Marrakech has long been beckoning travellers to its ochre walls and palm tree groves – and with good reason. There is a wealth of history to discover here; exotic sights, sounds and smells; treasures to be found in the souks and adventure in the old medina streets. And all this set against the backdrop of the stunning and often snow-capped mountains of the High Atlas. There is much to see and do here and the city also makes a great launching pad to the mountains, the coast and the desert sands. Read on for more information…

WHERE TO STAY

> RIAD CAMILIA

Riad Camilia is one of our favourite riads in the Marrakech medina. Situated close to the souks and the Ben Youssef Madersa, this superbly-run courtyard house is a haven of peace and tranquility and offers an excellent level of style and attention to detail. Managed by the energetic and thoughtful Nicolas, this riad is our top tip for those in search of elegance and old world charm. The riad’s rooftop is a delight as is the excellent home cooked Moroccan cuisine. 

> RIAD ADORE

Riad Adore, a newer riad in Marrakech, is at once stylish and contemporary and friendly and intimate. Led by Kerstin, the staff team are excellent and always look after our guests superbly. Located close to the souks and the Jemaa El Fna, you are ideally placed to explore the city’s old medina and then it’s an easy stroll back to relax by the pool or in the spa of this comfortable and refreshing riad. Prices for a double start at £100.

> ROYAL MANSOUR

The Royal Mansour is quite simply the most exclusive hotel in Marrakech. The hotel is set in beautiful grounds, in the shadow of the Koutoubia mosque and within very easy reach of the Jemaa el Fna square, and offers a level of privacy, care, and service that exceeds any other hotel in Marrakech. The hotel’s concept is that guests stay in one, two, or three bedroomed riads, and the hotel offers a superb spa, two excellent restaurants and the usual amenities one would expect of a world class hotel. 

> VILLA DES ORANGERS

Stepping over the threshold of the Villa des Orangers is like entering a new world: a transition from the busy life of the city to an oasis of tranquillity and beauty. Ideally placed for exploring the old town of Marrakech (the Koutoubia mosque is a stone’s throw away), this hotel also provides an escape from it at the end of the day. Built in the 1930s, it was transformed into a luxury hotel at the end of the 1990s by local craftsmen using traditional methods. It’s without a doubt a beautiful place to stay and relax: gardens, pools, flowers all in harmony with the traditional décor.

> RIAD TARABEL

Riad Tarabel is a luxurious boutique hotel in an old colonial mansion in the heart of the Marrakech medina. The riad has 10 bedrooms (including 3 suites) and is decorated in an elegant colonial style. Rooms are set around a grassy courtyard and the hotel’s clean lines, sumptuous bathrooms and sharp design attracts, in particular,  guests who have an eye for detail, architecture and interior design. The riad dates back to the 19th century and much of the renovation took place between 2006 and 2012. 

> RIAD MENA

Riad Mena is a 6-bed riad situated 10 minutes from the Jemaa el Fna. Elegant and tasteful, and run by the wonderful Philomena, this riad is an excellent choice for those who favour a light and fresh feel to the deep and dark colours of many riads. All of the 6 bedrooms are well appointed and minimalist in style and offer a good level of privacy – something that can be a challenge to find in the riad concept. The riad has a heated outdoor pool, a hammam, and boasts Philippe Starck-designed bathrooms. 

> FOUR SEASONS

The Four Seasons Marrakech is renowned for its excellent service, catering to individuals, groups, couples and families alike. Spacious and peaceful, it’s a place of calm, quiet luxury, ideal for a relaxing break in Marrakech. There are five resort restaurants, bars and lounges to choose from as well as an outstanding spa and kids’ programme. Close to the old town and also to some of the city’s great golf courses.

> LES DEUX TOURS

Hotel Les Deux Tours is located in the Palmeraie, the historic and beautiful palm grove on the north side of Marrakech, and it offers rooms, suites and villas for a truly relaxing stay. Rest by the pools on the comfortable day beds, wander through three hectares of gardens, fountains and pools, or enjoy a traditional hammam in the spa. The food is excellent with many of the ingredients sourced from its own organic kitchen garden. Prices for the classic rooms start at £100.

> ROYAL PALM

Relaxed and peaceful yet luxurious, Royal Palm Marrakech is situated on a vast estate just a few miles from the city, with spectacular views of the High Atlas mountains. Facilities are superb: each villa has a private swimming pool and hammam; there is an 18-hole golf course, a sport centre, kids club and 3500m2 spa by Clarins; and you have the choice between three restaurants offering fine dining with excellent service. Prices for a suite start at £300.

> RIAD FARNATCHI

If you’re looking for outstanding service and an amazing riad experience in the heart of the medina in Marrakech, then look no further than Riad Farnatchi. There are nine suites available or the venue can be booked for private house parties. The owner, James Wix, and his staff do all they can to provide you with a unique and memorable experience during your stay. The riad itself provides a high level of comfort and style from the private sitting areas to the custom made furniture to the amazing dining facilities and cuisine. Prices start at £220 for a suite.

> RYAD EL BORJ

Conveniently located just off the busy Jemaa El Fna square, Ryad El Borj is a tranquil and welcoming haven. After a full day discovering the wonders of Marrakech, this is the perfect place to rest and relax – under the shade of the orange trees on the central patio, or up on the terraces or in one of the many lounges. Views from the tower room over the medina and the High Atlas are stunning and the riad itself is beautifully decorated. Prices for a double start at £50.

WHAT TO DO

> BALLOONING

Join Maurice and his team for a whole new perspective on Marrakech and its surroundings. Founded over 25 years ago, Ciel D’Afrique will take you on an unforgettable, early-morning floating journey over the beautiful, now-miniature landscape of fields and small villages. After touching down you’ll visit these same villages and experience the famous Moroccan hospitality as you sip mint tea with the locals and enjoy a second breakfast Berber-style.

> COOKERY CLASS – SOUK CUISINE

Meet Gemma your host and owner of Souk Cuisine and start the day by exploring the local markets, getting to grips with choosing the best ingredients before returning to the beautiful riad courtyard where you will begin your cookery class. Your host and her local chefs are excellent and will give you great insights into Marrakshi cooking traditions and daily life in the old medina during the workshop as you cook and then eat at least four authentic dishes. A great way to delve deeper into Moroccan culture and experience medina life and food first-hand.

> COOKERY CLASS – LA MAISON ARABE

You won’t need to stay long in Morocco before you discover that it is a country passionate that’s about its food. For a chance to share in that passion why not enrol in a half-day cooking workshop run by La Maison Arabe. At your own fully-equipped individual workstations, you will learn to cook an authentic tagine plus a side dish or dessert. On top of this, you’ll learn about baking Moroccan bread and making the local mint tea. After the class, enjoy the food you have made in the beautiful garden surroundings. A must-do activity.

> MEDINA TOUR

Take a tour through this ancient centre, a UNESCO Heritage Site, said to be the second largest medieval complex in the world, after Cairo. The medina of Marrakech is a beguiling labyrinth of alleyways, souks (markets) and workshops where little has changed since the Middle Ages. Absorb the local history by visiting the ancient Badi and Bahia Palaces and viewing the impressive 12th century rampart surrounding the city’s medina – and soak in its colourful, lively and exotic atmosphere.

MARRAKECH

Altitude : 466m
Best time to visit : all year round
Population : 928,850
Temperature range : 10-40°C
Infrastructure : excellent facilities
Environment : city

DESTINATIONS

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