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Spa Hotels|Spa Resorts|Wellness Retreats

Review – Leo Bear Checks in to the Selman, Marrakech

Leo BearBy Leo Bear

Blending Moorish architecture with splendid baroque flair (none other than Jacques Garcia designed the interiors), this red-brick pleasure palace is one of Marrakech’s swankiest yet most serene spa retreats.

Pass your time lounging next to the hotel’s 75 metre freshwater pool – the longest in Marrakech – or getting to know the owner’s pure-bred Arabian ponies, then when the mercury hits scorchio, there’s the cool climes of the Henri Chenot spa to which to retreat.

Just 10 minutes from Marrakech airport, The Selman has ‘exotic spa break’ written all over it.

Spa Chenot

Spa Chenot

A cool haven of flickering candles, ornamental Arabian lanterns and soaring brickwork arches, this ravishing Henri Chenot outpost is dedicated to the art of detox.

There are plenty of pampering treatments to choose from, but to see real results the ‘no pain, no gain’ approach is recommended: that means firm scrubs, eyebrow-raisingly powerful hose-downs and facials that will make your eyes stream (if you give your therapist the green light for extractions). Grit your teeth and you’ll come out gleaming though – and for afters, there’s sweet mint tea on tap.

Review – Leo Bear Checks in to the Selman, Marrakech

Giving spa-goers a strong taste of what the Henri Chenot philosophy is all about, the 60 minute invigorating Hydro-Energetic Cure Session combines three important detox elements: a deeply nurturing hydro-aroma bath filled with essential oils and warming jets, a nourishing heated phyto-mud wrap, followed by a powerful hydro-jet treatment aka a good old-fashioned hosing (not for the faint-hearted).

Other treatments on offer include Anti-Ageing Regeneration Facial, Chenot Connective Massage, Hammam Selman Signature, Hydro Energetic Cure Session, Manicures and Pedicures.

To Stay

To Stay

The equivalent of a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress, rooms are bold, colourful yet wonderfully straightforward.
Lashings of velvet, suede, studs and tassels combine with vivid pomegranate and saffron hues to create jewellery box-chic surroundings yet, barring a mirror that transforms into a flat-screen TV, these quarters are largely void of mod-cons. Instead, you’ll find a 1920s luggage trunk filled with drinks and nibbles, a love-worn chess table inviting challenges long into the night and a splendid terrace overlooking the pool or the Atlas mountains.

To Eat

To Eat

Anyone hoping to shed a few pounds should stick to the Henri Chenot ‘Biolight’ menu for the duration of their stay.
Featuring an array of daily changing rainbow-coloured micro-chopped salads and delicately crafted stacks of steamed vegetables, each plate arrives as pretty as the clientele eating them (mango tartare with fresh mint, crudités with citrus zest and lemon vinaigrette, green vegetables with pesto).

To Do

To Do

The Selman is just 10 minutes’ taxi ride from the city’s main square Jemaa el Fna, famous for its snake charmers, smoking food stands and labyrinthine souk. For a breath of fresh air, Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle is a must-visit.
Alternatively, why not take a stroll round the brand-new Jardin Secret designed by British gardening supremo Tom Stuart-Smith?

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