Marrakech has always been a city which was high on my bucket list, so finally going there felt like a dream come true. I could not wait to see the famous souks everybody talks about, the colors, the spices, all the handmade products, the mosaics and the mosks.
From the outside I could not believe that our hotel, ’Les jardins de la Koutboubia’, would look so breathtaking from the inside. It felt like walking into another world. The hotel is based in the city centre, right next to ‘Place Jemaa El Fna’ and the ‘Koutboubia’ which are two minutes away from the souks. By seeing our suite I was blown away. The suite was big, had a pretty balcony with white curtains and a pool underneath it. I could also see the Koutoubia and everyday we got fresh red roses and rose leaves scattered around. Being as curious as I am, I could NOT wait to see the souks, so we decided to freshen up quickly and walk straight to the souks.
I felt overexcited by seeing the souks, Place Jemaa El Fna and the local people. It was how I imagined it. Lots of colors, gorgeous products, an overload of Moroccan sweets, dates, figs, nuts and the smell of spices and incense. On the Place we bought a fresh orange juice. There you find tons of little wagons with guys selling orange juice for 4DH which is 0,40 euro cent. They all want to sell their juices, so from a distance they start screaming for you to come to their wagon. Really funny!
We of course also bought the famous argan oil and some pieces of musk- and rose soap.
This we bought in a little shop and not on the market. We were taken there by a guy who told us that the products in this shop are pure and the oils are not blended, but who knows if that was true or not. We were pricewise totally ripped off, but we had a good laugh.
After our little souk tour that evening we walked back to our hotel and had dinner in the restaurant located next to the pool. Here they serve traditional Moroccan food. Not that great unfortunately, but nothing could make me feel unsatisfied about this day anymore.
We stared our day with a breakfast in the hotel next to the pool. A stunning breakfast in buffet form with a very big variety of food, nothing was missing. Since I am a real breakfast person this made me very happy! After the breakfast we walked to El Fenn, just around the corner. El Fenn is another amazing place to stay. It only has 28 rooms/suites, but it is extremely pretty and I felt right at home instantly. It won the ‘Smith Award’ for the best dressed hotel in 2014. I would not call it an hotel, but more something like a finca. The place was fully booked for the period we wanted to come, so maybe next time we will stay there. If you ever travel to Marrakech, please do have a look at El Fenn, it’s like a small paradise.
After El Fenn we walked to ‘Le Jardin Majorelle’. It took us about 30 minutes from Place Jemaa El Fna. Before entering Le Jardin Majorelle, we had lunch at ‘Koawa’, an organic café, opposite Le Jardin Majorelle. I had a small quinoa salad, a vegetarian quiche and a carrot/orange/ginger juice. All very tasty. The cobalt blue wall and the bright yellow pots with Aloe were the things I totally loved about this place ’Le Jardin Majorelle! It was a very hot day, so we walked back to the hotel and cooled down in the pool. We heard about a beautiful restaurant called ‘La Tanija’ so after getting dressed up we walked to that restaurant. We of course walked over the Place Jemaa El Fna, because I can’t tell you how amazing that place looks when the sun goes down. The light is a kind of orange/gold, it’s smokey, it’s warm and you still see the people working. The place is filled with simple open air barbeques and ‘restaurants’ and the smell is a mix of incense, food, barbeque and orange juice. The Tanija is indeed a very beautiful restaurant. The food is ok and you will also find some belly dancers here. After diner we took a taxi back to our hotel. Well, not in front of the door, because the road was blocked by the police. There was a major prayer going on next to the Koutoubia because of the Ramadan. Very impressive to see and hear! We had one last drink at the Piano bar in our hotel, next to the pool, before we were off to bed after this lovely day.
Same as yesterday we stared our day with a breakfast in the hotel next to the pool. After we had breakfast we stayed at the pool till lunch time. After lunch we took a shower and walked through the souks to the pretty ‘Musée de Marrakech’. I have a kind of crush on the color turquoise, so this place I really loved. Lots of mosaic and old wooden turquoise doors. After visiting the museum we went to the Arabic and Berber tanneries. At the Arabic tannery they mainly use skins of small animals like goats for example and the entire process is natural, no chemicals. At the Berber tannery you will find the skins of much bigger animals like camels and they do use chemicals.
