dwellings containing a courtyard and fountain, a room for welcoming guests and private bedrooms a floor or two above. When you’ve seen a few in the city you’ll know that there are Riads and there are Riads. Those at the Royal Mansour are the latter. From the cedar wood door, traditionally curved architecture, mosaic floors and plush cushions, each inch of the palace-like interior has been made or selected with nothing but the best in mind. It’s a wonder we ever ventured further than the Riad walls, but intrepidity is well rewarded. The hotel boasts two top-notch restaurants of Moroccan and French cuisine. The dishes at both of the restaurants have been creatively dreamed up and meticulously executed by the three Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno. We didn’t catch his name but you won’t forget the charming born-performer who played a collection of Moroccan tunes on his mandolin through dinner, beaming mischievously through his mellifluous singing. Make sure you take a little time to visit the spa, if only to visit its vast and tranquil gardens. The traditional Hamam spa therapists are considered something of an expert in their craft, with ours being taught at a young age by his father before being trained at the hotel and now employed to teach staff from Harrods in London who fly in to learn the authentic Moroccan Hamam practices.