Serene Moroccan Hideaway: Jnane Tamsna – Hotel Review


Dreaming of a particularly peaceful holiday? For the ultimate escape, head to Marrakech and check in to Jnane Tamsna, a secluded spot bursting with greenery. Amelia Windsor shares her reflections on this gorgeous hotel

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Hotel Review: Jnane Tamsna, Marrakech

Long candlelit table outside surrounded by greenery, with lights hanging above

Returning to Jnane Tamsna this January, after a hiatus of a few years, felt just as special as it was during my first visit. Nestled in the heart of the La Palmarie district of Marrakech, this boutique destination is so much more than a hotel – it’s a welcoming retreat for those who, like me, are continually enraptured by its magic.

This magic has been created by Meryanne Loum-Martin and Gary Martin who, over the last 20 years, have designed and made the hotel and its grounds an absolute paradise. Together with their wonderful team, they ensure that every stay is thoroughly enjoyable.

Pool at sunset with palm trees on either side

The beginning of the year brings with it pleasant temperatures and blue skies that seem alien to anyone coming from London, especially as Marrakech is such a short distance away. The slightly cold, crisp feel to the beginning of the day is accompanied by birdsong as the sun slowly rises, as if emphasising that there is no need to rush, and you can take your time here to ease into the morning. Moroccan mint tea helps to awaken the senses. 

The hotel has five pools which can be enjoyed throughout the day by all guests, and this includes two heated pools – a particularly inviting prospect during the slightly cooler January mornings, before the sun makes itself at home in the midday sky. These pools are heated using clever energy-saving methods, capturing the heat from the air and transferring it directly to the water, which is then covered at night to maintain the optimal temperature. I found myself drawn to the new salt pool for refreshing dips in between reading the beautiful words of Andrea Levy’s novel Fruits of the Lemon.

Courtyard with orange walls and palm trees

When it’s time for lunch, you can wander through the organic gardens and olive trees to enjoy a set menu, which is adjusted depending on the produce available in the hotel’s own vegetable patch. Expect delicious twists on the traditional Moroccan tagine, as well as melt-off-the-bone chicken dishes served with a variety of colourful vegetables. Gary Martin is a renowned and passionate ethnobotanist who expertly maintains the property’s drought-resilient plants and vegetables through permaculture techniques, using special irrigation that requires minimal water but ensures flourishing growth. The end result is not only an exceptional menu, but a truly stunning botanical setting to explore, with labelled plants to help you expand your agricultural knowledge. 

In the evening, head down candlelit paths to the library for a pre-dinner drink, where jazz is playing and fellow guests are reading or excitedly discussing their excursions. There are also frequent literary retreats organised by Meryanne, to which internationally-acclaimed authors are invited to give workshops and lectures for budding writers. Don’t be surprised to see one of your favourite wordsmiths lounging in the lobby. 

Bedroom at Jnane Tamsna with blue walls and red accents inlcuding blanket and chair

Each of the rooms in Jnane Tamsna is unique, and Meryanne has sourced furniture and art from all over Morocco and beyond. I was staying in the Jaipur room, which features red, pink and orange walls, as well as a huge bathroom complete with golden sinks and hanging lamps. The generous bath is a treat to soak in before dinner, with the fire lit for extra cosiness if you’re feeling chilly.

It is near impossible to find an area of Jnane Tamsna that isn’t pleasing to the eye. I find myself taking mental snapshots in my head to take home with me: at the pool, admiring the reflections of the palm trees on the surface of the water, or sitting on the rooftop after dark with candles burning as I study the stars in the clear night sky. Jnane Tamsna is a place of knowledge, inspiration and community, and I left with a fresh energy for the new year ahead. 


Rooms start from £135 a night.

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