According to an Arabic legend, the Creator spoke to the wind and announced that He was going to create a creature that would be the glory of his commander and the terror of his enemies, possessing a beauty reserved for those who respected him… That said, He took a handful of wind and created the horse.
Below, we present three magnificent hotels where you can revel in the distinctive charm of the horse and enjoy exclusive equestrian activities.
Selman Marrakech Hotel
At this Moroccan palace, your wishes of galloping on a thoroughbred will come true. The Selman Marrakech is more than a luxury hotel; it is the opportunity to be the star of an exotic tale at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. A passion for horses was the driving force that inspired the Bennani Smires family to create this innovative concept. With that goal in mind, they brought from their equestrian center in Rabat some thoroughbreds to offer them a luxury retreat. A desert landscape dotted with palm trees surrounds the 15 acres of the Selman hotel, where five villas of 1,900 to 3,200 square feet protect the privacy of its guests. There are dozens of olive trees, redwoods and orchards that nestle the restaurants, but the horses still enjoy plenty of space, as they are the main attraction and the hotel’s pampered protagonists. Timeless harmony between design and environment stands out in the painstaking work of French architect Jacques García. Not only every brick in the building is handmade, but also individually positioned, giving the structure a unique character and recreating the spirit of ancient buildings. Even the stables where the animals rest are elegantly designed. As you enter the spa you feel immersed in the spirit of the Arabian Nights, with the advantage of having the only Chenot center in North Africa, and one of the few that exist in the Mediterranean. Their customized programs help to eliminate toxins and balance the body. Celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Caroline of Monaco or Zinedine Zidane use this method to regain energy, vitality and wellbeing. Crystal chandeliers, furniture upholstered with purple silk and green satin, and unique artworks adorn the elegant suites. An Andalusian patio points the way towards the rooms and the 90-yard long swimming pool is clad in green marble. A symbol of greatness, the thoroughbred Arabian horse captures the spirit of the epic adventures of yesteryear and manages to convey a timeless experience of elegant grace under the starry Moroccan sky.
Mountain Lodge of Peru
Peru offers an experience that blends the enchanting landscapes of the Salkantay route and the passion for horses. Riding through ancient paths in the Andean mountains, visiting the rural communities, and discovering the history and the legacy of the Incas before reaching Machu Picchu, the sacred city, is just the beginning. Amidst orchids, butterflies and waterfalls there are cottages that blend with the enchanting mountain landscape. They provide an intimate and elegant atmosphere to relax after each day’s activities on the trail. The bioclimatic cottages were built with the utmost respect for nature. The travelers who enjoy adventure during the day but prefer to relax in style in the evenings will find in their rooms all the comforts of a boutique hotel. Experienced guides lead small groups during five days of horseback riding, explaining and narrating the history and environment of the area. The views of the Citadel of Machu Picchu are truly impressive from the exclusive trails. There is also place for gourmet delights on this adventure. Light and nutritious snacks are served in all the cottages, and the traditional Andean flavors – like quinoa and corn – are reinterpreted in signature dishes. The intense colors of landscapes, as diverse as forests and glaciers, and the unique silence of the high mountain paths contrasting with sophisticated nights will make this ride a memorable experience.
Rural Hotel and Monnaber Nou Spa
Campanet, Majorca, Spain
In the north of the Spanish island of Majorca, minutes from enchanted beaches, we found the Sierra de Tramuntana, a natural and peaceful enclave, and a medieval farm that houses the Rural Hotel and Monnaber Nau Spa. The serenity and charm of this destination makes it the ideal base to explore on horseback the Sierra de Tramuntana. The 300 acres of trails seem to have been drawn to make every ride unforgettable. The building, in the foothills of the sierra, was built in the 13th century. The hotel, specially designed for fans of equestrian activities, is an outstanding place to discover on horseback the Majorcan countryside with its millenary olive and carob trees. At the end of the day, nothing could be better than a massage at the exclusive spa. Its restaurant, El Mirador de Monnaber boasts a terrace with panoramic views of the mountains and countryside. It is considered one of Mallorca’s most distinguished gastronomic establishments. Thanks to products from the farm – like extra virgin olive oil, lamb and Porc Negre piglets, as well as seasonal vegetables and fruits – the traditional recipes deliver unforgettable episodes of Mediterranean cuisine with a Majorcan flavor. Ideal for its tranquility and exceptional weather, the farm has been restored to provide an elegant, warm atmosphere with excellent personalized service. ■