Jnane's Blog: Oasis Lifestyle in Marrakech

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Welcome to Jnane's Blog

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 09:30 -- Jnane Tamsna

Meryanne writes about the interiors she has created since the opening of Jnane Tamsna in 2001, the social life within its walls and the new happenings in Marrakech that make it one of the world’s most alluring cities.

Her husband Gary, an ethnobotanist, gives insights about the edible and sensory landscape he cultivates at Jnane Tamsna and the philanthropic projects in Morocco that he spearheads as Director of the Global Diversity Foundation. We hope you will check in often!

Their daughter, Thaïs, will write about her exploration of Moroccan cities, boutiques, and curiosities, with insights on things to do, see and experience in Marrakech. 

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Botanical Symposium Comes to Jnane Tamsna

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 08:00 -- Gary

For the second year running, Jardin Majorelle hosted a Botanical Symposium at the advent of spring, spearheaded by Vice President of the Fondation Jardin Majorelle, Madison Cox. This year, Jnane Tamsna was honored to play a role in hosting a garden tour that explored native ornamental species, contemporary garden design, and the ancient irrigation system that laid the foundation for Marrakech almost a thousand years ago.

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Meissen Returns to China with a Hint of Marrakech

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 07:59 -- Meryanne

Last month, Meissen, the legendary German luxury brand known for its porcelain, opened a flagship store in Beijing, a moment that the CEO Christian Kurtzke referred to as “coming home.” When King Augustus of Saxony founded Meissen over 300 years ago, Qing dynasty China exported fine porcelain to European aristocracy for whom porcelain or “china” was de rigueur. In order to create Meissen, King Augustus, an admirer of Asian and Ottoman art, had to bring an alchemist back to Dresden from exile in order to develop the European technique for porcelain production.

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You Are What You Sheen

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 06:46 -- Gary

It’s quite simple, really,” says Rachid Jafaari, the founder of Terre d’Eveil. As your pores absorb nutrients, “you should only put on your skin things that you can eat.” He tells me this at his shop near Place des Épices, amidst shelves upon shelves of 100% natural products and vials of essential oils. At Jnane Tamsna, Rachid will begin leading workshops that teach you how to make your own moisturizers and balms that follow this basic guideline.

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A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Mon, 12/29/2014 - 05:59 -- Meryanne

At Jnane Tamsna, we believe that our ecosystem involves more than the flora and fauna within our walls. As custodians of our land, we play a role in Moroccan society and bear a responsibility to extend opportunities in a country that has afforded us so many. Giving back to the community is an intrinsic aspect of Jnane Tamsna’s mission, which is why I am overjoyed to share our latest initiative with the Cogito Scholarship Foundation. Cogito selects and sponsors exceptional underprivileged boys and girls to achieve their highest potential at the world’s most esteemed high schools and universities. 

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Maja in the Jnane Tamsna garden

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 02:51 -- Jnane Tamsna

It is late spring verging on summer in Marrakech, and this is the time of year when gardens are especially vibrant. Citrus trees have already shared the fragrance of their abundant white blossoms, and the less conspicuous olive flowers have come and gone, promising a rich harvest in the autumn. Now we have an explosion of flowers in our notably zen gardens: larkspurs blooming like wildflowers across ornamental beds, native honeysuckle matching the beauty of exotic climbing bauhinia, and a new garden of ornamental shrubs adding a variety of forms and colors. A personal favourite is the ‘flor del mar’ (Caesalpinia exostemma), a native of Mexico and Central America that is quite rarely cultivated.  Its abundant red and yellow flowers appear before the leaves, providing a distinctive floral display.

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Meryanne Loum-Martin: the essence of Marrakech design part 1

Sat, 11/30/2013 - 18:28 -- Jnane Tamsna

We are proud to announce that Meryanne’s boutique is coming back, opening with a flourish on the 15th of December!  This new edition resonates with the inspired creativity that Meryanne has brought to Marrakech over the last 28 years.  She first came to Morocco in 1985 to design a house for her mother in the Marrakech Palmeraie, the chic oasis neighborhood outside the walls of the historic Medina.  This architectural delight was met with such intense media coverage in international design magazines that the Parisian lawyer gave in to temptation, switched careers and threw herself heart and soul into her lifelong passion for design and architecture. This set her on a path to become a pioneer in establishing exclusive luxury villas, restoring riads and creating boutique hotels in Marrakech, merging exceptional private accommodation with cultural and culinary experiences.

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Sahara Expedition Part 4: Engulfed by the Desert

Tue, 10/08/2013 - 09:57 -- Jnane Tamsna

The desert has engulfed us within fifteen minutes of our departure from Merzouga but we have a two hour camel ride in front of us. Our final destination will be a campsite set up by relatives of Hassan and Hamid, nomads who spend a large part of their life in the Sahara and occasionally come out to border towns such as Merzouga and Hassilabied.

Since we left at 5 p.m. the desert is much cooler than we anticipated. The camel ride is actually very enjoyable as we roll up and down sand dunes while enjoying the views at the peaks and admiring the sheer size of the dunes in the troughs.

Having seen Lawrence of Arabia a few weeks before our journey we thought this would be a real adventure that would seriously test our resilience, but this part of the Sahara is very mild at this time of year. A t-shirt and jeans are perfect for the daytime, and a simple sweater sufficient for nighttime.

It is hard to tame this part of the world with modern technology, since the continually shifting dunes make it hard to build roads and four-wheel drives tend to get stuck or turn over on the steep slopes. But our camels just stroll through the desert as easily as anyone would stroll along the historical ramparts of Marrakech.

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Sahara Expedition Part 3: Entering the Desert...

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 17:58 -- Jnane Tamsna

Once we drive into Merzouga (a small village on the edge of the Sahara), we find many locals offering camel rides into the desert. After speaking to various individuals and negotiating a little bit we meet Hamid, a very friendly Amazight willing to bring us into the Sahara for 30 Euros.

Hamid is so nice that he shows us the nearby village of Hassilbiad and tells us where we can get lunch for a reasonable price. After we finish our meal, he leaves to prepare for the journey.

We meet him again at five pm. He introduces us to his friend Hassan, who will bring us to the camp site, and the three camels we will be riding. Shortly after, we start riding into the Sahara.

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Sahara Expedition Part 2: Merzouga

Thu, 10/03/2013 - 17:10 -- Jnane Tamsna

The next morning we wake up early to have breakfast on the roof of our guest house. The view is truly breathtaking. The Sahara is known for its amazing beauty, but the scene in front of us goes beyond our wildest imagination.

It seems as though we are standing on the edge of civilization and facing one of the few places that appears to be completely untouched by humanity. Electricity lines and small roads come all the way to our small town and connect it to the rest of the country. But they do not continue into the Sahara as it is one of the few places that cannot be tamed by civilization.

In front of us there are enormous dunes, the tallest of which reach 150 meters high, and an amazing blue horizon. We decide that our travels cannot stop here and start looking for ways to enter the desert. 

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