Enchanting abode in idyllic tranquility
Only a 10-minute drive away from the center of Marrakech and you will find yourself inside the enchanting family garden of Frenchman Alexandre Leymarie. It is an idyllic scene. You can hear the singing of birds, witness a serene multi-colored oasis of calm and smell the scents of a thousand roses.
This 16-hectare oasis is Beldi Country Club, owned by Leymarie’s family.
Leymarie’s father Jean Dominique Leymarie purchased the land in 2005. Year after year, efforts have been made to build a boutique hotel, two restaurants, several pools, tennis courts, a spa and artisan workshops to revive local craftsmanship among rose gardens, olive groves and vegetable patches.
Leymarie, his wife and three kids have lived in the property for eight years since moving from India.
“Marrakech has great vibes,” Leymarie said. “The quality of life is good and it has a good climate. The perfect location makes it only a two-hour drive from the ocean, from the desert and from the mountains, so we are indulged with lots of activities.”
The 45-year-old says Beldi Country Club is considered as one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. Everything has been built consciously with a real feeling of authenticity.
“We are lucky to wake up every morning and enjoy the beauty of nature,” the father of three said.
Walking through the enchanting garden Leymarie’s house appears next to some old trees and lush greenery.
“We built our own house, so we drew the initial plan, built it and decorated it. It has to fit in with the existing garden, as there are very old trees around,” he said.
It took almost two years to build the 620-squre-meter house. The family keeps improving it every year: a new bathroom, a new guest room and a large rooftop among other features.
The world traveller said he wanted a cozy house, with a bohemian touch.
“We didn’t intend to have a house with a pure Moroccan aesthetics. The furniture comes from Europe and India and artworks are selected from the United States and China,” Leymarie said.
The interior style is a perfect mix of different styles, from Art Deco, the 1960s to the contemporary.
“Also, in Marrakech, you spend a lot of time outside, so we also wanted an open house in the garden,” he said.
The garden awakens all the senses. For the family, it is possible to feel the breeze, smell the blossoms and listen to the trickle of nature.
Life in the garden involves children, parents, their lovely dog and guests. They love to bathe in nature as much as they can. Active movement can be experienced against a backdrop of infinite calm and tranquility.
Inside, the living room demonstrates the couple’s taste. Items of furniture in the lounge are old, but have been well maintained and re-upholstered with great sense of taste.
“We love spending time in antique markets and also change the furniture regularly. There is never a unique furniture style as we love to mix in different periods and details,” the hotelier said.
The living room’s high ceiling and big windows allow abundant light inside.
The interior style is light, open and chic. Leymarie loves interpreting old styles in a modern context.
The older elements such as a 1930s wardrobe from Jodhpur, India, and a piece of a French looming machine, sourced in a Paris flea market, are balanced with modern features and bohemian touches. The ambience he created is relaxed and casual yet stylish and practical.
An old Indian wardrobe Leymarie found in a Mumbai antique shop is blue/grey outside and pink inside. It is a unique piece of furniture originally belonged to the Maharaja — the former ruling family of India. The vintage French looming machine, displayed on the wall, featuring 120 wire spools of different colors, is a stunning piece of art.
Special attention also goes to the photography of Floriane de Lassee, called “Night View from New York City,” and two paintings from France.
The living area, facing the garden, has an uncluttered feel, warm-colored furniture and accessories to compliment the space.
“We also change the furniture and the layout between winter and summer, as the way of life is different,” Leymarie said.
The couple love to spend time in the kitchen with the kids, where there is a table for dinner.
“As you know Moroccan food is so good, and it is comforting to smell and see the preparation,” he said. “To have a welcoming house, you need to make sure it is cozy during the day but also during the evening, so ambient lighting is essential.
“In addition, it doesn’t need to be filled with too much furniture, only necessary and elegant pieces.”
Ask The Owner
Q: What’s the best thing about living in Marrakech?
A: The quality of life is great, weather is good, beautiful landscape, and many restaurants and activities. Also, Marrakech’s central location of the country makes it a great base to travel around the country and good flight connections to Europe.
Q: Describe your home in three words.
A: Cosy, bohemian, luminous.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get home?
A: Sit in the outside living room in front of the rose garden.
Q: How do you unwind?
A: In an original Art Deco 1930’s bathtub facing the garden.
Q: Where do you spend most of your time at home?
A: In the living room, during the winter, next to the fire place, during the summer on the terrace below the olive tree.
Q: What’s the view outside your window?
A: Olive trees and rose garden.
Q: What’s your favorite object in your home?
A: An old red trunk that follows me in my different houses in the world (US, UK, France, India and now Morocco).
Q: Where do you source furniture?
A: Mainly in antique dealer shops in Morocco, India and France.