At the end of this visit we were pretty far away from the hotel, so we found a driver on a tricycle and he drove us around Marrakech back to the Place Jemaa El Fna. I would definitely recommend a drive like this, because you see a lot, you don’t need to sit in a taxi, but in the open air and it’s just so much fun! Once we arrived back on Place Jemaa El Fna we found such a cute three storey cafe where we drunk a virgin mojito and a pineapple-lime juice on the small, cosy roof terrace. From here you could see the Place very properly.
Some more juices further we walked back to our hotel. We sat on the balcony for a bit and got changed for dinner. The woman behind the reception told us that the hotel counts three restaurants, so we decided to now try the Indian restaurant located on the rooftop of our hotel. We found out that there was not only a restaurant but another gorgeous pool with a Koutboubia view! The food at the Indian restaurant was seriously tasty! Much better than the food in the restaurant downstairs. We had some very yummy vegetarian samosas to start with, a vegetarian kurma and a spinach dish. The coconut lassi they serve is to die for and so was the dessert! A frozen pineapple filled with homemade vanilla and pineapple ice cream topped with white rum. It’s called ‘Pinacolada’. When we walked back to the suite, we passed the Piano bar again, so we decided to end this beautiful day with a drink outside of this bar. We had a Bloody Marry, very well made, and a fresh mint tea. I am so in love this tea!
Starting of with the usual; my lovely breakfast, fresh yogurt, a mix of fresh fruits, oats, bran, almonds, figs, dried abricots, dates and fresh mint tea.
After this we walked through the spice market to the ‘Palais Bahia’. Both an absolute must see! I just love the smell, the mosaics and the old building too much. After this we walked through the souks and the metal market back to the hotel. The metal market is unreal. What these people make is really handmade art and the place where it all happens looks like a movie set.
Once back at the hotel, we took it easy. We went to the pool deck on the rooftop and chilled there for a couple of hours. I really needed some time to actually deal with all the new impressions. While doing this I ordered again a fresh mint tea, can’t count them anymore.. And a coconut lassi! That really felt and tasted good!
After our time off at the pool, we got changed and had diner again on that same rooftop at the Indian restaurant and some ‘day closing cocktails’ at the Piano bar.
This day was a day I was really looking forward to! After breakfast we were off to the famous hotel ‘La Manounia’. I so badly wanted to visit this hotel, because of all the photos I had seen online. We had lunch here and a cocktail at the pool and o my bloody god, this place is a stunner!
The hotel has lots of art, mosaic, a breathtaking inside pool, designer shops, patios, a garden, a big outside pool with bar, and so on…. For lunch we ordered panini’s with grilled vegetables which came with fries and our tea and cappuccino came with such tasty cookies that I wanted to eat them all! I would really recommend this place for lunch! Also the cocktails at the pool were very well made!
Because we had to fly back in the middle of the night, this was my last day to shop!
I again went to the souks to buy some leather bags, belts and hand painted plates. After buying the third bag I understood how it works. So here is a tip: If the person who sells the item to you asks for example 250DH (25 euro) for it, you directly tell them that you simply only have 120DH (12 euro) left. You show them your 120DH. First the person who sells will say something like: ‘I want 180DH for it’. You again show that 120DH is what you have left, nothing more! If he doensn’t react, just say: ‘Ok, sorry’. His reaction will always be: Ok.. you can have it for 120DH. Yay! How I found out? I really only had 120DH left. so I didn’t lie. I of course found it a funny experiment to try again. So I drew some money, told the guy of the plate I wanted to buy it, he asked 250DH (25 euro) I said: ‘I really I only have 100DH left, look..’ And he said: Ok lady, 100DH is fine!
I feel absolutely blessed to be able to have done this trip, to have seen this beauty, to have shared it with amazing people and now to share it with you!