Marrakech it has always been a question mark to me, there’s the one who says everything’s amazing, there’s the one who thinks is a total eyesore..due to this contrasting point of views, I decided that the best thing was to build my own belief.
We left Milan on April 12th, with an early direct flight. The plan was to spend five full days in this mystique city and do as many activities and experiences as we could. It took a while to prepare this trip, but it totally worth it. For our stay I chose, among amazing accomodations, the one that captured my attention the most, following these simple criteria: location, design and privacy. As usual, we were looking for something very intimate, and the Riad De Tarabel definitely satisfied our request. This small Riad, was the perfect accommodation for. us. In the heart of the most beautiful district of the Medina, dotted with antique shops and the Dar El Bacha Palace, lies this unique property: an old colonial style mansion; Riad de Tarabel combines harmony and elegance, embodied in tree-lined patios, terraces bathed in light, open lounges and comfortable nooks, in an original decor blending subtle traces of Moorish architecture, with Second French Empire style.
Calm, tranquility, peace, discretion, beauty are the keywords to describe this place. Luggages unpacked, after a quick chat with Laurent, the director of the Riad, who gave us precious suggestions and offered us a cup of typical moroccan tea, we were ready to start our journey. Just left the hotel, we could already breath a very traditional and unconventional atmosphere. Each single corner was a discovery, from the architecture to the perfumes, from the colors to people…every single corner has drawn our attention.
In this article, I want to share with you, a simple, but detailed, to-do list, in order to show tourists, everything, this amazing city, has to offer.
Musee du Parfume. Since I am obsessed with perfumes, I looked a lot, for a place to customize my very own perfume, and I found online this incredible museum. First we were guided to a very interesting tour of the road where the guide explained us the origins of perfumes and the entire process, from the natural elements to the final result. Then, we were able to sit down in a really amazing room where, with the help of a very expert lady, we created our personalized fragrances. This was simply the best.
Lunch time: Le Jardin. Emerald tiles were fading with a beautiful garden, in the hall of an ancient Riad, fresh fruits and vegetables on the counter and a very traditional moroccan meal was the protagonist of this lunch.
In the afternoon we went to visit the Yves Saint Laurent museum and immediately after the Majorelle Garden which is located exactly next to it. The colors and the beauty of this place can be only described though pictures. Tired from the first tour of the city we decided to go back to the Tarabel for a quick nap on the beautiful pool we had to save energies for the dinner that was set to Bo & Zin, a very trendy restaurant characterized by a very urban atmosphere, fusion food, good music and European clientele. It almost looked like being in London.
Breakfast was served on a very private terrace, and, belly full as usual, we were ready for El Badi Palace, ruins of Royals’ 1500s residence. This ancient location was very evocative and the majesty of the architecture simply breathtaking. Once we finished our tour, we walked to our snack stop of the day: La Famille, a very cozy restaurant, ideal for a quick lunch. Once again, the design was the perfect combination of modern and traditional elements. Bahia Palace was on the way so we decided to take a quick stop, and explore this ancient building. Finally we were ready to get into the Souk, the typical market inside the Medina, where you could satisfy any kind of request: from food to souvenirs, jewels to rugs, animals to spices. Wow, what an experience, I didn’t know where to look at…
The dinner was set at Buddha Bar and we really enjoyed the place: perfect combination between the live performance and great food.
Morning off, we decided to chill in the Riad for a couple of hours, waiting for lunch time. We tried the Nomad, a very cool, gipsy, rooftop. With a strong emphasis on fresh local products and ample variety for vegetarians, pescatarians, and carnivores alike, the lively restaurant serves simple “Modern Moroccan” cuisine: revisions of traditional local cuisine and international dishes with a Moroccan twist.
Spread over 4 floors, with intimate dining rooms and two levels of terraces that offer fantastic views of the surrounding Medina and Atlas mountain range. Lunch over, we jumped into the souk in order to get some souvenirs. This time was different, we talked with a lot of people and learned many interesting things on their habits and culture. I enjoyed that afternoon like crazy.
The appointment at the Sultana Hotel for a relaxing Spa afternoon was waiting for us. We booked a full immersion treatment into the moroccan tradition of beauty, composed by the worldwide famous Hamman, followed by a body scrub with ancestral rituals and an amazing massage. Simply heaven.
We decided to try the well known restaurant La Maison Arabe, passing in front of the Bar Doukkala market. The location was very romantic and the food was ok, in my opinion a little overrated.
Ready for the desert. Day four was all about adventures, 30 kilometers away from Marrakech, in the anciently named “Désert Marrakchi”, there was La Pause: nestles in the arid beauty of the Agafay hills, an exquisite refreshing oasis bordered by a river, in a dramatic landscape overlooking the vast Moroccan wilderness. We booked in advance a tour in the desert with a quad, a four wheeled motorcycle, which was super exciting, we stopped along the way catching each single spot in this natural paradise away from the frenetic life of the city. It looked like being on another planet, surrounded only by the past, nothing except the nature, animals and the infinite sky above us. After our activity, we were spoiled with an amazing lunch in one of the luxury tent, it was so romantic and pretty, I will never forget that day.
Barometre restaurant was the last stop on my list, a cozy, small and very private speak easy restaurant that was a true revelation.
On our way back we stopped by Jamaa el-Fnaa, the main plaza…if during the day this place is chaotic, at night is completely crazy: snakes, monkeys, people shouting and dancing…a 360’ experience.
During our last day, we explored the area around the Koutoubia Mosque, this religious monument deserves a stop. We proceeded, then, towards EL FENN, a very popular hotel with a very well known restaurant where we’ve been able to enjoy our last moroccan meal. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by Le Jardin Secret, where we admired colors of mosaics that, during those days, were becoming common to our eyes. It was time to go back to Italy but I promised to myself to go back and visit that magical place as soon as I could, again.
See you soon Magnikech!