Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier

Words by
Sphere Editors
Photography by
Andrew Montgomery

27th June 2023

SPHERE is lucky enough to be granted a look inside Villa Mabrouka and its ravishing gardens. Once the home of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, it has been renovated and reimagined into British designer Jasper Conran's fabulous new hotel in Tangier - come inside for a tour!

There is no doubt about it. Jasper Conran's fabulous new hotel in Tangier, Villa Mabrouka, is utterly ravishing. Watching it's preparation, drip-fed on Instagram, made the pull to book a flight to Tangier feel not just a good idea, but a necessary one. Now finally open, Villa Mabrouka is all it promised, and more. 

Located in a beautiful house and set within one of Tangier’s largest and most enchanting gardens, it is constantly alive with vibrant colour, gentle breezes, birdsong and glittering views of the Strait of Gibraltar and North Atlantic Sea.

Or as Conran himself says, "Step through Villa Mabrouka’s carved wooden doors and into the gardens, and you are immediately transported to the feeling of being in paradise.” 

Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier
Villa Mabrouka.

Once the secluded sanctuary of fashion legends Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, Conran has meticulously transformed Villa Mabrouka from a former private home into a cosseting and elegant hotel.

While only moments from the bustle of the famous white city’s Kasbah and Medina, the intimate 12-room Villa Mabrouka is now a haven of tranquillity and calm, an escape which allows guests to be immersed in the beauty of nature and attentive service, whether on their own or with a group of family and friends.

Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier
Villa Mabrouka's salon.

Conran, famed for balancing both the restoration and conservation of his homes, has maintained the spirited details Saint Laurent and Bergé introduced into the house. But, he adds, “I wanted to add my own lifetime of thoughts and expressions in a complementary way."

“I have always admired the way Saint Laurent and Bergé worked so diligently to draw attention to Morocco and to encourage its people and culture,” he continues.“Yet working on Villa Mabrouka has made me even more aware of its importance as a landmark and place of historical significance."

Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier
The hallway at Villa Mabrouka.

“My aim at all times has been to protect the magic of both the house and its ravishing gardens. In this, I have been very touched by the kindness and encouragement shown to me by Madison Cox, President of the Foundation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent (who also designed the original garden) and by the Moroccan authorities, whose enthusiasm for the project has been invaluable.”

Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier
Visitors and guests at Villa Mabrouka can take afternoon tea from the Mynott Pavilion overlooking the verdant gardens.

As custodian of such an extraordinary house, Conran’s vision has embraced the clean-lined simplicity of the house’s 1940s modernist architecture while bringing to it his mastery for creating the quiet eccentricity and traditional service of an English country house.

Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier
The beautiful main pool at Villa Mabrouka is carved into the clifftop’s rocks, and cascades with water warmed by the sun-drenched stone.

Conran has invested extensively in the modernisation of Villa Mabrouka’s infrastructure, from roofing to underground services. He also added new rooms and garden cottages, three restaurants and kitchens where menus emphasise market-fresh Mediterranean ingredients infused with Moroccan spices.

Further additions include a requisite rooftop terrace and coffee bar, a second swimming pool and hammam, and three beautiful dining pavilions available for private hire (one of which, designed by American architect and long-time Moroccan resident Stuart Church, has been faithfully restored).

Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier
The small pool at Villa Mabrouka is tucked away in the mature gardens of this exquisite property

In the garden, already abundant with sweeping lawns, banana palms, citrus trees, hollyhocks, nasturtiums, roses, and bougainvillea, Conran has undertaken a vast restoration and replanting programme, adding over 6,500 new plants, shrubs and trees.

The larger pool, carved into the clifftop’s rocks, cascades with water warmed by the sun-drenched stone; a smaller plunge pool, shimmering with emerald herringbone local tiles, has been newly created.

Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier
The Marrakech Suite at Villa Mabrouka

Inside, thanks to the hotel’s generously proportioned rooms, sweeping terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, all the spaces are drenched with light and instant connection with the verdancy of the gardens and the bright blues of Tangier’s glittering sea and sky.

Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier
Tha bathroom of the Marrakech Suite

Against the backdrop of whitewashed walls, Conran has brought softness the the interiors and furnishing with flowing voile curtains, and tactility through rattan. The latter used for wall panels and headboards to furniture, mother-of-pearl inlaid mirrors and side tables, and Mauritanian leather and reed rugs.

Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier
The newly created, smaller plunge pool at Villa Mabrouka shimmers with emerald herringbone local tiles.

In the bedrooms and suites glazed linens in shades of caramel, emerald and rose are mixed with delicate block-printed florals and antique Fez embroideries.

Locally handmade bejmet and zellige glazed clay tiles are used throughout, complemented by ancient Roman mosaics and 16th-century Andalusian tiles.

Murano chandeliers, monochrome marble flooring and and beamed ceilings - some painted in Saint Laurent’s signature blue - are among the many touches created by Saint Laurent and Bergé that Conran has retained.

Jasper Conran's Fabulous New Hotel in Tangier
The Meknes Suite at Villa Mabrouka, Tangier, Jasper Conran's second hotel in Morocco

“I want Villa Mabrouka to feel deeply personal," says Conran. "Like staying in a home rather than a hotel. It reflects the way I personally like to live, and the things that I enjoy and, of course, the appreciation of beautifully made things. It's a place where you can spend time taking in the beauty of everything around you.”

Villa Mabrouka is open.

Suites from 450 Euros per night - [email protected]

Villa Mabrouka