The magic of Marrakech is hard to put into words. Its a place no other I have visited before, its been on my list to visit for over 20 years and it was everything that I had hoped. No words can truely describe the magic of Marrakech, it continually wowed me with its beauty, culture and people. Visiting Marrakech gave me a real sense of wanting to return and explore so much more of Morocco.
After scrolling Instagram, Stylists Guides, Food Guides, and the Lonely Planet I gathered a list of must stay places and based my trip around that!! I was travelling solo, like I use to when I was a lot younger. I needed a trip for me, for my soul, a sensory trip full of flavour, architecture, gardens and people. I also needed escape my norm and just go somwhere to chill out. I didn't take a fancy camera or any selfies (really) of myself, I just travelled, emeresed myself in this wonderful place and its people.
On arrival from Perth (via Singapore and Vienna), I arrived, I exchanged some money into Dirhams and my driver was there waiting for me and drove me to Beldi Country Club. I thought this was a great starting point after such a long haul flight. I was right! Beldi is only 20 minutes out of Marrakech, its a sanctuary of gorgeous rooms set amongst olive trees, rose gardens, euphorbias, cactus and grasses. There were places to sit, lie, walk and just be. I chilled by the pool, walked the gardens, checked out the gorgeous hand blown glass in the souk, and ate the most delicious yellow pomegranate and yogurt for breakfast, I was in heaven!!
After a relaxing few days, I headed into Marrakech. I stayed at Chambres D'Amis, a gorgoues little riad run by Ank set inside the Medina. This was an oasis of quiet and tranquil a lovely roof terrace where breakfast was served and a sundowner was had whilst the call of prayer was made. Only 2 minutes walk to the Djema El Fna, a great landmark to have whilst navigating the city. After an afternoon in the souks, I started to get my bearings and the next few days I walked the city visited magneficent ruins, palaces, gardens and restaurants. My days were spent seeing the sights, Yves Saint Laurent Museum, Majorelle Gardens, Museum d'Photographe, Ben Youssef Mosque, eating La Famille, Nomad, Les Jardine, +61 and visiting Kulchi for my rug fix. I also attending a cooking class recommended by my favourite chef and traveller, Christine Manfield at Maison L'Arabe. I was in heaven!
It was time to venture out of the city to Kasbah Bab Ourika, a magneficent accommodation at the gateway of the Atlas Mountains. If you're short on time and dont want to travel too far, this place is perfect. Its only a couple of hours out of Marrakech through some cute little villages set amongst more glorious gardens, pools and mountains. The accommodation is beautifully done and the breakfast is pretty spectacular set amongst the mountains. I found a spot to do yoga, walk the mountains and meditate!
After a blissful stay and delicious food, I went on to La Pause. Another dreamy stay amongst the rocky hills on the outskirts of Marrakech. Here there are more tented camps around, giving the tourist a 'desert like glamping experience'. But La Pause was different, it was greenish! The pool set amongst the olive grove, was pretty special with the goats and rocky hills that surrounded it...I wondered how the hell the water even got here. The tents were a delight, simple but elegant all with ensuite bathroom and gorgeous hot showers. Big skies, a sundowner on the hill and a delicious vegetable tagine for dinner you were never going to go hungry here! Sleeping here was never a problem.
After La Pause, I headed to Berber Lodge. Another outstanding spot with beautiful rooms and gardens. Built the old way with mud walls and home made tile floors, Berber Lodge is a real delight. Its simple and rustic. The rooms are spacious and well appointed with simple whicker beds, modern furnishings and berber rugs. The food was probably the best I had eaten in my time in the country. It was simple fresh Moroccan inspired dishes with a real farm to table feel. I ate vegetables the whole time I was in Marrakech and Berber Lodge did not disappoint. The staff were ever so helpful and out of all my stays, this one was my favourite.
Although hard to leave, I was getting towards the end of my glorious trip. My last stop El Fenn. Down a tiny street off the medina, if you blinked you would miss it! An explosion of colour, this place was impressive. Made up of 7 riads joined by courtyards, pools, roof terraces, its a little disorientating on arrival. This is a place where colour has no boundaries. I loved the roof terrace early morning and evening when the call of prayer was on. Kilim cushions, cane pendants and scatter cushions galour this place had so much charm and chill feel....
This trip was like no other I have had before. The purpose of the trip was to feed my soul. It wasn't overly adventurous, i really went for a recharge and a foodie, cultural escape. I read 4 books (2 audios) something I havent done in over 10 years. I loved being on my own, walking the souks and mountains solo gave me a real sense of self. I enjoyed the little bits of yoga and mini work outs I did. I loved being away from everyone I knew (after I adjusted) and I loved all that came into contact with me. I worked on myself a little, wrote daily recipes, gratitude lists, thought a little outside the box, got some creative spark back and learnt to be in the moment so much more....
I look forward to hearing your stories of self discovery and adventure and I hope this wee blog has inspired you to do something spontaneous!