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Magical Marrakech Is Experiencing a Hotel-Residence Boom

The wonders of the Moroccan city of Marrakech are well known to generations of travelers from Europe and the Middle East alike. The magical city’s opulent gardens, colorful markets and beautiful desert environment have long attracted the curious, the adventurous and the glamorous. Today, Marrakech is experiencing a construction boom, and becoming one of the world’s top destinations for buyers of luxury hotel residences. While the city’s incredible riads offer the ultimate in private luxury and La Mamounia is as fabulous as ever, these new developments are offering new luxury options in the “Red City.”

Opened in 2011, the Four Seasons Marrakech is one of the five-star brand’s first resorts on the African continent. In addition to a luxurious hotel in a majestic setting with views of the Atlas Mountains, the Four Seasons Private Residences Marrakech includes a mix of 43 private homes, including riads and villas integrated into the 16-hectare property. Designed by French architect Didier Lefort, the remarkable residences come with private courtyards with fountains in keeping with the distinctive architecture of Marrakech, as well as generous walled gardens and private swimming pools. When not in residence, owners will have the option to generate income by allowing the hotel to rent their homes to guests.

Looking ahead to 2014, Baglioni Hotels is scheduled to open an 80-room resort on a sprawling 34-acre park-like site. The veritable Italian brand has established itself across Europe with some of the most desirable locations including Rome’s Via Veneto and London’s Hyde Park, as well as prime country retreats in Tuscany and Provence. Its 11th property, The Baglioni Marrakech, will feature an extensive 1,800-square-meter (19,375 square foot) spa managed by Six Senses. The resort design includes an exclusive selection of residential plots where purchasers can build their own customized dream homes. The lots themselves average 2000 square meters (21,528 square feet) each, and the personalized villas will be managed by the hotel, and owners can opt to have them rented when not in residence to generate additional income.

Park Hyatt also has a hotel and residential project in the works. Due to open in 2014, 44 deluxe villas are available for sale in a gated resort environment alongside 131 luxurious rooms and suites. Just 15 minutes from the old city and the airport, the property also hosts Al Maaden Golf, a Kyle Phillips-designed course which is one of Morocco’s finest, and the hotel and residences are designed to maximize views of the landscaped gardens. Villa residences can enjoy the golf course, clubhouse, concierge and on-site spa, as well as meeting facilities for social or corporate functions.

The legendary French crystal-maker, Baccarat, is now a luxury hotel brand from Starwood Capital Group with two new properties planned for Marrakech. The first of the two is the Baccarat Spa Resort Marrakech, scheduled to open in 2015. The former estate property will be redeveloped into a remarkable destination spa set on over five hectares of olive trees, palms and rosebushes and feature 60 residential villas and two restaurants. In 2016, the brand plans to open the Baccarat Resort & Residences Marrakech, in the sought-after resort area of Palmerae, just twenty minutes from the center of town. Part of a 186-hectare development, the Baccarat resort will be the luxury flagship designed by architects Wood Bagot, and include 80 hotel villas and 70 branded residences, as well as a spa, meeting and banquet facilities, B Bar, and two restaurants.

Few cities in the world can match the allure and excitement of Marrakech. For those lucky buyers interested in a distinctive luxury hotel residence in this Moroccan oasis, the choices have never been better.