As an avid traveler, I love traveling the world looking for new places to stay. In fact, finding unique places to host future retreats is one of my favorite parts of running Travel Girls Getaways. I’m always on the lookout for special properties to take future Getaways guests to, and every once in a while I come across a true gem. When doing research for future Morocco retreats, I was lucky enough to stay at once such property in Marrakech, Morocco named Jnane Tamsna!
JNANE TAMSNA HISTORY
Jnane Tamsna has one of the most unique backstories of any boutique hotel I’ve stayed at. Opening in 2001, Jnane Tamsna was founded by what only can be described as the ultimate power couple, Meryanne Loum-Martin and Dr. Gary Martin. Like all good couples, these two remarkable people compliment each other in amazing ways to build a truly unique property.
Meryanne is a Parisian lawyer turned hotelier who is also a world renowned designer, and her design eye is present everywhere throughout the property. Dr. Gary Martin has an equally impressive CV as a cultural anthropologist and ethnobotanist, former University lecturer, and founder of the Global Diversity Foundation. The Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports local communities along with agricultural, biological and cultural diversity. Sufficient to say, any project run by these two special people will be impressive, and the end result of Jnane Tamsna certainly is!
A SECRET GARDEN
Jnane Tamsna is set on a nine-acre garden outside Marrakech in the Palmeraie area, about 20 minutes from the city center. Where Marrakech is often a noisy and somewhat chaotic area, Jnane Tamsna is a place of quiet and peacefulness. Founder Dr. Gary Martin has clearly put his botany background to good use, as the entire property feels like one large secret garden all to yourself. There are 5 houses with 24 rooms total on the property, each with its own distinct style and character.
I stayed in one of the Large rooms in the main house, a great upstairs corner room with plenty of space, local touches, and even had its own roof access. There are 5 classes of rooms, ranging from the “Small” room (which really aren’t very small!) to the beautiful Pavilion rooms, complete with their own living room, veranda, and pool. I was extremely impressed to see every room was uniquely decorated with Maryanne’s keen sense of style, all with their own themes and names such as Casablanca, Calligraphy, and Indian.
A PLACE TO RELAX (OR CELEBRATE)
The layout of Jnane Tamsna was unlike any hotel I’ve stayed at. Each of the 5 houses is separate from the others and down their own winding path through the gardens. There are also 5 swimming pools throughout the property, so you can always find space to relax either with other guests or a private corner all to yourself. I found that the unique layout of the hotel really fostered a sense of friendship among the guests because it felt like you were all staying in a friend’s villa together.
Everyone has their meals in the common area by the main pool, and these meals quickly turned into a group social with guests sharing tables and stories into the evening. Jnane Tamsna does an amazing job of cultivating this friendly community vibe, which explains why they have become one of the premier boutique destinations for weddings, events, and retreats! If you are looking for a fairytale wedding with candles as far as the eye can see, delicious food, and dancing into the early hours, then Jnane Tamsna is the place for you.
TRUE FARM TO TABLE
Many places like to describe themselves as “organic” and “farm to table”, but Jnane Tamsna truly practices what they preach. Walk around the gardens and you will see vegetables being grown on site. They also have a nearby farm where they grow all their produce used in their daily meals. The food is prepared fresh each day, with many of the ingredients being pulled from the ground less than 24 hours before finding its way to your plate!
I can unequivocally say that the food I had at Jnane Tamsna was some of the best during my entire time in Morocco. Both lunch and dinner are served from set menus depending on what is freshest that day. Instead of purely Moroccan food, each dish has a modern Mediterranean twist, combining the amazing local flavors with inventive Western creations. As someone who was getting burnt out on living on couscous and tagine for almost a month in Morocco, these wonderful meals were a very welcome change! Even if you don’t stay at the hotel (which you should!), you can book a Lunch and Pool pass to explore the beautiful gardens, relax by one of the pools, and try the incredible lunch.
GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
As the founder of the previously mentioned Global Diversity Fund, Gary knows a few things about giving back and supporting local communities. This is nowhere more evident than in the on site Ethnobotanica Café and Shop recently opened at Jnane Tamsna. Gary was nice enough to give us a private walk through and talk of the new shop, which sells goods to support local women and entrepreneurs. The shop had all sorts of amazing organic food, juices and other products, including locally produced saffron, argan oil, and some of the best figs I’ve ever had! You can also walk next door and visit the art gallery and fashion shop, specially curated and designed by Meryanne.
A SPECIAL EXPERIENCE
It is hard to put into words what a special vibe has been cultivated at Jnane Tamsna. The rooms and the grounds are undoubtedly beautiful, and the community feeling among all the guests really sets the hotel apart. Jnane Tamsna is the perfect place for a boutique luxury stay or to host a special event. I can’t wait for my return visit to host a Travel Girls Getaway and hope you are able to join me!
We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Jnane Tamsna. If you have any questions about the destination or have your own travel tips to share please leave these in the comments below.
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