The Jnan Amar Polo Resort, comprising The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences Marrakech and the Marrakech Polo Club, offers the sport of kings in an authentically North African setting
“I fell in love with polo from an early age,” recollects Amar Abdelhadi, President and CEO of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences Marrakech which, together with the Marrakech Polo Club, comprises the Jnan Amar Polo Resort in Morocco. Naturally, it centres on polo and, with the hotel opening in 2021, Amar believes that the resort is the perfect winter polo destination.
“Polo players from Europe used to travel all the way to Argentina or Dubai for the winter,” says Amar. “We came up with the idea to develop polo in the ‘Red City’ of Marrakech, with its winter sun, snow-capped mountains and easy access from Europe.”
As well as offering guests a sublime desert setting, the polo provides an opportunity for philanthropy. “The most satisfying part of my job is giving back to the local community,” says Amar. “Our Ninos programme teaches polo, grooming and stable management to underprivileged children from surrounding villages. Our older Ninos are receiving offers to further their polo careers in Morocco and abroad.” The resort also supports charities through polo events, including a hospital for injured equines and the Eve Branson Foundation in the high Atlas for underprivileged women and children.
The luxury Jnan Amar resort, 25 minutes from the historical medina, takes inspiration from its environment. “We’re destined to be the best project in terms of design and finishings in Morocco,” says Amar. Dubai-based Godwin Austin Johnson, Architectural Firm of The Year at the Design Middle East Awards 2018, is working alongside local architect Abdelhakim Guilmi to create the perfect blend of contemporary and traditional elements.
“We use local materials like marble and natural stone wherever possible,” explains Amar. “The region’s traditional houses were built using a method called ‘pisé’, using red mud in their construction to protect buildings from intense heat. We are adapting this technique, using concrete rather than mud, but in a way that gives the same rough-edged texture to the exterior of the properties, resembling an old-style Marrakech kasbah.”
The hotel design is inspired by the famous Royal Mansour hotel in Marrakech’s medina, owned by the Moroccan royal family. “You will explore The Ritz-Carlton Hotel through a series of small mazes that resemble the old medina,” says Amar. Each of the 85 spacious surrounding Ritz-Carlton Residences blend perfectly with the hotel design, benefiting from magnificent views over the Atlas Mountains and polo fields.
“Aladdin often comes to mind when people think of Marrakech,” says Amar, “but the Ritz-Carlton Residences will actually have more of a modern feel from the outside. The interior remains loyal to the Ritz-Carlton promise combining refinement, luxury and comfort. Each buyer can of course add their own personal touches to their property, be it more traditional or contemporary.”
The draw of The Ritz-Carlton Residences Marrakech is intensified by the presence of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, providing the finest in personal service and facilities for its future guests and residence owners. “The Ritz-Carlton saw this as an opportunity to diversify from the classic downtown hotel model and create a resort that caters to those customers who want to enjoy luxury and service in the countryside of Marrakech,” says Amar.
The Jnan Amar Resort fuses the best name in hospitality with the sport of kings, offering an unparalleled way to enjoy a polo match from the comfort of your own garden, the resort’s Club House or The Ritz-Carlton Hotel itself.