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MARRAKECH : CAPITAL OF MOROCCAN TOURISM

The pink city dear to the painter Jacques Majorelle, Yves Saint-Laurent, Pierre Bergé, crossed in 2019 the milestone of six million tourists, like Saint-Tropez in the Var: hotel inflation continues, 140 hotels and riads welcome them at all prices. The Oberoi, a dream palace, has just opened surrounded by gardens and the view of the Atlas. In 2007, Lonely Planet, a very good tourist guide, mentioned the high-end accommodation side of the Mamounia, historic palace (1920) with century-old gardens redesigned by the interior designer Jacques Garcia, and the hotel Es Saadi, built by the investor hotelier Jean Bauchet, great resistance fighter, ex-circus acrobat, owner of the Lido, the Moulin Rouge and the Casino de Paris - incredible destiny! This visionary character had established in 1952 the first casino in Morocco in the Hivernage district, in Marrakech, for French players and tourists looking for a change of scenery, the sun (winter at 25 degrees) and journeys to the oasis of the south, Taroudant, Ouarzazate and the attraction of the desert. In order to accommodate these tourists seduced by the preserved beauty, the magic of Marrakech, Jean Bauchet, well advised by the local authorities and the Pasha El Glaoui, had a beautiful four-storey hotel built in 1966, nested under the Palm trees. L'Es Saadi (the "Blessed One") would attract the best of French customers, who alternated their chic and expensive stay at La Mamounia, whose chef was then the three-star Alain Senderens, and the relaxed French lifestyle -Moroccan of Es Saadi, managed by the omnipresent Élisabeth Bauchet-Bouhlal, the daughter of the creator of the hotel who intended to take care of the residents as a smiling and devoted friend. Of a vast culture, it was to constitute a collection of Moroccan paintings - Élisabeth Bauchet-Bouhlal then organized each year the Prize of the four juries, which distinguished in Marrakech a French writer not rewarded, alas, by Goncourt, Femina, Renaudot or the Interallied. King Hassan II endowed this prize, and presided over a gala meal at Es Saadi - the family hotel thus became a kind of French embassy. Élisabeth Bauchet-Bouhlal greets residents every day at lunchtime by the turquoise pool, like in a Relais & Châteaux. At dinner, the owner included very popular Moroccan specialties, couscous, tagines, pastillas and gazelle horns on the menu of the gourmet restaurant. Moroccan cuisine remains for many connoisseurs one of the best in the world, it is regional and often cooked by women, vestals of the stoves.

Source : slate.fr

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