There’s something about Marrakech that draws you in and leaves you utterly spellbound. But as the desert winds shift, what that is, becomes increasingly difficult to pin down. Is it the heady scent of spices from the souks mingling with the crisp air of the Atlas Mountains? Or the privacy of an ornate Riad contrasting to the labyrinthine streets of the Medina? Over the years, we’ve found ourselves turning down every narrow sidestreet and crossing every square to discover the best of what Marrakech has to offer. From vintage sidecar adventures to culinary tours through the spice market and walking the medina by candlelight, we’ve unearthed some of the most unique and immersive ways to see the city. So, if you’re looking for a luxury vacation to Marrakech and wondering what to do and where to go, have a little read of our Marrakech Must Dos and we’re sure you’ll find the answer.
At the crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Moroccan cuisine is as bold and bright as the combination would suggest. Fluffy couscous studded with fruits and spices, fresh seafood caught off the Atlantic coastline and tagines mastered and passed down through the generations. No matter where you turn, aromatic spices seem to fill the air. From delicate zaafran beldi to sweet karfa, Morocco is famous for its spices; so much so, it created an irresistible combination of 27 of the best to produce the irreplicable Ras el Hanout. But where do you go to taste these culinary delights? Here are a few of what we consider to be among the best restaurants in Marrakech:
Latitude 31 Leading the way in fusion cuisine in Marrakech, Latitude 31 is set around a charming garden oasis and consistently astounds with classic dishes given a modern touch and homely flavours elegantly refined to produce something quite exquisite.
Gastro MK Bringing to life Morocco’s colonial history with a French spin on classic dishes, head chef Omar El Ouahssoussi’s famous five-course tasting menu is truly unmissable. Incredibly intimate with space for just 20 diners and standout dishes including sea bass with a chermoula salsa, it’s one to book in advance.
Le Restaurant at La Maison Arabe For authentic Moroccan, dinner here is a must. Dining on a traditional Moroccan menu beneath a handpainted zouaké ceiling, you’ll fall in love with Moroccan cuisine forever. So why not swing by the Maison’s famous cooking school the next day and learn how to replicate it all at home?
Le Jardin Hidden away down a secluded Medina alleyway, Le Jardin brings a touch of French elegance and refinement to the bustle of the Marrakech’s old town. So come spend a relaxed evening, enjoying a film screening whilst feasting on Moroccan classics and organic specialities.
The world over, our favourite luxury experiences have always been those that you can’t find in your ordinary guidebook; and Marrakech is no exception. We’ve taken the classics and reinvented them with signature Black Tomato style to give you an experience which is that bit more remarkable, that bit more memorable and that bit more extraordinary. ‘How?’ You ask? Let us show you:
Camel Riding If you’ve been looking at a trip to Morocco, chances are, you’ve seen a picture of a camel. If not, see above. Reminiscent of the traditional ways of the Berber culture, camels treks offer an authentic glimpse into Morocco. But for the best camel treks? You need to get out of the city and take to the sands of the Sahara. Disappearing into the dunes of Erg Chebbi as the sun sets behind you is truly the most magical way to end a day in Morocco. For something a bit closer to Marrakech, the stony wilderness of the Agafay Desert offers a camel ride with a cultural kick as you discover hidden oases and sleepy Berber villages before stopping off for a local lunch. Be it daylight or dusk, it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
Trek the Atlas Mountains Marrakech isn’t just about its culture and cuisine and just a short distance outside of the city walls, you’ll find the Atlas Mountains and an opportunity to get your blood pumping. Best visited in Spring and Autumn, when temperatures are at the optimum of not-too-hot and not-too-cold, the mountains stretch 600km and rise all the way up to snow-capped peaks before falling away to plunging green gorges. For the best view of the range, embark on a three-day hike up to the summit of Mt. Toubkal, encountering traditional Berber Villages that cling to the cliffside as you go.
So you’ve booked the flights, lined up a sunset camel ride and bagged the hottest dinner reservation in the city – but what about the hotel? Marrakech is famous for its intimate and ornate Riads, hidden behind unassuming doors of the Medina. But there’s also a healthy dose of palatial splendour, rustic wilderness and canvas beneath star-strewn skies to be had if you know where to look. Luckily, we do:
La Mamounia Just outside of the Medina walls, La Mamounia is a taste of the royal treatment. Set within the beautiful royal gardens and with a whole host of restaurants, each as mouthwatering as the last, to choose from; it’s a truly luxurious base from which to explore the city
Villa des Orangers A traditional Riad on the exterior, but effortlessly luxurious the moment you step inside, Villa des Orangers offers peaceful respite within this bustling city. A place where orange trees fill the courtyard and the air swirls with the scent of rose from the hammam, it’s our first port of call whenever we need to hit the reset button.
Kasbah Tamadot Outside the city and perched high up in the Atlas Mountains, Kasbah Tamadot is a peaceful sanctuary where the views really speak for themselves. A masterclass in mountain luxury, spend a few nights curled up in a Berber Tent, hiking the hills by day and dining beneath the stars by night.
Scarabeo Camp To really experience the wide-open expanse of Morocco’s desert, it has to be Scarabeo. Deep within the Agafay Desert that borders Marrakech, swap the hum of the medina for the silence of the desert. Chic canvas tents with every modern convenient set beneath wide open skies and around crackling fires, it’s back to basics in the most luxurious way imaginable.
Dar Alham If we were to conjure up an image of a desert oasis in our heads, chances are, it would look exactly like Dar Alham. Pastel pink walls that perfectly set off against desert sands and swaying palms, this ‘house of dreams’ is one you’ll never want to wake up from.
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