I visited Marrakech for the very first time in May 2015 and was immediately and utterly captivated by the chaos, colors, and commotion of this otherworldly city. It is mystical and beautifully haunting. The call to prayer echos throughout the labyrinth of the Medina while textile and spice merchants wave you into their stores. Snake charmers and performers dazzle spellbound visitors while my eyes filled with the rich patterns and textures of the tile works on every corner. I returned to Marrakech not once but twice, in May and November 2022, and was reminded why this city has such a chokehold on my heart and imagination. It is an artists’ paradise, without question, and filled with gorgeously hospitable locals who are happy to see us return.
What to Pack:
- This is by far the most frequently asked question I receive about Marrakech. In fairness, I do think it is wise to be a bit more modest and discerning than normal when it comes to your packing. But I also don’t think that means compromising, color, comfort, or style. Bohemian style mini dresses with sleeves, maxi dresses, caftans, high neckline tank tops paired with wide-legged linen pants, white dress shirts with cute patterned shorts, and longer lengthened cocktail dresses will have you covered from day to night. It’s also wise to carry a lightweight shawl that you can throw around your shoulders in the event you are visiting a mosque or something of that nature. For footwear, a great pair of suede slides, sandals, and heels for the evening!
Where to Stay: (From Low to High Price)
- P’tit Habibi – this Norwegian owned riad fuses traditional craft with modern design and is so extraordinarily special. I have stayed here on every single visit I have made to Marrakech and Abdel the manager always makes it feel like home for me.
- Almaha – this riad is super dreamlike and tranquil. The main courtyard will take your breath away with the turquoise piscine and the SPA is not to be skipped. Head upstairs to enjoy their rooftop terrace pool and view overlooking the Medina.
- El Fenn – comprising of five interconnected riads, it is a design lover’s paradise! Every room is uniquely adorned in jewel tone tadelakt walls, original art, and contemporary meets traditional Moroccan design. Many fashion editorial shoots have taken place here and it’s obvious, from the minute you walk-in, why that is!
- La Mamounia – a once in a lifetime experience awaits at La Mamounia, and if you watched the Netflix series “Inventing Anna”, you likely already have an inkling why that is. This hotel is truly the epitome of luxury! Each room feels like a jewel box, with the incredible carved plaster details and zellij tile work. This place will transport you to another world.
What to See:
- Djemma El Fna
- The Medina
- Bahia Palace
- YSL Museum
- Jardin Majorelle
- Gueliz Art Galleries (Galerie 127, Gallery Habib Kibari)
Where to Eat:
- Café de la Poste
- Plus 61
- Le Jardin
- Dar Yacout
Where to Shop:
- Riad Yima
- Boutique El Fenn
- The Medina
Where to Play: (*Belly Dancing & Dinner Shows)
- *Le AZAR
- *Comptoir Darna
- *Jad Mahal
- Le Bar Churchill
What to See Outside the City:
- Atlas Mountains – book a few nights at the stunning Kasbah Bab Ourika and soak in the otherworldly mystical mountains surrounding you. You’ll want to spend a minimum of 2 nights here to be able to take it in.
- Essaouira – this majestic port city will make you feel like you are somewhere between Morocco and Greece. The laidback vibes, windsurfing, ocean views, and impeccable shopping in the Medina are not to be missed!