Marrakech is a sensory experience. Not for the faint hearted, the city is an explosion of colours, smells and activity. It races past you at a speed that is almost impossible to compute.
I have to admit, despite having been to Marrakech before, I was overwhelmed for the first 12 hours. A whirlwind of hustling salesmen, near traffic incidents’ and spitting cobras had me considering staying in the tranquility of our Riad for the duration of the trip. As you relax, the winding peach coloured alleyways become familiar and you begin to embrace the excitement of the hustle and bustle. The vibrant explosion of activity is relieved as you escape the streets and enter tiny doorways that hold dotted Oases all over the city.
The beauty of Marrakech is within these extremes. Amidst the chaos stand the most beautiful havens. Hotels, hammams and restaurants stand tall and peacefully quiet, as the smokey haze and crazy explosion whirls around them unknowingly.
I cannot recommend Marrakech highly enough. The diversity of this incredible city left me feeling inspired and motivated and I will most definitely return. Below you will see that I have shared my recommendations on how to experience the city. I’d love to hear from you if I’ve missed anything you feel is worthwhile including. Enjoy. xHermione.
Unparalleled beauty, and absolute luxury, located just outside the city.
Five star bliss, the hotel is big and beautiful. For the gamblers, it has a casino. You might recognise some areas of the hotel from the beautiful Moroccan wedding of Poppy Delevingne.
Unbeatable luxury at Richard Branson’s Hotel in the Atlas Mountains.
Owned and operated by Richard Branson’s sister, it is also worth visiting for lunch or dinner, and for a sneak around to lap up the perfect styling.
Perfectly positioned and with the most incredible French and Moroccan styling and interiors.
Villa des Orangers
Gorgeous little villa in the heart of town, located at the Koutuobia mosque.
40 years of passionate work by French painter Jacques Majorelle created this hugely popular Oasis. Saved from sale in 1980 by Yves Saint Laurent, he went on to credit the garden as an unlimited source of inspiration.
Shop for ceramics, silver, hats, jewellery.
The best carpets are at Aux Merveilles de Marrakech – 14, Souk Semmarine Marrakech Medina Maroc.
Half day tour of Marrakech
Call taxi driver Said on 00212676291706 and ask him to take you on a day tour all over Marrakech including the camels at Le Palmerie, Palais Bahia, the tanneries and La Menara.
Must see sites:
+ The Medina – For the best orange juice you will ever try, snake charmers, tea sets and carpets.
+ Saadien Tombs – The final resting place of the Saadi Sultans.
+ Koutoubia Mosque – Admire the decors of its Miranet. Not open to non-Muslims.
+ El Badi Palace – To see the sumptuous remains of the ‘Incomparable’ Palace.
+ Djemma El Fna – the main square in the medina, your life will revolve around this spot if you are staying in the centre.
+ Palais La Bahia – A palace built around a collection of roads and patios boasting a wealth of rich decor. Admission 10dh.
+ Musee des Bijoux – Attractive jewellery collection from Morocco.
Hotel de la Poste
If you are looking for the colonial experience, make sure you visit Hotel de la Poste. The food and service is the best you will experience and the cocktails are spot on.
Terrace des Epices
Climb up the steep stairs to the rooftop and bask in the sunshine over Moroccan mint tea. This is also the perfect spot for photography with a view.
For a night out, visit la Comptoir for belly dancing, the best chicken tagine I tasted, shisha in the courtyard and dancing into the night.
For drinks overlooking the Bazaar at sunset.
Ask for a table outside in the courtyard and sit amongst the Cacti.
Italian and Morocco cuisine in the heart of the Medina.
Traditional Moroccan food at it’s finest.
Other suggestions include:
Dar Moha – Must do for atmosphere and food.
El Fasia – For a romantic meal in the garden.
La Tobsil – Traditional food, best for lunch.
Dar Yacout – Gastronomic Moroccan food, a landmark.
Haj Brik – The cheapest you will eat in your life!
Hot Air Ballooning
To experience the city from above.
Where Morocco’s becomes Ibiza.