Meryanne Loum-Martin’s first trip to Morocco inspired her passion for interior design, and in 1985, she moved from Paris to Marrakech to transform the city’s run-down riads into elegant boutique hotels. Jnane Tamsna, one of her best-known masterpieces, showcases her sophisticated eye for design and combines traditional Moroccan splendor with contemporary flair. Here, Meryanne talks to Indagare about her favorite hotels, travel rituals and what’s on her bucket list.
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What is your design process?
It is very fast and spontaneous. Space is analyzed, colors are envisioned, shapes are self-imposed. I am puzzled if the process is not immediate.
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Paris is my favorite city. I’d begin with a luxurious lunch, perhaps at L’Arpège. Then I would walk along the Quai Voltaire to visit galleries and head through Boulevard St-Germain to shop for shoes, custom jewelry and clothes. For dinner, I would stop at Trama, a neighborhood bistro popular with local Parisians that has outdoor seating in the summer (83 Rue du Cherche-Midi), or Monsieur Bleu for dinner in a hip, glitzy sitting.
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I bring clothes that are easy to accessorize, such as flat elegant shoes, statement pieces (like fabulous custom jewelry), a very good moisturizing cream, little gifts (for an unexpected dinner invite) and a good thriller.
I like the Cuines Santa Caterina food market in Barcelona. In West Africa, the markets in Dakar, Lome and Abidjan boast great textiles.
What is your favorite foreign dish? Where can we find it?
I love Brazilian feijoada (a traditional stew of beans, pork and beef) because it reminds me of days dancing samba, eating and drinking batidas cocktails.
What trip has changed your perspective?
A solo trip though India in 1984. I had high expectations and they were all satisfied.
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I always eat breakfast in the hotel dining room (never in the room) and go for drinks at the destination’s most famous hotels.
I like Devi Garh in Rajasthan, Las Alamandas in Mexico (alamandas.com), Six Senses Yao Noi in Thailand and the Terrass-Hotel in Paris because it has great views, a charming staff and delicious food (terrass-hotel.com).
Related: Top Tables Marrakech