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Marrakesh is one of Galen’s favorite destinations, and a place Alicia visits reluctantly. There isn’t a lot to “do” in Marrakesh, just be prepared for aimless wandering and relaxing by the pool. Settle in and accept that it’s just a place to be, rather than explore. There are also a lot of cats.

Hotels:

More Hotels to Try Next Time:

  • [haven’t been] Riad L’Orangeraie (i-escape)
  • [haven’t been] Riad Noir D’Ivoire
  • [haven’t been] Riad Snan13 (looks elegant and quiet) 
  • [haven’t been] Riad Zouina: Located up the street from the Palais Lamrani, Zouina is similar in scale. Two riads have been combined to create a remarkable retreat from the cacophony of the street. The owner, Catherine, lives on property, and she and her staff are welcoming and accommodating. The price per room here is slightly lower than Lamrani if you are looking for something more affordable.
  • [haven’t been] Dar Darma: Condé Nast Traveller slapped this blue suite on the cover of its  Gold List issue, if that is worth anything. From beautifully carved doors to plush velvet pillows and working fireplaces, Dar Darma will make you feel like you stepped into a seriously decadent home. The riad offers traditional Moroccan dining as well as cooking lessons. With all the antiques and unsupervised pools, this is not the place to bring the kids.

Food:

  • ***El Fenn. Really good food, nice lunch/night out. Pricy.
  • **La Maison Arabehttp://www.lamaisonarabe.com/en/confirmation-reservation.html. We didn’t love this. Very historic, but the neighborhood isn’t the best (not a pretty walk there) and it’s pricy and a little generic.
  • **Restaurant Le Foundouk Marrakech. I’d give this a lesser rating. Nothing really wrong with it but there are better settings/food.
  • **La Sultana (a hotel too): this is a great place right next to the Saadian Tombs, good place to take a civilized cocktail break. Entrance is tucked in a corner but quite large inside. From the restaurant you have a great view directly down to the Tombs.
  • **Villa Makassar: we had a lovely lunch here, by ourselves. The hotel is nice, largely empty, good location outside the walls. Art Deco themed.
  • ***Pepe Nero: Italian, great setting. Full of tourists, but the setting and a chance for decent non-Moroccan food make up for it. 
  • *Nomad: we tried, couldn’t handle the pretentiousness. Skip.
  • *Le Jardin32, Souk Sidi Abdelaziz. “A quiet and very Western respite in the center of souk El jeld.” In reality pretty annoying, with bad service, average food, no alcohol. 
  • ***Le Tobsil: this is a gem. Adults only, very intimate and romantic, feels like you’re in a private home in the 1950s. Set menu, you’ll just be served what they have on offer that night.

More food options:

Activities:

There isn’t a lot to “do” in Marrakesh, just be prepared for aimless wandering and relaxing by the pool. Various sites we did explore:

A few more:

  • Hamman: Behind the stain-glass entrance to Les Bains De Marrakech, you can enjoy a wide range of spa treatments and use of their tranquil courtyard pool. This is one of the only coed spas, we enjoyed it.
  • The Son of Joseph School: [closed indefinitely for renovations] Madrasas, translating to ‘schools’, now stand all around Morocco as historical representations of the education of the past. This particular Quranic school, once the largest in North Africa, was dedicated to the teaching of Islamic law, and has stood since the 14th century. Guests can explore more than 100 tiny, windowless student chambers and admire the stunning architecture, from the great courtyard to the richly decorated prayer halls. After almost six centuries, this medieval madrasa stands as one of the key tourist attractions of the city.

Shopping:

https://theculturetrip.com/africa/morocco/articles/why-marrakesh-is-a-shoppers-paradise/

***Mustapha Blaoui: worth a look at the very high end furnishings in this huge place – carpets, lamps, tables, etc.

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