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Argan Oil Moroccan Beauty Secret

23 Jan

To conclude our week at La Sultana, I wanted to introduce you to a line of beauty treatments I recently discovered. There is a tree grown only in southwest Morocco called the Argan tree. The oil from this tree is jam packed with vitamin e & omega 3s and is a Moroccan beauty secret.

And you can treat your entire body, including your hair, with argan via Kae Argatherapie. You can purchase it online at Amazon. Super moisturizing for winter skin too!  Some of our favorites:

Exfoliating Hammam Glove

Designed to be used in a Hammam or steam room to exfoliate the skin. It really is invigorating! Works equally well in the bath. Take it to the gym for your next steam and double your bliss!

Natural Clay Rhassoul

Made of Moroccan white clay, simply mix this powder with warm water to make a smooth paste. Apply to skin, body or hair to condition and cleanse. It can also be left on as a mask. Multipurpose and exotic – we like!

Repairing Night Serum

Soothes and heals acne and breakout prone skin. Unclogs pores and reduces redness. I love this during my, ahem, girl time of the month to help reduce breakouts.

Savon Noir (Black Soap)

I don’t know what’s more addicting about this. . . the paste texture or the fragrance of eucalyptus. Sure to help unclog those winter flu and cold stuffy noses. Just slather a bit of this on in the shower and scrub with the Hammam Glove. It makes showers so fun!

Live, Love & Lounge, Candy


Relaxing in the Riad – a Hall Garden for Your Home

22 Jan

La Sultana is a Riad hotel. This means the hotel is built around a breathtaking interior courtyard which all of the rooms open out onto. The Riad is a hallmark of Moorish architecture.

What is super spa cool about a riad is it allows us to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without passersby or neighbors ogling our oasis. It also truly brings the outside in. Imagine walking out your bedroom in the morning to a tranquil fountain and birds chirping as you go to breakfast! Now that’s a Wow Wakeup!

The trouble is many of us don’t live in the climate suitable to open air living all year – can you say snow? Brrr. BUT, we can bring some of that riad vibe to our houses. I’m thinking hall garden:

The Hall Garden

So you don’t really want to swing your bedroom door open to a frozen tundra in the AM. But. . . what about the sound of a bubbling fountain? Coming out of the bedroom, to me, is a symbolic act that says “Hey world I got out of bed, bring it on!” Live  this statement to the fullest, by creating a garden in your hall.


Hall to the Courtyard at La Sultana. Note the ceiling detail, pearlescent walls and tile floor.

The hall to the courtyard at La Sultana - note the pearlescent walls and white tile floor

1. Fountain

For instance, a wall fountain outside your bedroom door or at the end of the hall (always test the fountain in the shop for splashing. . . we don’t want’ to ruin our floors or carpets)

If you are worried about your flooring it doesn’t even have to run, just the aesthetics are enough to set the mood.

I know what you’re thinking this is a huge project. Well it doesn’t have to be. You can buy beautiful fountains that can simply be plugged in like the one below from Tazi Designs. It even has wheels to easily reposition.

No one will ever know this fountain is plug in and go!

If you’re a DIY diva make your own. Step by Step instructions over at Gardenguides.

2. Plants

Flank your fountain with a few potted plants. In Morocco, you’re likely to find herbs like Bay Laurel and Rosemary growing in the courtyard. If you have a sunny, bright hallway these will not only smell wonderful, but can be used in your tajine dishes. If you’re hall is dim, go for a structured plant like Mother in Law’s tongue.

Bay Laurel

If you pick a fountain with a ledge small mosaic pots set on them add color & character & keep plants off the floor.

3. Bench

While it’s fairly unlikely you’re going to sit in your hall, a narrow bench serves as a visual cue to relax. And you’ll be surprised how much you may actually use it, to put on shoes or while waiting for the bathroom perhaps. Wood or iron work well, or try an upholstered one to add more warmth & comfort.

4. Lighting

These lacy sconces lining your wall have a cutout pattern allows small bits of light to peek out, giving a starry effect at night. Very soothing way to say goodnight to the world.

5. Paint

Riad courtyards are usually white. Note how this hall at La Sultana leading to the courtyard is pearlescent to reflect the natural light. This pearlescent paint from Modern Masters in either Oyster or Camel will quickly fill your hall garden with light.

Modern Masters Pearlescent Camel

Live, Love and Lounge


Mood music La Sultana spa style.

22 Jan

Mood music La Sultana spa style. The artist traveled through Morocco recording for 5 years.  A blended Moroccan music cocktail of meditative and rhythmic tunes.  Moroccan Spirit Perfect accompaniment to your Tajine dinner from yesterday’s post.

Tajine Cooking a la Sultana Spa

21 Jan

A tajine is a pot used in moroccan cooking, it sort of looks like a teepee. A flat dish with a triangular lid on top. It’s a beautiful table centerpiece and serving dish in one. And best of all, it’s a super healthy way to cook. Simply pop ingredients onto plate of tajine, cook for around 1.5 hours over low heat & voila!

