Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JUL-AUG 2012

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Page 45 of 131

Four Seasons Hotel Marrakech Built to resemble a modern-day medina, the rose- hued walled sanctuary features alluring arcades, fountain courtyards, Moorish gardens and 141 guest rooms in low- rise accommodations with views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and Menara Gardens. Te family friendly property includes a comprehensive children's program in a dedicated facility as well as two pools – one for families and another for adults only. After a day in the bustling souks, returning to the calming confines of the resort was a welcome respite. Even more indulgent is an afternoon spent within the confines of their lavish 32,000-square-foot spa and fitness center. Te pure argan oil I picked up in the spa boutique has been nothing short of a magic elixir for both dry skin and hair. Discerning travelers wishing to "go native" and stay within the medina would be well served by a trio of riads – Dar Les Cigognes, Riad Kaiss and Le Nid des Cigognes - that comprise The Sanssouci Collection. The collection is owned by expatriates Eben Lenderking and Tanja Tibaldi, who fell in love with the city during a 15-day vacation, during which they worked up a business plan on a napkin during New Year's Eve 44 and implemented it the next day by purchasing their first riad. Each unique property has been carefully renovated (taking as long as four years in some cases) to adhere to traditional architectural styles and materials while sparing no guest amenity. Each property offers an on-site concierge, a restaurant serving traditional Moroccan cuisine and a full bar, daily bespoke cooking classes from one-hour to full-day, a traditional hammam, and spa services using their proprietary product line. At Dar Les Cigognes, a rooftop terrace with 1,500 potted trees puts you eye level with the storks that nest atop the palace ramparts. Lenderking, who remarked that he feels safer in Marrakech than in London or New York City, particularly enjoys the city's "fascinating remnants of Jewish culture," and the "amazing artisan traditions that are a part of daily life." When it comes to finding the best street food, he recommended following the locals and looking outside the square to the working class restaurants where the cuisine is most authentic. Bianca Jagger, Cecil Beaton and Yves Saint Laurent are some of the well-known revelers who lived the bon vivant lifestyle of expats in Marrakech in the latter half of the 20th

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