Villa des Orangers – dinner by the pool
Véronique and Pascal Beherec opened up their small five star hotel in 2000 inside the ancient city walls of Medina in Marrakech. Typically Morocco, the entrance to the hotel and their signature restaurant is unassuming and not many will notice it, but when you enter it and come to the inner court with a nice pool in the centre, plumped up sofas and fountains the contrast will be total compared to the swarming streets outside with carts, bicycles and mopeds that you think will run straight over you.
The former palace of a nobleman is the perfect spot for a fine dining venue and you can choose where to have your dinner depending on season and mode. Weather permitting we can recommend dining by the poolside, but the peace you experience by sitting and enjoying the birdsongs and chirp will be disrupted occasionally by call to prayer from the nearby mosque.
French Executive Chef Jean-Claude Olry started at Villa des Orangers back in 2004. The cuisine is mainly Mediterranean and French, but you may order in Moroccan food as well if you ask for it. The menu is changed by the season and the price level is decent compared to other restaurants on the same level in the area.
We would have wished for a little bit more personalised and intriguing menu. The Executive Chef plays safe with the most of his dishes like the grilled tournedos steak, potatoes gnocchi with fresh herbs and Bordelaise sauce or the roasted John Dory with wild mushroom fricassée that both offer good flavours, but lack personality and you feel like you have had it many times before.
The gambas with vegetable couscous and lemon grass work well indeed as long as they are served to you right away and not stay in the kitchen. The starter of thin tomato pie with roasted sea scallops and caviar of dill is quite nice as well, but the dill caviar does not taste that much.
For main we can recommend the sole meunière with spinach and mascarpone served together with mashed potato and olive oil, but here as well we would wish for more flavours and especially when it comes to the mashed potato on the several occasions we have tried it. What you will have depends on the season like with most of the restaurants, but if you are at Villa des Orangers during spring or early summer you should order in strawberries mille feuilles with lemon mousseline for your dessert, that tastes delicious.
Villa des Orangers is one of the best restaurant options you have during your stay in Marrakech. Villa des Orangers is also a five star hotel under the Relais & Châteaux label so you will sleep well after your dinner as well.
Villa des Orangers scored 54 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
Villa des Orangers
6, rue Sidi Mimoun
Phone: +212 524 38 51 04