Destination Guide to Marrakech | Travel Guides by Passport

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Inspired by 3,500 years of Moroccan custom, Robert Wright began Beni Rugs in 2018 from his longtime dwelling base of Brooklyn. Soon after, he relocated to Marrakech to open the Beni Workshop and Studio, a sun-filled house devoted to fashionable interpretations of the heritage craft. From the very best sundowner spots to retailers and galleries to not be missed, he shares tips on how to profit from this storied metropolis.

 

STAY

La Mamounia

Marrakech travel guide - La Mamounia

Infused with historical past, La Mamounia is dwelling to each the very best backyard and site in Marrakech. The signature fig scent of its foyer stays with you. There’s nothing like an aperitivo within the Italian bar adopted by a stroll by the gardens because the solar units over the medina’s light pink partitions. I rely a few of my favourite mornings there—opening the terrace doorways to singing birds perched within the towering palms is a singular expertise. Jean Georges has taken over its eating places, so you possibly can dine on wood-fired pizza one night time and contemporary sashimi the subsequent. There’s additionally a jewel field of a caviar and vodka bar that has performed host to some famously late nights with shut mates.

The Oberoi, Marrakech

Marrakech travel guide - The Oberoi
Marrakech travel guide - The Oberoi

There are roads main out of Marrakech and the Route to Ouarzazate is one most liked. It’s tranquil—mountains loom massive within the distance and huge expanses of purple earth meet limitless blue skies. Along it lives The Oberoi. The lodge is dwelling to Rivayat, one in every of my new favourite eating places in Marrakech. Consulting chef Rohit Ghai is a Michelin-star chef whose menu plumbs the depths of India’s heritage. It’s distinctive and a pleasant change of tempo from native delicacies and the meals warms your soul. On winter weekends, the restaurant’s black marble fireplaces are roaring and a DJ is spinning. Rooms are set in lush gardens and the large spa is a superb escape—throughout the board, service is spot-on.

El Fenn

Marrakech travel guide - El Fenn ©Cécile Treal

El Fenn is the cool child on the block. Its signature type is commonly imitated, however it stays unmatched, and a current enlargement has upped the ante. A visible feast, the lodge’s maze of hallways connects a number of riads, courtyards and hidden nooks to create an expertise that might solely be discovered right here. As an area, its beautiful roof deck is the place to be on Sunday evenings for good tunes and cocktails, however as a visitor you’ll even have entry to its candy swimming pool and restaurant. There’s a magic to this place that by no means leaves you.

Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech

Marrakech travel guide - Fairmont Royal Palm
Marrakech travel guide - Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech

Surrounded by landscaped water gardens and its personal golf course, the Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech is a welcoming oasis with a bounty of luxurious suites and villas. Set on the second stage of the lodge, Middle Eastern restaurant Al Aïn is our go-to for enterprise dinners. The house is candlelit and lined in zelige tiles, and the Lebanese-Moroccan meals is reassuring and ingenious.

Amanjena

Marrakech travel guide - Amanjena

In my fantasy the place I’m both writing a novel or on the run, I’d keep at Amanjena. A masterpiece of Zen-like calm, the Aman employees anticipate your each want, the large villas promote peaceable disconnection, and the pool is sublimely serene—to not point out, the superb Japanese restaurant and completely maintained clay tennis courts.

 

EAT & DRINK

+61

Marrakech travel guide - +61

Affectionally referred to as Marrakech’s lounge, +61 is the place you’ll discover me a number of nights every week. The buzzing room is packed for lunch and dinner with a mixture of in-the-know guests and locals. The trendy, whitewashed house is a respite from the bustle outdoors, proprietor Cassie Karinsky’s type of Australian hospitality makes you’re feeling proper at dwelling and the meals is scrumptious. Fresh, vibrant, genuine flavors from Cassie’s hometown of Bondi Beach fill the menu and the wine listing is stable. I’m scared to rely what number of rooster schnitzels and pavlovas I’ve loved right here.

