When guests visit the beautifully designed Moroccan Villa 12, it’s the warm, homely atmosphere that first captures their attention. The villa, located in Marrakech, Morocco is one of the Four Seasons Hotel’s luxury private residences situated on its
39-acre walled property.
The rental home combines designer items steeped in history and culture, pairing them with subtle, contemporary finishes. The end result is an eclectic space filled with traditional pieces that don’t negate a luxury resort’s must-have modern trimmings.
“It took me around six months to design this villa,” says Meryanne Loum-Martin, a Moroccan-design aficionado and the woman behind Villa 12’s inviting appeal. “I don’t usually design villas but the owners were so lovely I just had to. It was important that the space feel just like a real home, without being overly personalised as it would be seeing many guests with varying aesthetic tastes.”
Meryanne initiated the newly opened, four-bedroom villa’s metamorphosis using colour and tactility, opting for a neutral palette and filling the space with rich textures that beg to be touched, including local, hand-woven textiles and Rubelli fabrics.
“I took inspiration for this dwelling from my 25 years of living in Marrakech. The historical city sits at the crossroads of Arabic, Berber, African and art-deco styles, offering me a plethora of inspiring design influences to choose from.”
Lavishly decorated with wooden furniture and doors manufactured by local craftsmen – as well as an enviable collection of antique pieces – Meryanne says she designed the wooden elements, fireplaces and an outdoor fountain herself.
“It was important that the villa possessed an individual, Moroccan feeling,” she says. “While decorating on a resort meant there were restrictions I had to abide by, I used my knowledge of the local markets’ exquisite fabrics, antiques and crafts to bring a feeling of home into the space.”
While the living room and bedrooms feature an abundance of varying textures, from ornate hand-carved wooden room dividers – which double as artwork – to pleated headboards and hand-woven rugs from the Beni Ouarain, a Berber tribe famed for its weaving techniques, Meryanne says she particularly enjoys the simplicity of the dining area. “It has a calming, peaceful feeling. The warmth of the brown hues throughout the room – from the burnished bronze and copper pendant lights, which are locally designed and produced – to the lustrous shell-pink mosaic dining table, work wonderfully together.”
In the sitting room a collection of artwork and sculptures – including Tamegroute green pottery, a large wooden element from an olive oil mill and an old tray from Fes mounted above a copper fireplace – offer a glimpse into old Marrakech.
Meryanne’s favourite pieces in the villa include “the copper fireplace, Rubelli fabrics and the large painting of a tree in the sitting room”.
Outside, the villa’s garden has been handled with as much care as its interior. “My husband, Gary Martin, is an ethno-biologist and took on the role of landscaper,” Meryanne explains. “His education in botany allowed him to have a very specific approach on the use of plants in this climate.”
Aside from eye-catching interior design, Villa 12 offers its guests access to the hotel’s spa, restaurants, shops, sports grounds and more, yet allows for complete privacy and exclusivity on the grounds and in the villa’s pool and living areas.
“The villa has its own staff, including a chef, maids and drivers. Guests can decide whether they’d like to spend their entire holiday in their pyjamas, or up at the hotel enjoying spa treatments,” Meryanne says. “It may sound clichéd, but this really is a home away from home.”