Back when I lived in Australia, Marrakech seemed like it was on the other side of the world – literally! Now based in London, places like Marrakech are so much more doable, especially for a long weekend. And that’s what we did, we booked a last minute trip to Marrakech for the Easter long weekend. And it was such a nice change in weather from the London grey skies.
Here are my tips on where to eat, drink, sleep, dance and explore in Marrakech:
There are numerous places to stay in Marrakech – luxury hotels, riads and loads of airbnb properties too. As we only booked 2 weeks out from the long weekend, we weren’t left with many choices. We ended up finding a charming 3 bedroom riad located inside the medina. The riad was super close to shops, cafes and the markets and easy enough to escape the medina when necessary. Our deluxe bedroom was ornately decorated with a african moroccan vibe which overlooked the pool and lounge area.
The stay included a traditional moroccan breakfast which consisted of an omelette, pastries, fruits tea and coffee. Breakfast was served on the rooftop terrace where we basked in the glorious Moroccan sun. The staff here were so nice and accommodating and organised transfers, taxis, day trips and even cooked us a meal on our last evening. Head to airbnb to check out the property in Marrakech.
If you haven’t used airbnb yet, I can highly recommend it! It’s the best option if you want all your homey comforts and they are usually in quite central locations. Some of these apartments are lush! Sign up here & you’ll get £16 or $25 off your first stay.
When researching places to eat in Marrakech, I wanted a few different types of experiences. Originally I was looking to stay at Fellah hotel, but as it was a little out of town, so we decided against it. However, if you’re looking for an alfresco dining experience, Fellah do an amazing buffet of all things Moroccan! Fish, meats, salads, salads and more salads! We sat outside next to the pool on large cushions next to our own special bon fire to give us light. I had mentioned it was my partner’s birthday on that evening and they went all out with a bespoke cake with a personalised message on it.
It’s a 20 minute drive out of the medina but worth the trip to this rustic, cool hotel. Think copious amounts of cacti, manicured gardens and a whole lot of good vibes. It’s an authentic luxury hotel with more than just the buffet on offer.
SKY BAR MARRAKECH
A little less traditional for Marrakech, is the Sky bar roof terrace and pool. Sky bar has a Japanese cuisine with LA inspired decor and charm. Drink cocktails around the pool, or enjoy a light meal of sushi and sashimi. Yum!
KASBAH DU TOUBKAL
You don’t want to miss a trip to the Atlas mountains during your stay in Marrakech. Most of the organised tours take you on a day trip about a 3 hour drive each way. For one, I’m not a huge fan of big group tours, I’d rather find my own way even if it means getting lost. And secondly, taking up 6 of my precious holiday hours in a car, no thanks. I did some research on trusty google to try and find something not so far away, but still give us an Atlas Mountains experience.
Kasbah du Toubkal is a luxury eco lodge located at the heart of Moroccan Berber country, in the Toubkal National Park. The hotel offers nature lovers a truly peaceful heaven, completely unspoiled by tourism. I wish we had time to stay a night or two here. The serenity and vast landscape truly put me into a meditative state. The Toubkal mountain which is at the hotel’s doorstep is the highest peak of North Africa and of the Arab world. It culminates at a height of 4,167 metres and is a favourite destination for climbers. Definitely a challenge for next time.
We spent the afternoon on the roof terrace of the hotel, indulging in a traditional spread of salads, tagine and tea. Just a warning for when you want to visit, you will get dropped at the base of the road and you are expected to climb up to the hotel. Not knowing this, I was very inappropriately dressed in a maxi dress and sandals. Top tip – wear comfy climbing shoes. It isn’t a huge climb, but it took as at least 20 minutes to climb to the hotel, passing a few mountain goats on the way.
LA SULTANA, MARRAKECH
As mentioned before in my spa review of the La Sultana, if you are looking for some top notch luxury pampering, look no further. We booked in for a couples hammam and full body massage. If you are going all out, indulge in a pool-side lunch after your treatment.
About a 10 minute taxi ride from the medina, Bo Zin is a hip hang for the IT crowd of Marrakech. Not sure if the patrons were locals or expats, but everyone seemed to be having a really good time (me included). We stopped in here after dinner at Fellah for some after dinner drinks & dancing. Live DJs, fun beats, wicked cocktails and all round an enjoyable session.
If you really want to get your dance on, like Ibiza style dance, Theatro is your place. It doesn’t open to 1am so it is definitely for the night owls. Giving some hints from it’s name, Theatro gives quiet a theatrical performance throughout the early morning. Dancers, performers, confetti falling from the roof. You get the picture.
TO THE BEACH
Not exactly the beach you’re probably use to, but it is the only type of beach you’ll find in Marrakech It’s all bottles of champagne, loud banging beats and a whole lot of white sun beds at Nikki Beach. You can bare as much flesh as you like and dance away in the sunshine. More on the expensive side of Marrakech, but if you’re looking to let your hair down, this is the place to go.
TO DO NEXT TIME
I didn’t get time to visit the YSL gardens but it looks amazing from the pictures. I have complete missing out syndrome from not going here on my trip. Definitely for the next trip. You can even have a pot of tea & a snack there too.
La Mamounia is probably the most grand and luxurious hotel in Marrakech. It’s where the sex & the city girls had cocktails and it use to be a royal palace. My one tip for here is to dress up! And men definitely need to wear trousers. We learnt the hard way; turned up in shorts and were politely turned away. Super disappointed I didn’t get let in!
I think 4 days was probably sufficient to explore the centre of Marrakech but staying a little longer will allow you to venture a little more out of the city.
Have you been to Marrakech? I’d love to know your tips for next time.