The property at Amanjena is expansive and open, with high Arabesque arches, covered walkways and open courtyards surrounding a massive man-made lagoon pool in the center, with smaller pools adjoining. It felt much larger than it really is, with 38 villas well-absorbed into the overall flow. In typically excellent Aman-style, the design of the place blends local architectural and material touches with modern flair and a few nods to the brand’s Asian heritage (the on-site dinner restaurant serves Thai cuisine).
My villa was private and quiet behind high adobe walls, but offered an open outdoor courtyard and patio with a plunge pool and a shaded seating area, fronting a golf course. Inside, the high ceilings provided for an expansive feel, with plenty of room to sit and read or lounge by the fireplace (or in the bathtub). The staff was willing and eager to help, and the resort quickly arranged a driver and guide to show me around the old city inside the ancient walls, where many the historical sights and attractions are located.
Our first stop was the Bahia Palace, built in the 19th century by several grand viziers of the sultan who ruled at the time. The intricate ceiling mosaic designs and the peaceful fountain courtyards were the architectural highlights, while my guide provided me with the historical context of how the vizier used the layout to manage his guests and multiple wives.
From there we moved on to the Majorelle Gardens, on the estate of Yves Saint Laurent outside the old city walls. The garden makes for a nice hour of wandering amid the unique non-native cacti, bamboo, reflecting ponds and pathways. The small onsite museum showcasing traditional Berber clothing and materials was a real highlight.