Grand Opening of La Mamounia amazes its glamorous audience with the best Cirque performances

La Mamounia has received the «Best Hotel in the World Readers’ Choice Award 2015» and the «Best Hotel Middle East and Africa Readers’ Choice Award 2015»
— Conde Nast Traveller Magazine



Erika Lemay performing on behalf of Cirque du Soleil at La Mamounia official re Opening gala

After a three-year, $176 million makeover, the legendary hotel La Mamounia celebrates its reopening, welcoming the greatest stars on the planet: Orlando Bloom, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Juliette Binoche, to name a few.

Erika Lemay performed her solo handbalancing act on canes for this very special ceremony, representing Cirque du Soleil in a jaw-dropping tailor-made creation from the Canadian company Special Events, directed by Jacques Marcotte.

The event was covered by press worldwide.


A unique history

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The history of La Mamounia is as fascinating as the hotel itself. Situated on the edge of the walls of the old city of Marrakech, La Mamounia is named for its 200-year-old gardens, which were given as an 18th century wedding gift to Prince Moulay Mamoun by his father. Today the gardens cover nearly 20 acres and display an incredible variety of flowers and trees. The aroma coming from the gardens is wonderful. The hotel was designed in 1922 by the architects Prost and Marchisio. They combined traditional Moroccan designs with the popular Art Deco look of the 1920s. Although the hotel has been renovated numerous times since its construction, the owners have kept this marvelous decor.

 

Erika Lemay performing on a stage set up in the middle of the pool

Erika Lemay performing on a stage set up in the middle of the pool

From Churchill to Mandela....

 Winston Churchill called it "the most lovely spot in the whole world." He spent many winters at La Mamounia painting the Atlas Mountains and surrounding countryside. Churchill and Roosevelt came to La Mamounia when they met for the Casablanca Conference in 1943, and were said to have grappled with their responsibilities from the roof of the hotel while gazing out at the snow-covered mountains and terra cotta walls of the old city. The suite where Churchill often stayed was renamed in his honor. Other politicians who have enjoyed stays at the hotel include Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Charles de Gaulle, and Nelson Mandela.

La Mamounia and show business ... from Hitchcock to the Rolling Stones

The incomparable José Carreras opened the evening in a majestic way.

The incomparable José Carreras opened the evening in a majestic way.

La Mamounia and show business ... from Hitchcock to the Rolling Stones

La Mamounia has also played a starring role in the making of many movies. "Morocco" with Marlene Dietrich was filmed there, as was Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Photos from the films adorn the walls of some of the corridors of the hotel. According to our hosts at La Mamounia, Hitchcock got his idea for the movie "The Birds" while staying at the hotel, when he opened his balcony door and was startled by pigeons. Other film stars such as Omar Sharif, Sharon Stone, Sylvester Stallone, Charlton Heston, and Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman have stayed at La Mamounia. We found ourselves singing the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song "Marrakech Express", and the Rolling Stones discovered the joys of La Mamounia in the late 1960s. 

La Mamounia's fame has grown as other celebrities passed through, including Charlie Chaplin, Kirk Douglas, Omar Sharif, Joan Collins, Martin Scorsese, and Nicole Kidman.