10 Aug2010


Lighting plays such a huge role in creating a “magical” ambience… Candlelight and yellow incandescent lighting really help to “set the stage”… At Amanjena, early evening drew the largest gathering of guests (say 6-8 couples at most) at the large central bassin (pond). In a human equivalent of wild animals at favored watering holes, this bunch of “animals” were rather chic-ly attired in linen or cotton, perfumed with some of the finest fragrances, and like their distant cousins, ready for a drink. :) While we marveled at the lighted arches and columns in the main lobby nearby, the setting for a scene in a recent movie, the waiters hovered with dinner menus…


The sky went from a light to dark blue in the course of half an hour or so, just enough time to have a drink or two and watch the activity surrounding the large bassin at dusk.


Hotel staff lit dozens and dozens of candles around the property every evening. Hundreds of spotlights were also turned on, trained on many of the date palm trees around the property.


Young children were intrigued by the candles, and the huge, beautiful glassed in lanterns to protect the candles from breezes.


Long hallways were lit by dozens of candles in lanterns.


And local musicians set up to play some of the most soothing music during the cocktail hour.


On one section of the lawn, large carpets were laid directly on the grass and low soft seating was added with side tables and candles. Hammered lamps provided more light and the whole effect was just mesmerizing and utterly calming.


You could lounge in this area before or after dinner and it was the perfect place to relax, watch the neighbors walk by, and the moon rise into the pitch dark sky later in the evening.


Cool breezes swayed the branches of the palm trees as the glow of lights were reflected in our own glowing faces…


…the happy result of a wonderful day spent in the hotel or out touring, a delicious meal and a couple of glasses of red wine. Magical indeed.

Previous Amanjena Posts
Amanjena, Marrakech (Part I – The Property)
Amanjena, Marrakech (Part II – The Suite Details)



  1. dragon says:

    Makes you wonder about a beautiful, magical place if it’s reality…

    Aug 10, 2010 | 2:25 pm


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  3. dragon says:

    BTW MM, have you changed cameras lately – these shots are wonderful especially if you’ve not used filters, etc.

    Lastly (and I know it’s really early but), advanced Happy Birthday!

    Aug 10, 2010 | 2:27 pm

  4. jonathan says:

    Wow…looks like a scene in Arabian nights…

    Aug 10, 2010 | 2:32 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    I am using the same G10 camera, in answer to several questions/comments from readers… I guess I am just getting better at holding my breath. I have adjusted some of the exposure on the photos and cropped them, but I don’t photoshop or alter my photos in any other way, I am too technically inept to do that. :)

    Aug 10, 2010 | 2:47 pm

  6. passive observer says:

    i love your pictures!!

    Aug 10, 2010 | 3:05 pm

  7. maia says:

    for all the good that you do, you deserve all these… God bless you and your family even more! how i wish we can be as driven in spreading goodness around. :) btw, your pictures are really good, and very inviting.

    Aug 10, 2010 | 4:00 pm

  8. sister says:

    You can get those lanterns at Restoration Hardware, they really look like candles but aren’t, they go on with a flick of the switch, which what the man in the picture is doing. Very clever, and used all the time by event planners to fill the requirements of fire dep’t. “no open flame”. Will show you next time you are in NYC. Might be nice in your garden.

    Aug 10, 2010 | 5:00 pm

  9. Jaja says:

    Lovely pictures. Nice to know that paradise still exists in some parts of the globe. :)

    Aug 10, 2010 | 5:26 pm

  10. Footloose says:

    A favorite time, at end of day just as they are turning on the lights…

    while the distant hills
    Into the tumult sent an alien sound
    Of melancholy, not unnoticed, while the stars,
    Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west
    The orange sky of evening died away.

    Aug 10, 2010 | 6:45 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Sister, the man with the luggage cart in the second photo has all the replacement giant candles. We walked by all the lanterns and the ones in the hallways, and trust me, they were REAL candles. The hammered metal balls on the lawn had bulbs in them.

