Jnane Tamsna's blog

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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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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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Sahara Expedition Part 1: Kasbah Aït Ben Haddou

Mon, 08/05/2013 - 15:38 -- Jnane Tamsna

This week we decided to visit the Sahara desert, a place known around the world for its amazing size and incredible beauty. There are many towns and villages which can act as gateways into the Sahara.

We chose to go through the village of Merzouga because the road from Marrakech runs through the Kasbah Aït Benhadou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features a small ksar (village) located on the old caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. Enchanted by the charm of this ksar we lost sight of time and ended up hitting the road not long before the sun set.

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Fes

Wed, 06/19/2013 - 09:58 -- Jnane Tamsna

Morocco has four imperial cities. The one we visited this week is Fes. Six hours after leaving the Marrakech Palmeraie and driving along some of Morocco's most beautiful backcountry roads we arrived at our destination. Just like Marrakech, Fez has a unique charm that differentiates it from the rest of the country. It has the largest medina (old town) of Morocco and is home to the world's first university.

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Bine El Ouidane

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 11:37 -- Jnane Tamsna

 

Marrakech is surrounded by stunning regions easily accessible by road. One we visited this month is Bine El Ouidane.  After a three-hour drive on backcountry roads that expose the breathtaking landscapes of central Morocco we arrived to our destination.

The region has a large water reservoir set in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, surrounded by rolling hills and lush vegetation. After settling down we took three of the kayaks offered by the hotel to explore the lake in front of us. For dinner we enjoyed a delicious chicken tajine prepared with fresh local produce.

The next day we visited the Cascades d’Ouzoud, an area that has a gorgeous waterfall and caves that we unfortunately did not have time to visit. This area of Morocco has some of the most beautiful landscapes we have seen in the country. We highly recommended to anyone wishing to go on a one or two day trip from Jnane Tamsna, our boutique hotel in the Marrakech Palmeraie.

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