A Royal Drinking Spot in Marrakesh
Some regents construct palaces; Morocco’s tourism-minded King Mohammed VI built this opulent hotel. It's a short walk outside the souks, not that many people get there by foot: the clientele here is the sort that opts for chauffeured vehicles, preferably very expensive ones. The 53 riads, serviced by butlers who travel using a network of hidden passageways, are paragons of privacy and exclusivity, and the cost reflects it. However, look presentable and you're welcome to pop by the public areas for mint tea or, if you’re feeling tony, a glass or two of fine Armagnac. (Take it up to the cigar bar, where you can play on hand-carved chessboards inlaid with mother-of-pearl.) You never know who might turn up. When I was there, I eavesdropped—no joke—on Hilary Clinton’s advance team making arrangements for her stay.