Farasha Farmhouse

Marrakech travel guide - Farasha Farmhouse
Marrakech travel guide - Farasha Farmhouse

On the Route to Fez, occasion planners Rosena and Fred of Boutique Souk have opened Farasha Farmhouse, so named for the butterflies that zig and zag across the property. Its pièce de résistance is a 50-meter swimming pool surrounded by groupings of sinuous olive bushes. The kitchen is manned by the staff from Mouton Noir, who seems a number of the most scrumptious meals on the town. A uniquely Marrakech mixture of creatives, artists and entrepreneurs are all the time gathered right here.

Terrasse des épices

After a requisite go to to the souks, there’s nothing like an extended lunch at Terrasse des épices—it’s one of many few eating places within the medina with a liquor license. The rooftop overlooks the markets and the menu of Morrocan or International decisions is stable.

Nobu

Marrakech travel guide - Nobu
Marrakech travel guide - Nobu Hotel Marrakech

Nobu, contained in the just lately opened Nobu Hotel Marrakech, is a welcome addition to the restaurant scene right here—it takes Marrakech’s contemporary seafood sport to a special stage. All the classics are on supply, served up in a horny, dimly lit eating room with cool cocktails, reminiscent of a Mahia Negroni.

Blue Ribbon

Newcomer Blue Ribbon is what Marrakech was lacking. A menu with contemporary juices, a killer breakfast sandwich and hearty salads makes the bakery café a great morning and noon hangout location. You can order on the bar for takeaway or snag a seat on the terrace within the again. The proprietor Aziz additionally has plans to open a bookstore, épicerie and sit-down restaurant.

Sesamo

Marrakech travel guide - Sesamo

There’s nothing like dressing up and sliding right into a banquette at Sesamo, the Royal Mansour’s Italian restaurant. It’s the spot to splurge at. The greatest Italian wine listing on the town is paired with superb pastas and a luxe eating room. While you’re at it, the Mansour’s Le Jardin restaurant is unbeatable on a heat day for lunch outdoors.

Sahbi Sahbi

Designed by Paris and Marrakech-based architects Studio KO, Sahbi Sahbi combines conventional Moroccan meals with a beautiful inside lit by Noguchi paper lanterns. An open kitchen—a rarity in Moroccan cooking—is smack in the midst of the restaurant and the open hearth and bustling cooks present loads of ambiance.

Pétanque Social Club

Marrakech travel guide - Petanque Social Club
Marrakech travel guide - Petanque Social Club

Opened by serial restaurateur Kamal Laftimi, Pétanque Social Club’s beautiful courtyard and inside have been just lately featured in The World of Interiors. The elevated consolation meals and funky corners make it onerous to go away. I really like a quiet breakfast or brunch right here.

Comptoir Darna

One of Marrakech’s many late-night spots, the surreal, loud and smoke-filled Le Comptoir will get going after midnight. They host nice DJs, so remember to test the agenda to see who’s slated to play forward of time. The final night time we stopped in, there have been robots on stilts and acrobats hanging from chandeliers, whereas each locals and vacationers climbed on prime of their tables to bop the night time away.

 

SHOP

Moro

Marrakech travel guide - Moro

Nestled subsequent to the Majorelle Gardens, Moro is my very favourite store in Marrakech. The hard-working house owners have created an intoxicating universe that features ready-to-wear, magnificence, perfume and equipment, all of which is elevated and uniquely captures a way of place. The elements of their magnificence merchandise are grown and harvested from Moro’s farm on the Route to Ourika.

The Beni Workshop + Studio

Marrakech travel guide - Beni Rugs
Marrakech travel guide - Beni Rugs

Spanning 8,000 sq. ft, Beni’s new Workshop permits purchasers to see first-hand how the rugs are crafted. Built round a courtyard and a 150-year-old olive tree, the Beni Studio is an ode to design and the artwork of approaching historical custom in new methods. After reserving an appointment, you possibly can tour the weaving flooring, see how rugs are washed after being woven and peruse the newest collections to assist understand your dream rug.

