Bonnie Rakhit, editor and founder of award-winning, luxury fashion and travel blog TheStyleTraveller.com takes us to Marrakech to discover some of the hidden gems of the magical Moroccan city.
Where to visit? Marrakech is an enchanting, ancient city filled with exotic treasures. From the labyrinth of rose and terracotta hued alleyways in the old town, bustling bazaars and colourful crowds in the souks, to the hectic cacophony of sights, sounds and smells, you can’t help but fall in love with this enthralling city. Visit the world heritage site, the famous square of the DJemaa El Fna, filled with street food shops, snake charmers, acrobats and dancers. Be hypnotised by the scenes reminiscent of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves or retreat into one of the many traditional hammans or spas in the old town and have an indulgent massage.
Must see? To really get away from it all, take a trek high into the Atlas Mountains, around an hour outside of Marrakech and view the city from this breathtaking altitude. Follow a local tour guide who’ll bring you to a local family home for mint tea or stop off at luxury hotel Kasbah Tamadot, which is owned by Richard Branson, for a spot of lunch and really enjoy the high life! Another must see site is Jardin Majorelle, the stunning, ultramarine shaded gardens, once the home of designer Yves Saint Laurent.
Where to stay? From the hundreds of stunning riads and dars (old palaces and grand villas in which you can stay) to modern, luxury hotels, accommodation in Marrakech is excellent and of a very high standard. My favourite place to stay is the prestigious Palais Namaskar, which is a 30-minute drive from the centre. Once you enter the hallowed walls of this 12-acre property, you’ll wander around the zen architecture and walk along the meandering paths and pools, you’ll understand why royalty and celebs flock to this calm and elegant retreat. The photos below are of me on recent shoot I did there.
Where to eat? For cheap eats, try the street food stalls at Djemma El Fna (if you dare!) through to fine dining; Marrakech has hundreds of great restaurants. For a traditional, Moroccan dining experience housed in an old palace, try out the romantic Dar Moha. Enjoy the colourful mezze starters accompanied by dervishes, singing and dancing around your candlelit table. Alternatively if you’re looking for something a bit more contemporary, but still entertaining, try out the decadent and theatrical performances and excellent food of Le Comptoir Darna. After dinner, the top floor turns into a nightclub so you can throw some shapes to work off all those delicious tagines.