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Riad La Maison Arabe in Marrakech

Courtyard

In the mid 1940's, two extraordinary French Grand Dames, aided and abetted by the Pasha decided to set up the first restaurant in the Medina of Marrakech specialising in Moroccan cuisine. This was the hotel La Maison Arabe which swiftly established itself as a legendary gastronomic meeting place and so remained for several decades, frequented by such distinguished travellers as Winston Churchill and Queen Ingrid of Denmark.

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Half-price Moroccan cookery courses

4 nights at La Maison Arabe, Marrakech from £695pp, B&B

The offer: Stay 4 nights at La Maison Arabe from £695 per person on a B&B basis including flights and enjoy a half-price cookery class.

Speak to a specialist: 00212 6 6719 5783

In December 1997, Prince Fabrizio Ruspoli and Philippe Cluzel reinvented and brought back to life La Maison Arabe by transforming the original two riads (traditional Moorish homes) into something out of "Thousand and One Nights".

The Maison Arabe comprises 26 rooms and suites with terraces encompassing a variety of courtyards. Always ready to host the most demanding guests nostalgic for an era when time stood still and the unexpected was always on your doorstep. Needless to say, the entire property is decorated in a multitude of superb local materials and crafts and all rooms/suites are luxuriously appointed with all the comforts one would expect of such good breeding.

There's a large heated swimming pool, sunbathing area, and a spa which includes 2 hammams and 4 massage rooms. Pretty foliated courtyards and a small library are also part of the facilities.

The Moroccan cuisine at the house restaurant is highly regarded (book otherwise you might find yourself squeezed out by visitors from other Marrakech hotels). It is complemented by a second restaurant serving international cuisine and specialising in seafood.

The Maison Arabe run a cookery school in which you can learn the secrets of their Moroccan restaurant.

The hotel also has its own country club in a garden setting a 20- minute drive away on the outskirts of town (serviced by hourly shuttles) with a large swimming pool, beside which lunch is served.

Talent Breaks - article in the Sunday Times.