Late 19th century palace.
Wonderful examples of typical Moroccan style: carved and painted wooden ceilings and intricate stonework.
The courtyards - some with fountains and tilework, some with gardens - offer a peaceful haven from the heat and noise of the city.
Google map: bit.ly/h4sJJT
Beautiful Riad and Kasbah about 15km outside of Marrakech that is the perfect place to get away from it all for a few days once you have explored the city. The service is impeccable, the rooms are pure luxury and the food is very good (although not the best we had on our trip). The thing that makes this place stand out is the peace and quiet and it gives you the opportunity to just really chill out after the madness of they city itself.
Don't let the slightly hippy name put you off! It is as far as I could find the only veggie cafe with vegan dises.
Morrocan food is great but can be bit of a challenge for strict veggie or vegan. This cafe meets this need. It is also quiet and relaxing contrast to the souk and feels very Moroccan rather than French as other cafes do.
It's inside a riad and is an oasis of calm in the frenzy. Lovely home-cooked organic food and a small gift shop selling organic toiletries and some craft gifts. In the afternoon you can while away the hours or chat to the staff if you want to as there is no hassle. A gem and only wish I had discovered it earlier in the trip
No 2 Derb Zouak Riad Zitoun El Kadim (entering the souk just off the corner of the main square Jmaa el Fna). It was signposted with the Earth sign and locals all knew it
I visited the hotel at the end of May and the hotel was as the brochure described and better. I was there with three friends and we had a "just what the doctor ordered" holiday in terms of relaxation, sleep and lots of laughs. Yes the spa is a little basic at present but the manager, who I didn't feel was arrogant at all, has told me that they will have a newer much larger spa by the end of the year and that there will be more treatments. The food is amazing and the beds are incredibly comfortable, along with all the secret little hidden places. We are all definitely going again next spring to get an early summer tan and help finish the start of the year detox before the summer.
We were in Marrakech early March and found out that many pools were still closed because the temperature of the water is too cold.
We found a place called Caravan Serai just outside Marrakech with a heated pool. We took a taxi (about £10 return) and arrived in a very quiet, lovely place. It is a hotel with a couple of rooms and a decent size swimming pool. We had to pay to use the swimming pool for the day (£15), but this included a very nice lunch. Worth a visit if you want to chill out a day in hectic Marrakech.
We had a wonderful stay at Dar Tassa and enjoyed every second of it. What a beautiful place and what nice and kind people.
Mohammed guided us through the mountains. He spoke English very well and was very kind and told us everything we would like to know
The food was a highlight: they made us some of the best veggie tagines we've had in Morocco and only wish we'd had longer to savour the peace and tranquility of the place.
This is probably the only place in the Medina, 1 min from Djemma el Fna, where you can get a cheap beer. It has seen better days but has loads of atmosphere. The lounge is full of comfy chairs and ornate plasterwork. Waiters, most of whom have also seen better days, shuffle around taking orders for drinks. A great place to meet other travellers or just lounge around when you are souked out.
Corner of Ave El Mouahidine and Rue Bab Agnaou.
Marrakech is a wonderful city but mad and you'll want to wind down and there's no better place than here. Have a hammam and then follow it up with a massage all for under £30! Such beautiful relaxing surroundings. I didn't want to leave.
Riad Mehdi, 2 Derb Sedra, Bab Agnaou.
5 minute walk from main square, ask hotel to book it for you.
The best vantage point to sit and watch the world go by! It's directly on the Djemaa el Fna, with several tiers of balcony, depending on your desired viewpoint. A great place to sit in the sun in the morning with a cafe latte and write your postcards, an even better place to pitch yourself around an hour before sunset and watch as the square springs to life for the evening's activities and soak up the atmosphere. If you're a woman travelling alone it's one of the (sadly) few places to sit and enjoy where you'll feel relaxed and unhassled. Prices are reasonable, the food is pretty good and you won't feel rushed to leave. Be warned though, - get there early! It gets busy and in the evening you can only have a 'front row' seat on the balcony if you are eating.
Also, if you're in Marrakech for more than a few days, escape to the coast to Essaouira. It's a few hours drive away but well worth it, fabulously laid back, with a European hippyish feel to it, this is the place to chill with a beer and watch the sunset over the Atlantic.
Restaurant Argana - on the Djemaa el fna, Marrakech
Palatial! Stunning location at the top of the Imlil Valley at the foot of the Atlas Mountains - one of the most special valleys I've ever been to. It's half-owned by Maurice - a local Berber guy and is run by his friends.
Fantastic walks in the mountains - including Mt Toubkal and great to soak in the hamman afterwards. Has upmarket rooms, but the cheaper dorms were good enough for me and four others.
Best time to go apparently is October or November, though was great at New Year.
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