Use the Tajine recipe from below as a guideline, but feel free to change the meat, spices, veg to your faves!

We really like the Cherry Moroccan tajine by Le Creuset available at Sur La Table

Le Creuset Tajine

Chicken Tajine from Group Recipes

4 x chicken thighs
1 x leek
2 x red onions
1 x courgette
1 x yellow bell pepper
turmeric, cumin, coriander, Red paprika, Fenugreek, cayenne
spice powders
1 x can chopped tomatoes
vegetable oil

1. add approx 2tbs oil to base of Tagine or Casserole
2. Slice onions thinly and form a layer at bottom of pan
3, Remove skin from thighs and place on top of onion slices
4. Slice leek thinly and lay on top of onion slices
5. Open tomato can and pour contents over the veg and chicken
6. Slice Courgette and make another layer (also yellow pepper)
7. Sprinkle 1 x tsp of the Turmeric,Cumin,Coriander & Paprika over
the contents,add Half tsp Fenugreek and pinch of Cayenne
8. Turn on heat (low) and leave to cook for approx 75 mins stirring

Live, love and lounge!


La Sultana Style for Your Own Turkish Bathroom

21 Jan

Check out the richly patterned door to La Sultana's Hamam (to the left)

La Sultana, like most spas in its nook of the world, has a wetter version of a steam room called a hamam better known as a Turkish Bath. The style is best emulated in a real home by introducing a few richly patterned pieces and keeping the rest of the room toned down.

* At Home Hamam: When I want to purify my pores with a good sweat at home, I close the bathroom doors, and run the hottest water I can in the bath. If you have a space heater, also run that. Wait ten minutes & voila, your own hamam!

One caveat in mimicking Moroccan decor is to stay away from brass fixtures, or you risk your bath resembling a bordello. Here are some ideas for making your home spa bath Sultan worthy:

The Door

Moroccans say a house is known by it’s beautiful and individually crafted door. That goes for interior doors as well. It’s all about pattern & color. You could buy a ready made painted door like the one below. Or, consider having a faux finisher do one to coordinate with your current decor. Show a picture of the one below or La Sultana’s as an example. Depending on the location of your bath, consider only painting one side of the door so as not to disrupt the rest of your home’s decor.

A faux finisher could replicate this design on any door

More intricate, but still replicable.

The Sink

For as little as $200, you can find handcrafted patterned sinks – (preferably one to echo the colors and pattern of your new door).  Just the yellow door above and this sink would instantly transform a bath.   Check out this beautiful sink.

This sink would coordinate with either door above

Another resource for sinks and doors is

The Ceiling

I don’t know what could take one on a virtual escape quicker than lying in the tub gazing up an intricate Moroccan ceiling like this one.

Yes! You can actually buy moroccan ceilings, or have your painter replicate one.

*Design Don’t – Especially if you’re having a painter recreate these stunning pieces, do not match them exactly. It will look staged and detract from the WoW factor.  Just make sure there a few unifying colors for cohesion.

The Light

A simple black lantern is the ideal choice. Just be sure it has enough glass to illuminate the room. Lights of this style tend to have a lot of metal, obstructing the light. Note* Make sure the lantern cannot be touched from the bath tub – against building codes in most states.

A simple black lantern

Shower Curtain, Towels & Rug

With all this color and patterns a-go-go, keep linens simple. Choose one color from your door, sink and pick your linens all solid in that color. For instance, using the ceiling above as reference, be subtle and go for the black or go for a pop with the orange!

Lotions & Potions

Wine decanters transform bath gels into Nirvana Nectars!

Clear glass wine decanters like the one below make elegant shower gel and bubble bath decanters. Look it’s a perfect match for the ones at La Sultana’s spa above. Put a label on the bottom of the decanter to remind you of what’s inside!

Live, Love & Lounge,


La Sultana Spa Hotel Marrakech – Week 3

19 Jan

This week we are focusing on decor on our journey to explore and bring home the world’s most luxurious spas. That’s why we chose La Sultana in Marrakech. Voted one of the most beautiful hotels in the world by Forbes Traveler – it’s got that Moroccan decor that makes us all feel like spa sultans!

Don’t get me wrong, the spa treatments are lovely – they offer aromatherapy, balneotherapy (bathing therapy), seaweed treatments & chakra balancing & the opportunity to detox in their hammam (a Turkish steam room tending to be wetter than ours).

And the cuisine divine – how about a glazed leg of lamb in a tajine?

But just the fact that it’s a riad hotel (a home centered around an interior garden) and its myriad of colors and design melange totally strike our fancy. Just look at this bevy of blissful nooks & crannies:

A Sultan's Bath!

Inspired combo glam chandelier & pastoral painting

Mosaic pattern in the courtyard grounds

The Inside Pool

Care for a swim?

Room a study in pink and charcoal

View of the Riad courtyard

The hammam - a wet steam!

The Massage Cabine on The Top Terrace

Tune in later in the week for simple solutions & affordable products to bring the Sultan Style of La Sultana home! And maybe a recipe or two ; )

Live, Love and Lounge,