    Aug 10, 2010 | 6:52 pm

  12. rose says:

    Truly a magically romantic place.thanks for sharing MM

    Aug 10, 2010 | 8:39 pm

  13. gaylecooks says:

    MM, Really stunning photos. Have been meaning to write for some time to thank you. Picked up your blog in the US when we knew we would be posted as dips to the Philippines and saw the Tony Bourdain episode. Have been entranced, and you are my go-to guy for everything from markets to home cooking here in the Philippines–we’ve been in Makati for going on a year now, but you’ve also helped with Baguio, Nasugbu, Tagaytay, etc. Also love the overseas travel—I too enjoy Morocco and Spain very much–and well, I do have a shoe and small leather goods problem, so that was great, and I am amused and sympathetic about the rants:) And am very admiring of all the great work you obviously do with feeding programs and so on, so keep doing what you’re doing. I’m sure there are a lot of “lurkers” out here like me who like what you do and never quite get around to telling you you’re appreciated.

    Aug 10, 2010 | 9:09 pm

  14. natie says:

    so serene—a magic carpet in the distant sky would really make it magical…

    Aug 10, 2010 | 9:29 pm

  15. sunflowii says:

    beautiful! the 7th picture is my favorite! i love those huge lanterns.
    hope you don’t mind but i’m going to make that my computer wallpaper right now. =) AND sending the link to this entry to hubby!!

    Aug 10, 2010 | 10:42 pm

  16. marilen says:

    Arabian nights!! Scheherazade and all those lovely fantasies!

    Aug 11, 2010 | 5:07 am

  17. goldilocks says:

    lovely pictures! so calming!

    Aug 11, 2010 | 7:20 am

  18. millet says:

    am speechless! (and i was about to comment on the pictures getting more and more beautiful, but i see that you have replied already. just the same, let me say your pictures lately have been breathtaking!).

    Aug 11, 2010 | 9:53 am

  19. Jenny says:

    very nice MM!! *sigh* i wonder when I can afford to go to an AMAN resort :D

    Aug 11, 2010 | 10:01 am

  20. cindz says:

    thanks for sharing images and thoughts on a place such as this, makes one imagine of how magical Arabian nights can be..wish someday, i can go there :D

    Aug 11, 2010 | 11:33 am

  21. present tense says:


    Aug 11, 2010 | 12:44 pm

  22. jakespeed says:

    Such a luxurious resort, indeed. Definitely a few tiers above the Marriott resort I stayed in.

    Aug 11, 2010 | 3:47 pm

  23. alilay says:

    if i could just roll out a magic carpet and fly to this place i would do so in a heartbeat i need a respite right now ….. i just close my eyes and imagine myself there

    Aug 12, 2010 | 2:59 am

  24. Tim says:

    Greetings from Amanjena!

    Great to see that our daily set-up is finding so much praise. Thank you Marketman for visiting us, taking those lovely pictures and sharing them with everyone.

    Yes, the candles in the small and in the big lanterns are all real. Sometimes, when there’s a breeze, you’ll see them go out regularly and the staff have the constant task of lighting them up again.

    Sorry though, we do not offer magic carpets flights yet.

    Aug 12, 2010 | 9:39 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    Hi Tim, good to hear from you! Was going to email you when I finished with Amanjena posts (one more on the food), a total of four including two posts I did a week or so ago. I have to say, it’s the most I’ve written/photographed of one hotel on this blog. Our visit was perfect.

    Glad everyone seems as thrilled with the photos as we were to be there and take them. Gaylecooks, thanks, it’s always nice to hear from folks who are enjoying the site (particularly lurkers, of which 97% of the readership of marketmanila.com count themselves as… only 5% or so have EVER left a comment. :)

    Aug 13, 2010 | 7:53 am

  26. zeeramareez says:

    Hi Sir,

    your blog is really helpful… I really love moroccan setup and i’m planning to use it in styling our wedding reception venue. I would also like to ask if you know where can i buy cheap moroccan lamps in divisoria or where can i buy these lamps? I’m planning to DIY styling to save more money, i dont want to splurge that much money for the styling and decor. please…please…

    hope to hear from you soon. thanks!

    Feb 1, 2011 | 7:38 am

  27. beackfreak aka rose says:

    Nice pics MM!

    @zeeramareez: I’m currently planning my semi-Moroccan wedding in a beach setting =) I was able to buy Moroccan lamps in Dapitan, near Sto Domingo Church. The store is inside the arcade. It’s in the 1st lane inside. It cost me around 400-500 apiece.

    But if anyone else here can direct me where I can get it cheaper that’ll be good too!

    Mar 4, 2011 | 5:17 pm


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