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.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 AtlantaShe 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.