A little history
In 1946, the two Europeans, Helen Sibillon Larochette, (whose husband owned Brasserie Sibillon) and her daughter, Susie, decided to launch a Moroccan gourmet restaurant under Thami El Glaoui, one of the most famous pashas in Morocco, close to the Bab Doukkala mosque and called the Arab House.
It is also said that he was one of the finest chefs of the Pasha who passed on the recipes to two women in the restaurant.
It has been visited by famous personalities incl ChurchillAnd Ernest Hemingwayor the General de GaulleIt would gain an international reputation, which it has maintained ever since, even as it became an elegant boutique hotel.
When her mother died, Susie went on for a while and then shut it down.
Wave of the prince’s magic wand
in 1994, Prince Fabrizio Ruspoliillustrious scion of the papal family of nobility, unconditional lover of Morocco, who spent his early youth there, excited about the place, decided to buy it back and convert it into a boutique hotel, the first of its kind in Medina.
Completely renovated in 1998, it offers rooms and suites in the spirit of Moroccan tradition. The pottery, the paintings, the zellij, the carvings and the woodwork everything was there in the purest Moroccan juice without forgetting the gardens, the patio and the pool.
Here we found the charm of the great hotels of the past and in particular the jazz piano bar, (the prince was fond of music at that time)
A charm lost with the latest renovation in 2019, thanks to the Cenizaro Hotels & Resorts group.
Having finished the access road to the hotel through a narrow alley, we discover the Arab House which is only revealed to the insiders.
Access to our room would only be possible after traversing patios, staircases, and small niches, after the group had bought several houses to put together.
Our Suite has decoration from One Thousand and One Nights. Fine local craftsmanship, silk and heavy drapes, hammered tables, lamps by the famous Moroccan artist Yahya, and old and traditional items.
We love the terrace in the morning as the light reflects off the high walls of the Kasbah, and we enjoy mint tea or breakfast, while enjoying Marrakech and seeing the Atlas taking shape in the distance. Big moment!
Moroccan spirit swish past
Wherever you look, be it the lobby, the two restaurants (La Maison Arabe or Les Trois Saveurs), the colonial-style piano bar, or the spa; The decoration explodes with Berber motifs and Arab-Andalusian architecture.
Moroccan craftsmanship gives a precious touch, from floor to ceiling, with tadelakt (wax coating, polished with agate) walls and plaster decorations, (chiselled and incised plaster) ceilings boxed in cedar wood or painted with traditional Iranian patterns, or pegmat floors (small bricks of blond earth). and marble)
Everywhere you catch the eye, this riad, with its many nooks and crannies, breathes and breathes Morocco last rustle.
Choice of La Maison Arabe or Les 3 Saveurs
under a Zouk roof (Hand drawn) Inspired by an Iranian mosque, La Maison Arabe restaurant welcomes us for a typical local dinner. Different tagines to order and of course vegetable or meat couscous, Moroccan salads or Harrera soup. dilemma we will solve quickly. The cure is there and the sweet Andalusian Arabic melody that accompanies us soothes us to the rhythm of the dishes. Tomorrow we will dine at Les 3 Saveurs, by the pool and the filtered lights. Magic envelops the light with the greedy gurgling of the fountain. Here the choice is made between traditional, French or Asian dishes.
Mint tea will be taken at the jazz piano bar for a pleasant musical moment.
Here the colonial spirit with a touch of Art Deco is more present and takes us to another place!
Private garden with an 18-meter pool
The spacious 18-meter pool with its blue waters welcomes us to take a refreshing bath.
You can lie in the sun or in the shade of a fig tree, have lunch under the arcades, under a Berber tent, or even inside the old palace, which has preserved its paintings and carved wooden doors.
It’s time to take a break away from the hectic and urban hustle and bustle of the city.
In the evening, before tasting the delicacies, it is good to leave yourself in the hands of the Moroccan therapists, who will make you forget the tensions of the day thanks to the traditional hammam with exfoliation and black soap, and then as a final bouquet of goodness. 45 minutes of massage to get back on your feet.
Finally, we will lose ourselves again in a small living room, which, thanks to its location, perpetuates the rich historical past of this dwelling while recapturing the beauty and atmosphere of that time!