Marrakech is a Must Visit for Travelers

Marrakech, Morocco is one of those places that a traveler has to go at some point in their lives. There is an almost mythical, ancient Tuareg connotation to the name and the modern day city is both what you’d expect and also completely different. Marrakech has an old core that really hasn’t changed too much over the millennia but a modern city with ultra luxury properties, shopping malls, and restaurants has engulfed the ancient core. Marrakech is old and new, hectic and peaceful and Marrakech is a must visit for travelers.
Marrakech, Morocco, old city wall, colors
I first visited Marrakech in 2007 for 5 days during a 3-week trip around Morocco and Western Sahara. I remember thinking that I really liked Marrakech with the great old souk, the mesmerizing main square and the colorful, luxurious and affordable riads in the old city-where I stayed. I thought it was pretty awesome. But on my recent trip to Marrakech, my perception of Moroccan luxury changed. I stayed at the La Mamounia Hotel and Resort just outside the old city.
La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco, luxury, hotel
La Mamounia is a world-renowned property and one of the most beautiful and luxurious properties I’ve ever seen. It was named as the best urban hotel in the world by Conde Nast Traveler in 2013 and who could argue? It’s a different kind of luxury than an ultra luxurious brand name hotel would be-it feels more local. La Mamounia is true to what you think of when you think Moroccan luxury.
view from bed, La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco, luxury, hotel
The rooms are like ancient riads decorated with timeless mosaics and beautiful colors. Even all the doors in the rooms are amazing (This is the first time I’ve ever mentioned a door in anything I’ve written). It all fits together and gives you the feel of how the ancient bourgeoisie lived in Morocco.
La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco, luxury, hotel, door
Walking around La Mamounia is like walking through an ancient art museum. Everything is impeccable and you’re almost afraid to touch things but you want to take a photo of everything.
La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco, luxury, hotel, courtyard
The lighting is dark but it adds to the allure of the masterpiece that is the hotel. That may sound odd but that’s what I was thinking the whole time I was there-I was walking in a masterpiece. La Mamounia is that beautiful.
La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco, luxury, hotel, spa
La Mamounia has a 27,000 square foot spa where I got a one-hour Hammam and then a one-hour massage. The spa itself is incredible and looks like it was painted on canvas. In practice, the Hammam and massage were equally good albeit a different Hammam than I am used to. In Morocco it’s less about water and more about scrubbing and skin; which took me a few minutes to get used to but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless.
La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco, luxury, hotel, pool, view
There are a handful of top notch restaurants on property including a delicious Moroccan and Italian place that are highly recommended. Additionally, the poolside lunch and breakfast buffets are outstanding, plus the views are tough to beat. Don’t forget to have some evening cocktails at the Italian Bar-my favorite in the hotel.
La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco, luxury, hotel, Italian Bar
There are also gardens to walk around and get lost in. The whole walled property is quite massive and takes some time to see everything. Perspective changes based on time of day and it’s worth having several walks around at different times. It’s very peaceful and very different from the hectic city that surrounds the beautiful oasis of La Mamounia.
La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco, luxury, hotel, gardens
Just a ten-minute walk from La Mamounia is the old city and main square of Marrakech. This is what most people think of when they think of Marrakech; snake charmers, hockers, night markets, the old souk, spices, touts, noise and everything you want from a bygone era. This is it.
Marrakech, cobras, Jemma el Fna Square, Old city
Jemaa el Fna Square is the center of Marrakech and the first and usually last stop for all travelers in Marrakech. Aside from a lot of picture worthy street scenes, it’s where you enter the souk and get those memorable souvenirs and lasting photo memories. Whether you like Jemaa el Fna and the old souk or not, you will remember it-that’s for sure.
Mosque, Marrakech, old city
It’s important to note that you should probably take a guide with you when you first enter the souk as it gets very confusing and there’s a high probability that you’ll get lost at some point. It’s also important to note that any time you take a photo in Jemaa el Fna Square and often times in the souk, the person or shop owner will ask for money.
souk, Marrakech, Morocco
This is how many of them make a living so be prepared with small amounts of money. Be it dirhams or dollars, have small denominations because no matter what-they won’t have or offer change!
Marrakech, Morocco, souk, shop
Aside from the old town and the amazing hotels, Marrakech has a modern city that has sprung up over the last decade or so. It also has the Majorelle Garden-which is a must visit in Marrakech.
Majorelle Garden, Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech, Morocco
Yves Saint-Laurent had owned Majorelle Garden since 1980 and when he died a few years ago, his ashes were scattered in Majorelle Garden. It is an impossibly beautiful place and well worth a visit.
Majorelle Garden, Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech, Morocco, cacti
The colors are breathtaking and the landscapes are stunning. It will be crowded with tourists without a doubt but it’s big enough that you can still find some open areas to enjoy the garden and get some great photos!
Majorelle Garden, Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech, Morocco
Outside of the old city, about a 15-minute drive into a trendy new section of Marrakech you can find the restaurant Bo & Zin. The restaurant is incredibly trendy and really popular with the French jet set. On the night we were there, it was packed with models and other European/Moroccan bougie types.
Bo & Zin, restaurant, DJ
That said, the Asian fusion food was also excellent and well worth a trip out. You will 100% not feel like you’re in the rest of Marrakech. It really gives you perspective on where Marrakech is going and how Europeans view it as a place to party. To be honest, it reminded me of Koi in Los Angeles in many ways both in look, feel, trendiness and food.
Marrakech, Morocco, souk
So Marrakech the second time was a much more in depth look into the city old and new than my first visit 7 years ago. Marrakech can be as opulent as you want it to be but it can also be your doorway into the past. Either way, Marrakech is a must visit for travelers.
Spices, Marrakech, Morocco
Disclaimer: I was hosted on my stay in Marrakech at La Mamounia. All opinions expressed in this post are my own, based on my experience, and have not been influenced in any way.

