Hagan Network

A JOURNEY TO PARADISE: Meryanne Loum-Martin’s Moroccan Eden.



Meryanne Loum-Martin’s Moroccan Eden.

“I create my own journey,” Meryanne Loum-Martin says, and it is undeniably true. Born in Côte d’Ivoire to a Senegalese diplomat father and West Indian lawyer mother, Loum-Martin experienced London, Moscow and a Parisian education. From backpacking through India to redefining luxury in Marrakech, she has charted her own course through life. While practising law in Paris, she created a lauded villa in Morocco that sparked both her creativity and her passion for the country. After a formative New York stint in the eighties, Loum-Martin left her prestigious law career to begin a journey of hospitality. The place that called to her was a country full of life and culture, as fellow Parisian Yves Saint-Laurent once said, “Marrakech taught me colour. Before Marrakech, everything was black. ” Loum-Martin praises the city’s Arab, French Art Deco, and Berber influences, saying “you cannot erase seven centuries of cultural influence Morocco is in the subconscious of many, many people. It’s part of a creative subconscious.”

project image

“Go from the luxury that any money can buy to the uniqueness of social and environmental impact – and the celebration of cultural heritage – in a way which is not folkloric but deeply rooted in long term partnership.”

project image

Tamsna – which can be translated as sweetness by the sea – became “my brand,” Loum-Martin says, her projects mixing local heritage with a unique tapestry of welcome. After transforming riads, villas, and guesthouses, she broke ground on Jnane Tamsna, jnane for the garden inspired and cultivated by her ethnobotanist husband, Gary Martin – a verdant hotel which had reservations even before it was completed. “It took me years to find the right land,” Loum-Martin recalls, and when she did, “it was a shock when I found out that Jnane Tamsna had been the name of the land forever. It was meant to be – the Eden Garden of Tamsna.” It is indeed an edenic place, situated amongst the palms on the outskirts of the city that hasbecome her home. “Marrakech and its cultural heritage is such a nest of creativity that owners can create the space of their dreams and tourists can find the taste of their choice,” a truth she illuminates in her book “Inside Marrakesh: Enchanting Homes and Gardens” published with Rizzoli, which explores the diversities of style abounding in her adopted city.