World’s Best Hotel Bars: The Oberoi, Marrakech

Food & Drink

From an architectural standpoint, The Oberoi, Marrakech is among the most impressive luxury hotels on the planet. It is built around a grandiose, zellige-lined courtyard, meant to mimic the city’s iconic Ben Youssef college—a masterpiece in Arabic-Andalucian design. As such, the property features remarkable hand-carved reliefs and mosaics which took nearly a decade to complete. It finally opened to the public in December of 2019.

The natural setting is equally as impressive. The estate unfurls elegantly across 28 acres of Mediterranean citrus groves and centuries old olive trees. Looming along the distant horizon are the majestic peaks of the Atlas range, capped in snow should you show up during the winter months. Regardless of when you arrive, though, you can overnight in one of 84 stately rooms—including 72 villas, which come equipped with private pools and outsized patio oases.

Amongst all this grandeur it’s easy to overlook the food and beverage on offer. Do not make that mistake: it is wholly befitting the elevated surroundings. There are three separate dining experiences to speak of. Visitors from foreign lands will be most mesmerized by Siniman, where a high-minded menu of Moroccan specialities is served within that aforementioned courtyard—which is nothing short of ethereal throughout the evening hours. Pair your bastilla alongside a brilliant bottle of red, plucked from the restaurant’s impressive French-focused wine list.

When it’s time for nightcaps (or cocktail hour), head across the courtyard to behold The Vue. This understated parlor features a candlelit interior, several spirits trollies, and an array of Moroccan art adorning the walls. Behind the bar there’s even more artwork to admire, in liquid form. The concise list of cocktails here were crafted in partnership with mixologist Lorenzo Miglietta, who runs the award-winning Marlowe Bar in Barcelona.

Drinks exist mainly in one of two categories: Classics Revisited—leveraging a modern twist on old favorites—and Vue Selection, comprising stuff you can’t sip anywhere else. Wherever possible, all drinks across both lists rely on local ingredients and even herbs collected from across the property. If you’re thirsting to fully appreciate those native flavors, it’s the Ras El Hanout Julep that you’ll want in your glass.

A Moroccan variation on a Mint Julep might seem unusual, but it makes perfect sense when you think about how much the locals appreciate mint, in the form of their iconic tea. This one is served cold, over crushed ice with Maker’s Mark bourbon at its base. No surprises in any of that. But where it veers into something altogether unique is with the addition of the eponymous Arabic spice, which gets muddled into the mix. Ras El Hanout introduces a savory, slightly spicy tinge to the drink, balancing out any sweetness from whiskey and sugar. Coriander seeds, clove, and cumin are all discernible in the sip. And the overall aroma is enhanced under the presence of generous sprigs of fresh Moroccan mint. It’s delivered on the table in a long glass, as opposed to the more traditional Julep cup presentation.

Other standouts here include the signature Vue, combining American whiskey with Fernet and green apple and an Old Fashioned dialed up with dates and sesame-infused bourbon. All selections are available at $16 and are best enjoyed on the outdoor terrace, from where you can see the property’s opulent grand canal stretch out toward the Atlas Mountains. Friendly and attentive bar staff can also direct you to an expansive list of wine, champagne and single malts available by individual pour.

You don’t have to stay at the 3-year-old Oberoi in order to enjoy these enviable food and beverage programs. The restaurants and bar are available to outsiders by reservation. But it’s highly unlikely that any other accommodations across the city can compare with the memorable overnight experience at this 5 star property. Rooms start at around $875 per night.

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