Comments

  1. The colors in these photos are incredible and the hotel looks divine.

    My next bucket list destination and hotel, thanks!

  2. That hotel is totally out of our price range I’m sure, but I think next year’s vacation is going to be Morocco for 5-6 days (plus 5 days in Andalucia, Spain, and then about 8-9 days in Lamezia Terme Italia). Our tentative thought is ferry from Spain to Tangier, then Fes, then Casablanca, then Marakkesh. But we’d also like go out on camels on an overnight. Think Casablanca is worth keeping in the intinerary? It’s the one we were considering cutting to allow more time elsewhere. Any thoughts on the rest of the Morocco plan?

    • Hey Carina, ya sometimes the spam filter catches comments that aren’t spam. They send us a note and We approve it as not spam-sorry it did that.

      Casablanca is really not a nice place to be honest. THe only thing worth doing to be honest in Casablanca is the Mosque. It’s the 7th biggest in the world I believe and makes a nice photo from across the water and inside.

      Marrakech is excellent as I said here and the rest of Morocco I love as well-I’ve been pretty much everywhere in Morocco and Casablanca is the only place I didn’t really like.

      But sounds like an amazing trip and remember you can ferry from Tangier or Ceuta to Spain and/or Gibraltar

  3. It won’t let me comment!

    Sorry, but our system has determined you may be a spammer. If you believe this to be an error, please contact us so that we can rectify the situation.

    I was just writing to tell you where we are thinking of going next year on our first trip to Morocco!

  4. It looks simply stunning since the re-do. It was always the place to stay and like the Taj in Bombay you saw at least 5 people you knew by the pool or in the lobby. Before the re-do it was becoming a bit shabby..but still a place you might see in an old RKO or WB movie. Was that Hedy talking to Sydney…and what did you buy in the souk?

  5. The best Place To Visit In Morocco says:

    is our First time in Morocco but Erg Chebbi Is the best part of it
    Riding a camel in the dunes is genuinely fun. Yes, it is all touristy, no one is riding camels in the dunes for an authentic purpose or anything (although riding the camel is much easier than trying to walk in the sand dunes, which is really tiring after a while), but touristy or not, this was a highlight of our trip and was SO fun.

    We went for sunrise, so we set out around 6am, while it was still pitch black. This had benefits because we could really not see what we were getting into until the light started coming and then the huge dunes emerged into sight. Totally worth the early morning wake-up. Also, that early there are no motorized vehicles in the dunes yet, so it was quiet and peaceful. As the sun started to rise, more tourists showed up to watch on other peaks of other dunes. What do you expect, though? It is a gorgeous, amazing natural place. A lot of humans are going to want to see it.

    At sunrise in late Dec. it was cold and there was a bit of a breeze, so warm attire (hat, gloves, coat, wool socks) at that time of year is recommended. You will get warm if you get off the camels and start hiking up the dunes, however, but when you stop, you will get chilled.

    one other cool thing about the early morning camel ride out in the dunes is that the sun is low, so you get these amazing photographs (and videos) of the shadows that the camels / riders cast on the dunes.

    Best part: I saw a shooting star … while riding a camel … in the dunes of the Sahara Desert. A great sentence to be able to say. and Of course We Thanks Hakim and hes team who orgaize this Trip http://www.Moroccandeserttrips.com

  6. I’m going to Marrakech later this week. Really looking forward to it.

  7. Great post dear! I am just planning to visit Marrakesh this summer. I understand it is very very hot, it can be a big problem for us. We Were thinking of spending 2 days in Atlas mountains and 3 days in Marrakesh.
    It would be grateful for some advice.

  8. Great post! Marrakesh has been on my list for a long time and I can’t wait to visit. Love the photos 😀

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