Marrakech top picks-
Marrakech is just a mere three and a half hours from London and for the most part it boasts a much more reliable forecast than the UK can offer (although not during the occasion we visited)! It is a city where the Atlas mountains provide the backdrop to most views and where accommodation covers both boutique, refurbished raid city escapes as well as decadent, vast, sprawling luxury hotels dotted in the surrounding areas. Here I share some of my favourite hotels set both inside the historic medina and out. I’d recommend mixing it up and combining the two for the ultimate Moroccan holiday experience.
To Stay -
This might just be one of the most idyllic places we’ve stayed in a long while. Just beyond the walls of the historic Medina and tucked away behind several dark twists and turns lies the kind of tranquil oasis we all dream of retreating to. It offers a respite to the hustle and bustle of the Medina through peach walled, colonial inspired open courtyards laced with orange trees, punctuated by blue shutters that lead you off into the private suites; all which have roll top baths. This is the sort of haven you’ll struggle to leave. Breakfast is served (should it not rain as it did for us) on the rooftop which is as pretty and pleasing as the rest of the adjoining Riads. Food must be pre-ordered if you’re dining in for lunch or dinner but it is absolutely worth doing so. Informal, charming lounge areas are dotted in amongst the buildings many sun drenched floors where meals can be served. Food is considered with a focus on quality fresh produce. Design and understated elegance is at the forefront of this hotel and we’d book it again in a heartbeat.
L’Hotel Marrakech -
The latest design project from Jasper Conran means you can expect his signature on point yet understated design with flashes of colour. With a mere five suites on offer, this place understandably gets snapped up quickly. The 19th century Riad subtly resides beyond a maze of pinkwash pathways in the heart of the ‘red city’s’ Medina. Each suite is nestled around a vast open courtyard with statement greenery and is luxuriously large, coming with a draped four poster bed and bringing together both modern design and traditional Moroccan antiques. The restaurant and food offering (which is open for non-guests to book too) is an experience worth treating yourself also. Both our vegetarian and fish tagines were amongst our favourites we tried. Homemade rose harissa and green harissa served as an accompaniment to the grapefruit puy lentil herb infused salad, which made for a welcome change to predominantly meat heavy menus we’d experienced elsewhere. With all ingredients being sourced locally and largely focussing on vegetarian cuisine, this was an especially exciting visit for The Vegetarian Husband. If the weather does fail you, book the spot by the fireplace. This place is heaven!
El Fenn - https://el-fenn.com
It’s hard to not fall in love with El Fenn. It’s charming in every sense and it would probably be fair to say they know it! Awash with Moroccan tiles, tadelakt walls and vibrant upholstery, even the corridors will have you cooing. The palatial rooms are individually designed and predominantly colour coded, so expect a brave wash of all pink, soft peach or dark navy. Design is bold and daring but in the most enticing and successful way possible. Behind the curated 28 rooms is both Vanessa Branson and Howell James who began restoration back in 2002. The roof terrace is the place to watch the sun disappear beyond the busy horizon and throughout the next few months they’ll also being playing host to resident chefs, mixing up the menu and offering some much appreciated variations on the traditional tagine. They’ll also be bringing with them an assortment of exciting cocktails, DJ’s and talks from inspiring designers, artisans and entrepreneurs.
La Sultana - http://www.lasultanahotels.com/eng/marrakech
La Sultana is situated in Kasbah just a ten minute walk to the main square and UNESCO World Heritage site; Jemaa El Fna. The square is an experience in itself and not one for the faint hearted. At the foot of the square there is still evidence of morally questionable snake charming and monkeys performing for tourists entertainment but this can largely be avoided. The rest of the site really i an experience to behold with a abundant food market offering the chance to eat good honest local food whilst listening to raucous live music. From the sprawling rooftop at La Sultana you can indulge in panoramic views of the city, where you’ll hear no more than the call to prayer. The hotel which consists of five Riads in total; all very unique in design, makes for quite the place to explore. Decadent and ostentatious in parts, this is a feast for the eyes. Indoor garden courtyards, a swimming pool and spa will all keep you well occupied. Rooms are large but I’d recommend requesting one on a top floor for optimum privacy and maximum daylight. Cookery classes are also a must here.
Dar Zitouna – Private villa http://www.marrakechholidayvillas.com
For those with a family or those wanting a more private and peaceful time then one of the serviced villas on the private eight villa estate of Bab Adrar ticks the box. Remotely situated a thirty-minute drive from the country’s capital and with all vistas directed towards the horizon of the Atlas mountains; this luxury villa has five double bedrooms and several terraces all laced with olive trees. There’s an enormous spread of grounds to play host as well as private pool and numerous outdoor seating and dining spots. It’s luxuriously decorated with tasteful nods to both Moroccan and French design with many interesting artworks on show. Staff are on hand to cook, clean and assist with any requests which makes for the most relaxing of experiences.
Beldi Country Club-http://beldicountryclub.com/en/
A short drive from the bustling centre of Marrakech is the Beldi Country Club. On arrival you’re greeted by an entire field of roses in every which colour. The sprawling landscaped grounds play host to 38 suites which are pared back, Moroccan in style with a French influence. Olive trees and cacti guide you around the 14 hectares that host numerous restaurants, pools and the most incredible Riad and large Ksar; a greenhouse like structure drenched with plants. It’s perfect for large events or dinners. The onsite souk shares a very curated offering of Berber wares; textiles, wicker, glass wear (all blown onsite), rugs, pottery and clothing and although not as cheap as you’d expect it is hard to resist!