Meryanne Loum-Martin is living the kind of life many of us ladies dream of leading when we're of a certain age. The French-Senegalese barrister-turned-interior designer, along with her husband, American ethno-botanist Gary Martin, conceptualized, designed, and now operates Jnane Tamsna, a luxury guesthouse in the chic La Palmeraie district of Marrakech. Situated on nine luscious acres, Jnane Tamsna offers 24 ensuite rooms, five swimming pools, private interior patios, an organic (and water-efficient) garden that provides most of the produce used in Jnane cuisine, and world class cooking instruction that has been featured by the likes of Bon Apetit and Gourmet magazines.
But Tamsna isn't all; in 2009, the Martins will open Jnane Ylane, a "living, integrated community with 95% of the land devoted to gardens and farmland." The land will be tilled by local farmers, and on-site workshops will be the birthplaces of the pottery and furniture used throughout both properties. Located in the countryside beyond Marrakech, the estate will feature privately owned villas, as well as a cluster of villas that will house 30 hotel rooms. Some of these rooms will feature private rooftop terraces with views over the kasbah to the Atlas Mountains.
Both properties are decorated in Loum-Martin's signature "New Moroccan" style-- a harmonious fusion of Asian, African, and European design elements. I'm dying to see more photos of the interior. Loum-Martin was a contributing editor on New Moroccan Style: The Art of Sensual Living, and also owns Ryad Tamsna, a restaurant-gallery-boutique where the talented lovely purveys Moroccan cuisine with a sub-Saharan twist, hand-painted shawls, Senegalese textiles, teas, home furnishings, and other thoughtfully chosen goods. Also credited with ownership of Ryad Tamsna is Syney Loum, a former ambassador to the UK; Meryanne's brother?