In an attempt to cut it’s $1 billion debt, Morocco’s National Operator ONCF announced it will sell the legendary La Mamounia Hotel. The national rail operator owns a 60% stake in the luxury hotel. La Mamounia was once frequented by Winston Churchill and Alfred Hitchcock. Both world icons were known to have a penchant for the hotels’ magnificent grounds. Today there still remains a historic Churchill Suite available for $5,000 USD+ per night. Hitchcock even penned the script for his thriller The Birds at the Marrakech establishment.
The decision to sell La Mamounia came after the national rail operator invested 49 billion dirhams ($5.1 billion) to launch Morocco’s first TGV bullet train between Tangier and Casablanca. The kingdom’s high-speed train has cut traveling time in half between the two cities. Since it’s launch in February 2019 the TGV has accommodated over 2.5 people and assisted in attracting tourism to northern Morocco. In spite of the massive transportation achievement for Morocco, the result is that ONCF has incurred more losses than they were prepared for. At the moment, the future ownership of La Mamounia Hotel remains in question.