Musings on Hotel La Mamounia/May/June Book signings

ditulis oleh : Jomblo Terhormat 29 Juli 2013
   When I was growing up in Morocco, my parents would sometimes take my brother and me for a weekend at the Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech, considered at that time, as it is now, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.  The hotel was built in 1923, although much of the original landscaping dates back to the eighteenth century when Sultan Sidi Mohammed gave the property to his son as a wedding gift.  To this day, I treasure the memory of our sojourns at the Mamounia.           

          An atmosphere of mellow gentility prevailed over the Mamounia at that time.  Blue-blazered gentlemen and cashmered ladies bestowed kindly smiles upon my brother and me during their afternoon stroll.  To keep us out of mischief, my mother had instructed us to try and catch one of the ubiquitous pigeons parading along the walkways.   “You can catch a pigeon if you manage to place a pinch of salt on their tail,”  she confided. We were happy to comply  . . .
          “Look who’s having breakfast at that table over there,” whispered my father on one occasion.  Who else, but Noel Coward, reading the newspaper at a table next to the window.  He, and many of his peers, regularly fled the dreary London winters for the cerulean skies of Marrakech.  Mr. Coward’s signature graces the pages of the hotel’s Golden Guest Book next to Rockefeller’s, Rita Hayworth’s, Maurice Ravel’s, and a member or two of the Rothschild family.  Winston Churchill, a Mamounia habituĂ© during the latter part of his life, spent most of his time painting in the rose gardens of the legendary hotel.  Sir Winston wintered annually in Marrakech, and members of his family, so I was told, can still avail themselves of the suite that bears his name anytime they visit . . .”

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