An unconditional love for thoroughbred horses and a desire to fulfill grandfather’s dream- to give its city a place that it deserves. That is the one way to describe the monumental project that Abdeslam Bennani Smires, young Moroccan businessman and national Equestrian champion, accomplished with his Selman hotel, a five-star gem in the tourism capital of Morocco, Marrakech.
Abdeslam was interested in hospitality business from an early age. In his youth he traveled with his father a lot, and later he finished the Lausanne Hotel School in Switzerland. Abdeslam knew exactly who to bring to make his dream come true: enter Jacques Garcia, one of the most important figures in modern interior design. This legendary French architect and creative genius is behind many marvelous works in Paris such as the interiors of Hotel Costes, Fouquet’s Barrière, Le Royal Monceau…, and in Marrakech iconic hotel La Mamounia. Under the patronage of influential Bennani Smires family, Jacques Garcia simply outdone himself with Selman hotel.
One of Selman’s mysterious corridors
Selman is located some seven km southwest of always crowded Djemma el-Fna square in the Old City of Marrakech. Its position makes it a fairly secluded place for the relaxation of both body and soul, with busy city life of Medina lurking right around the corner, being just 10-minutes drive away. But, why leave Selman at the first place? When you enter the building at the address Km 5, Route d’Amizmiz for the first time, you’re captivated by the grand splendor of Moorish style architecture, seductive interiors- velvet furniture with Napoléon III–inspired chairs, antique carpets, crystal chandeliers… The guests are drawn into the Selman universe- Oriental dream that starts with the low-lit entrance area, where an opulent baroque lounge comes into view and later the endless dark corridors with certain David Lynch feel. Interesting fact is that many spectacular decorations and antiques were brought by the family Bennani Smires.
Lounge area of the Selman Hotel wrapped in the mixture of Imperial purple and gold
Moroccan specialty, an intricate Zelij tiling is also present throughout the hotel, but in a decidedly more subdued way than in an another pearl in the crown of Marrakech’s tourism, La Mamounia. Spending a few days in it, we came to the conclusion that Selman is not only a hotel, but a true oasis of tranquility and peace that amazed us more and more with every passing day.
The 56 rooms and suites, as well as five private Riads at Selman Marrakech are decorated in soft greys, chocolates, golds, orange and purple, featuring luxurious leather furniture and zellige-tiled bathrooms. Superior Rooms come with private terraces with spectacular views while five separate Riads boast a garden, personal butler and private pool.
Salon at Riad
Dinning experience at the hotel is something very unique to discover, as well as the guests- Moroccan high society, the international jet set, guests who are treating themselves to something special. We had an outstanding dinner in Selman’s flagship namesake restaurant, an international culinary affair with Moroccan flair. In Assyl, the hotel’s national restaurant, you will be simply smitten with a myriad of mind-numbing flavors, and if the exploring of North African recipes is not your thing, at any time of the day you can enjoy in Mediterranean cuisine right by the pool, in Selman’s beautiful Pavillon restaurant.
The Selman Restaurant
We mentioned the horses at the beginning of the article. Thoroughbred, proud and beautiful, Selman’s horses are a joy to behold. Yes, at least the third of the hotel’s enormous property goes for the incredibly clean and in every way spectacular stables, where the owner’s horses are kept and pampered. We have been told about the enormous values of some of them and, while no experts by any means, we can assure you that these were the most handsome stallions and definitely the prettiest mares that we’ve ever seen.
But back to the hotel, since we came in summer, we spent much time simply relaxing by the pool. And what a pool it is! The longest one in Marrakech with its 75 meters, Selman’s pool is definitely a perfect spot for sport as much as it is for relaxation. We can proudly say that we have conquered its formidable length, but not without muscle sore on the following day. It is worth mentioning that Selman boasts three more outdoor swimming pools, as well as one indoor, maybe the most elegant of them all. For the fitness aficionados like us, there is a fully equipped gym and if even that is not enough, there are various beauty treatments and massages in hotel’s spa, all using the unique Chenot Method.
You must experience Hotel Selman. And if you’re not heading to Marrakech soon, you can get a glimpse of it by watching the video bellow.
Address: Km5 Route d’Amizmiz، Marrakesh 40160, Morocco
Phone: +212 5244-59600
We give very special thanks to Morocco Luxury Experience- an exclusive transportation service that assisted us on our trip. With their professional help tailored to our needs we could quickly travel between different locations.
Vukota Brajovic for Fashionela