by Nduta Waweru, at 04:46 am, April 16, 2018, Women

Meet Morocco’s only Black female hotel owner

MeryAnne Loum-Martin [Photo: Black Enterprise]

The Jnane Tamsna is a boutique hotel in Marrakech, Morocco. What makes it even more special is that it’s owned and run by a black woman: MeryAnne Loum-Martin.

Luom Martin, born in Cote d’Ivoire,  started out as a lawyer, an experience that would teach her how to look at things differently and to bring in her diverse culture.

“Being different was a way for me to succeed. I started to look at my difference as wealth. As people of color, our varied cultural traditions are an incredible wealth, ” she told the Essence Magazine.

It is the same vision that saw her create a diverse yet enriching ambiance at the Jnane Tamsna, which she runs with her husband Dr. Gary Martin. The 40-room hotel does not have a TV nor does it offer room service, as a way to encourage the guests to enjoy the gardens.

Garden dining at the Jnane Tamsna [Photo Jnane Tamsna website]

She was forced to design the hotel, which she bought in 2000 together with her husband.

“I didn’t speak the language and the field of construction was very much a world of men who are known to ignore women.And you know what? We designed everything ourselves. My husband was responsible for the gardens and I was responsible for the architecture, interiors, and floor plans,” she told Blackstar Atlanta

One of the rooms at Jnane Tamsna [Photo Jnane Tamsna website]

She attributes the power of imagination as her driving force.

“But I believe in the power of imagination. Everything that enables people to move ahead in life begins with their ability to imagine something different, a better world for themselves,” she said to Essence.

Luom Martin is currently working on a book about of style, architecture and designing gardens in Marrakech over 30 years.

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