Interview with businessman Aram Ohanian.

Aram Ohanian founded La Maison Du Jad in 2002 in Marrakech. Today, the businessman runs the three major establishments of the group, which faithfully reflect his shared passion for refinement and the art of hospitality. 

The luxurious Relais & Châteaux Palais Ronsard, the must-visit Palais Jad Mahal restaurant and the famous Babouchka nightclub are all places to experience the magic and beauty of Marrakech. Our meeting with Aram took place on the luxurious, fragrant terrace of the Palais Ronsard hotel, which fascinated us with its beauty and refinement like by magic.

Aram tells us how it all started. 

– I was born in Armenia and came to France in Marseille at the age of 12. I studied at school for 2 years and started working on the markets for  years, then started selling clothes. I bought ready-to-wear collections from wholesalers and resold them on the market. Business was going very well.

How did the path lead to Morocco? 

– At some point, I was not interested in being dependent on wholesalers. I decided to create my own brand and to produce clothes. In France, it was expensive and not profitable to open a factory. Therefore, I decided to explore production in Morocco and open clothing factories. That’s how my story with Marrakech started. And that’s how I made my fortune.

The Palais Jad Mahal is The Place TO BE in Marrakech. Tell us about your journey from a ready-to-wear manufacturer to a restaurateur. 

–  The restaurant and club Palais Jad Mahal is a new milestone in my life. I met a business partner who taught me a lot. He also stabilized my fiery character. For over 20 years, we have been working together on the Palais Jad Mahal and it is a very successful project, we receive up to 1500 guests per day. The establishment is located in the heart of the Hivernage district of Marrakech and is one of the most prestigious addresses in the city. With its own personality and reputation, a magical and warm style, an undeniable party art, magical moments offered by fire breathers and oriental dancers. Salons inspired by traditional palaces serve original dishes with Moroccan, French and Thai influences. To diversify the atmosphere, the Lounge offers a wide range of cocktails to be enjoyed in a chic and cozy setting.

Tell us the story of Palais Ronsard.

– On the site where Palais Ronsard stands today, I one day bought an empty piece of land to build my house. With my ex-wife, we decided to turn it into a hotel. Back when I was making money and living in France, I used to go on vacation to a Relais & Châteaux in Aix-en-Provence, designed and decorated by Gil Dez. I really liked his style, atmosphere and in the end we became friends. Having a Relais & Châteaux was my dream, so when the decision was made to create our own hotel in Marrakech, I invited Gil Dez to be my architect and decorator.

The Palais Ronsard became a Relais & Châteaux and my dreams became reality.

What does Palais Ronsard mean?

– It’s 3,000 “Pierre de Ronsard” roses planted on the hotel’s grounds. Delicious fragrant roses… that’s why the hotel is named after them. A rose garden, singing birds, beautiful empty bird cages, because the birds at Palais Ronsard live freely. That’s exactly the idea we wanted to set up and it was brilliantly executed.

During the interview, the decorator Gil Dez joined us and talked about the new project they have in common, which we will be able to share very soon.

We thank Aram Ohanian for the interview, for the warm welcome and we enjoy to the fullest the view of the Atlas Mountains and the luxurious, elegant and refined hotel, celebrating both Moroccan traditions and the art of French service and gastronomy with French chef Alexandre Thomas. His culinary art, based on the best seasonal products, also gives this place an impeccable reputation. 

A unique experience for those looking for the unforgettable! 

@palaisronsardmarrakech   @palaisjadmahal   @babouchkamarrakech

Interview@angeladonava   Photographer@gilzetbase

Palais Ronsard in Marrakech

The Palais Ronsard offers its guests an exceptional service that has earned it the VERSAILLES award and an exceptional table under the banner of Relais & Châteaux. Moroccan cuisine, revisited with Mediterranean influences. 

A spa, a fitness room, a sauna and a hammam are also available for the pleasure of the guests. 

It was Aram Ohanian who was at the origin of this unique place, designed with the cream of Moroccan and European craftsmen. Every piece of furniture, every room and every garden plot was specially crafted for the place, irrefutable proof of the creators’ passion for craftsmanship and the Marrakchi way of life. 

The Palais Ronsard is the ideal refuge for travelers looking for a quiet and peaceful place. It is a place that perfectly combines Eastern and Western know-how and offers its guests an unforgettable experience, whether in winter or summer. 

At the Palais Ronsard, interior designer Gil Dez has managed to create a place where multiple inspirations come together. From the 22 suites and 6 private pavilions, visitors discover an enchanting universe, where the Orient is always present. Warm colors and custom-made bamboo furniture, Moroccan woodwork, ceramic floors and frescoes, ceilings and paintings by artists who trained at the Beaux-Arts in Aix-en-Provence, everything has been designed to plunge visitors into a dreamlike decor. 

With a park of 20,000 m2 in green colors, where giant palms, Pierre de Ronsard roses, hundred-year-old olive trees and fountains and rocky waterfalls diffuse soft and refined scents. At the center of this small paradise, a large lagoon-colored swimming pool invites you to relax. The Palais Ronsard is a magical place, where each room tells a unique story, and where luxury meets nature. An address worth the detour.


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