Fez to Ifrane: The Michlifen Suites & Spa Hotel

If you remember 'The Little Prince', the tiny jewel from Saint-Exupéry that we should be reading more often, there is a passage that says:

Grown-ups love figures (...) If you were to say to the grown-ups: “I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they would not be able to get an idea of that house at all. You have have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost $20.000.000.” Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!”

Assuming you're a grown-up I will tell you that it took 790 million dirhams (around 70 million Euros) to bring it back to life this hotel in the biggest facelift in history, with permission of Berlusconi. The Michlifen Hotel instantly became a landmark when first opened in 1973, surrounded by a cedar forest in the highest spot of Ifrane. Such a place could not escape from the hedonist eyes -and the rest of the body- of Gatsby. When he first visited the place it was still under renovation, but his dearest friend slept there and told him that he had never seen such a place in Morocco, and barely anywhere in the world, leaving Gstaad apart.
The Michlifen Ifrane Suites & Spa counts 70 rooms all boasting luxury and mountain resort glamour with Pierre Frey linen, has a 3.500 sq m Spa with all kind of treatments, a 2.500 sq m gym, exterior and interior swimming pools and a helicopter runway for the VIP's. The gorgeous interiors are blessed with Ralph Lauren furniture and others. It belongs to the same group as La Mamounia of Marrakech, which gives you an idea of the standards.
The prices are the only thing that bring you back to reality, the rooms start at 5.000 dirhams up to 80.000 dirhams for the 800 sq m Royal Suite. But don't worry, if you're not Terry Benedict you can go only to enjoy the restaurant, their chef was trained with the famous Pourcel brothers and it will cost you around 500 dh per person. And if none of the above suggestions convince you just head towards the bar, where you are likely to find Gastby begging for happy hour on Champagne magnums...Bollinger '69, of course.

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