In northern Africa in southwest Morocco, Marrakesh is a hot arid desert filled with famous gardens, nearby mountains and stunning sites, but a tortoise paradise at a garden-of-eden hotel called Jnane Tamsna?
Husband and wife team, Meryanne Loum-Martin and Gary Martin, ethnobotanist and founder of the Global Diversity Foundation, have created a magical botanical oasis within a garden cultivated out of family’s love for sustainability and organic farming.
Jnane Tamsna is an environmentalist’s wonderland with over 500 species of plants as well as a myriad of birds, hedgehogs and, last but not least, the giant tortoises which live with everyone in harmony.
This nine acre hotel makes you feel like you are living in a planet earth dream where all animals are friends and each organic vegetable is planted, picked and cooked with care.
When we arrived, the sunset orange and yellow walls glittered with bright sunshine sparkling down from the eggshell blue skies.
The reception room created by interior designer Meryanne Loum-Martin is more like a Hunter S. Thompson’s Rum Diary scene set in 1960s Puerto Rico.
With a washed vintage touch and eye for eclectic furnishings and tea-stained prints, this sole room is probably one the most beautiful entrance rooms of any hotel in the world. Airy and open to the light warm breeze, plush pale pink roses are placed everywhere.
The estate has 24 individually designed rooms and villa rentals spread over five houses, five pools, a tennis court and a shop where one can purchase Moroccan designer clothing (where I bought my new favourite mint green oversized coat), interior items like furniture and paintings all curated by Meryanne Loum-Martin.
The Ethnobotanica Café and Shop serves delicious ice creams, freshly brewed coffees, and sells lovely bitter orange fragrance suntan cream.
Every morning, we had breakfast and fresh mixed juices on our veranda and then enjoyed walks through the garden by the pool to watch the tortoises.
Our evenings were filled with long dinners over candlelight and roses whilst the music of Billy Holiday and Nat King Cole played throughout the lounge.
If we wanted to, we could have organised hot air balloon rides, cooking classes, and camel treks but the serenity and seclusion of Jnane Tamsna forced us to turn off and retreat in our lovely garden oasis.
Phone:+212 524 32 84 84
Jessica Patterson travelled as a guest of the Jnane Tamsna hotel.