LRNCE

Inspiring inventive powerhouses Laurence Leenaert and Ayoub Boualam have created LRNCE—a superbly colourful model, comprised of homewares, clothes, and ceramics. The identifiable items are hand-painted in refined hues and distinctive types. For these searching for native craft, begin right here.

Souks

Marrakech travel guide - souks
Marrakech travel guide - souks

The well-known souks are a winding, complicated maze of treasures. You’ll discover metalworkers handcrafting lanterns to hawkers of brightly-colored spices, jewellery, argan oil, slippers, leather-based baggage and painted pottery. While there’s a wide range of recommendation on haggling, it’s onerous to present any onerous and quick guidelines. Some sellers don’t negotiate a lot as their costs are already set pretty, others are prepared to take 50 to 60 p.c off their place to begin—you’ll rapidly get a way for which is which. The greatest tactic? A willingness to stroll away.

Marrakchi Life

Located in Sidi Ghanem, Marrakech’s reply to the meatpacking district, Marrakchi Life options daring designs, lovely materials and a novel sense of reduce and elegance which make it my go-to clothes supply in Marrakech. Many shirts that I get complimented on probably the most are from right here–I’ll put on them till they disintegrate.

El Fenn Shop

Marrakech travel guide - ©Cécile Treal

For a contemporary tackle Moroccan crafts, go to the store inside El Fenn. Blankets, housewares, books and clothes dwell alongside one another in an elegant, lofty house.

Nomad Shop

The restaurant is persistently packed because of its ethereal design and prime location—the shop is the place to top off on housewares. Nomad’s spare house is neatly stocked with handcrafted terra cotta cups, delicate plates and distinctive carafes.

 

Explore

Scarabeo Camp

Marrakech travel guide - Scarabeo Camp

A bumpy 35-minute drive from Marrakech, Scarabeo Camp is ideal for a one-night escape from town. You’ll sleep within the desert underneath star-filled skies in easy but lovely white tents. Enjoy a multi-course lunch and actions reminiscent of astronomer-guided stargazing or camel rides by the desert.

Galleries

Marrakech travel guide MCC Gallery
Marrakech travel guide MCC Gallery

Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, MCC Gallery (pictured), Gallery Siniya28 and Gallery 127 are all value a go to to see what’s taking place in Morocco’s up to date scene. One artist to search for at MCC is Amine el Gotaibi—he’s recognized for creating beautiful large-scale installations.

Jemaa el-Fnaa

Marrakech travel guide - ©Signe Bay Billede / El Fenn
Marrakech travel guide - ©Kasia Gatkowska / El Fenn

Marrakech’s important sq.,  Jemaa el-Fnaa, comes alive at night time. You’ll discover snake charmers, monkeys, meals stalls and the well-known contemporary orange juice stands jockeying for place amidst throngs of vacationers and locals. Cafes stuffed with vacationers line the sq.. As all the time, keep watch over your pockets and valuables and watch out about getting concerned in any of the setups going down–you’ll doubtless be requested, insistently, for ideas on the finish of them.

Musée Yves Saint Laurent

Another challenge by the masters at Studio KO, the structure and design of the Musée Yves Saint Laurent constructing alone is a wow, however the rotating exhibitions of the long-lasting French designer’s work are additionally all the time fascinating.

About the Author: Robert Wright is co-founder of Beni Rugs which works with Moroccan craftspeople to create design-forward, made-to-order rugs. The former New Yorker now splits his time between Marrakech and Barcelona.

Marrakech travel guide - Robert Wright

Photo Credits: El Fenn rooftop + store: Cécile Tréal, El Fenn  |  Jemmaa el-Fnaa: Left Signe Bay Billede, El Fenn; Right Kasia Gatkowska, El Fenn



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