Marrakech, MoroccoPublished on April 24, 2011
Be Prepared To Fall In Love With This Magical Desert Oasis.
From the scent of spice wafting through the air, to the call to prayer echoing intermittently throughout the day, you’ll be transported to a magical world when you visit this alluring desert city.
Marrakech is a contradiction of sorts. Whether you’re seeking solitude or action, Marrakech delivers on all fronts. It offers a cultural experience totally foreign to most, while at the same time, enveloping its visitors in comfort, luxury and adventure.
Where to stay
Riad Noir d’IvoireRiad Noir d’Ivoire, a stunning riad nestled in the middle of the Medina, has become one of the most popular places to stay in Marrakech – and rightfully so!
Hotel Photo via Riad Noir d'Ivoire
Your stay at the Riad Noir d’Ivorie begins when your driver drops you off along the edge of the Medina, a labyrinth of souks and alleyways representing the “old town” of Marrakech. There, Couscous, the resident donkey at Riad Noir d’Ivoire, along with a lovely member of the Riad Noir d’Ivoire team, will escort you and your belongings to the riad.
Despite the bustle of the Medina, the minute you step into Riad Noir d’Ivoire all the worries of your world will disappear. Riad Noir d’Ivorie is absolutely beautiful - impeccably styled with great attention to detail - courtesy of interior designer Jill Fechtmann, owner of this stylish hotel. The elegant Moroccan entryways, gleaming courtyard pools and decorative touches create a harmonious blend of new and old world decor. Palatial but warm, Riad Noir d'Ivoire makes its guests feel as if they've entered their own private world.
Hotel Photo via Riad Noir d'Ivoire
But this place has more than surface appeal. The attentive staff will promptly meet your every need during your stay, including coordinating private tours and day excursions while you're in Marrakech.
For equally stunning accommodations outside the Medina, check out Amanjena. You may remember this gorgeous hotel from last year's Sex and the City 2.
Hotel Photo via Aman Resorts
This self-described "peaceful paradise" located just outside of Marrakech offers private villas, lavish pools and plenty of luxury. Pamper yourself at Amanjena’s Spa featuring Turkish-style hammams (steam baths) and relaxing spa services.
Djemaa el Fna
Unesco World Heritage site, Djemaa el Fna, is a famous square and marketplace in the Medina. By day, you’ll find snake charmers, acrobats and fortune tellers.
As evening approaches, smoke billows through the air bringing with it the scent of exotic spices and culinary creations. Food-stalls lining the square feature exotic fare like sheep head and fortunately (for some) selections more suitable for tamer palates!
For a more elegant dining experience, visit Dar Moha. Situated in a former riad, Dar Moha has been converted into one of Marrakech's most popular restaurants. When you walk in, you are immediately taken in by your surroundings - lush banana trees and candlelit tables surround an intimate courtyard pool. Serene ambience and delicious food make for a fantastic dinner experience.
Where to Play
There are countless places to play in this desert playground. Here are two of our faves!
Chided as too touristy by some, Le Comptoir was just right for this American tourist. Come early evening to catch the belly dancers and party with well-heeled locals and European weekend visitors.
Be sure to reserve a table as maneuvering the bar can otherwise be a challenge.
As its name implies, Teatro is all about the show. Stop by this place late night for fun, dancing and flirting with hot Casablanca finance guys visiting for the weekend!
Parting Thoughts: You'll be intoxicated by the allure of Marrakech. The warmth, culture and sensory stimulation of Marrakech will leave you enamored.