TRAVEL / RECOMMENDATIONS
Top 4 Places to Stay
After visiting Marrakech last October and falling in love with the city, I couldn’t wait to return. Jenai and I decided it would be the best place for our upcoming wedding (but more on that in another post, soon to come) and after meeting with our wedding planners Boutique Souk, who also happen to be an awesome point of call for travel within Morocco, our second visit was nothing short of magical.
My wedding planner Rosena insisted we get a complete taste of what Marrakech had to offer and suggested four stunning hotels for our eight-night stay. Each one offering something completely different to the last. I can’t wait to talk you through them below.
El Fenn is a riad located in the heart of the Medina. It took us about ten minutes to drive there from the airport and was the first stop on our list. I’m really going to try and contain my enthusiasm for this hotel because I could go on and on about how much I adore it.
Instantly you get a feel for where you are when arriving because cars can not get to the entrance and so you make your way down (luggage and all) to the huge black doors in the medina (about a 30 second walk from the main road) and you are welcomed into a vast array of colour and energy.
When we checked into our ‘medium’ room, my excitement for our visit continued to grow, I felt as though I was a guest in someone’s home, there are no formal locks on doors with electric keys, instead, everything is as authentic as you could imagine. Our room had a sunken round bath tub and fireplace, windows that opened up into the open terrace and a lounge area decorated with traditional Moroccan finishes.
It was the perfect blend of romantic, sexy and chic.
The rest of the riad lived up to my initial excitement, there’s more than one beautiful courtyard to relax and unwind in, including a hammock (which I made complete Instagram use out of), three pools to cool down and have a dip in and a boutique which had me wanting to spend all of my money before I’d even had a taste of what the neighbouring souks offered.
Every morning a tray of tea and fresh coffee is placed on the lounge area outside your room so you can step out and enjoy a drink before having to even ask someone for anything and then head up to the roof for breakfast. Jenai and I enjoyed dinner during one of our evenings at El Fenn and the menu was a perfect mix of traditional and contemporary.
I genuinely fell in love with Marrakech a little more thanks to the vibrancy and hospitality that El Fenn offered and I could not recommend a stay here anymore if I tried.
But if I’m not doing too well at convincing you, bare in mind that there are more than one resident tortoises at El Fenn and they are just too cute for words.
Le Palais Paysan
LOCATION- ATLAS MOUNTAINS
For the second stop during our stay, we were booked into the beautiful Le Palais Paysan, a boutique hotel with only 16 rooms. It boasts stunning architecture set against a gorgeous backdrop of the Atlas Mountains and the drive up to the hotel is like being transported back to simpler times.
It’s only about 20 minutes away from the medina but you have to drive up through old villages to arrive and on the way there, you get a real sense of Morocco. Not to mention, a killer view.
Jenai and I just so happened to be there on a night when no other guests had checked in and having this entire place to ourselves for the night, was so romantic. We stayed out by the pool until sunset, had dinner on the terrace of the restaurant overlooking the mountains and in the morning, stepped out into our garden to see guests had checked in and were already enjoying the horse riding facilities that the hotel offered. It was so serene.
One of my favourite features of this hotel, bar the wonderful hospitality is the huge rose garden at the entrance, everything about this place makes me feel calm and peaceful, it’s a must visit if you’re up for some peace, quiet and zen.
LOCATION- ROAD TO OURIKA
There is nothing that could have been any more different to our previous hotel than The Source. It’s tucked away in what feels like the middle of nowhere and is dedicated to music and wellness.
We got there when the sun was blazing on a Saturday afternoon to a buzzing crowd scattered around a huge pool and live band. It was so energetic and fun, we instantly loved the vibe.
Again, it’s a boutique hotel with just 13 rooms, each with their own personality, we stayed in ‘Made in Heaven’, and the surrounding landscape is so pretty and so full of life it feels as though you are in an oasis of scent and aroma walking around the hotel. I was spoiled for choice when it came to shooting pictures here.
The Source is mainly known for music, but I personally fell in love with their spa. We experienced one of their signature hammams which was incredible, and I then got to try a unique ‘Sound of Silence’ treatment which has set a new bar for ultimate relaxation.
If you’re interested in a fun getaway with a group of friends, this is the destination just for that. Plus it serves one of the best poolside burgers, I’ve ever had.
Our fourth and final stop was the destination I was most looking forward to. La Mamounia is probably one of the most renowned hotels in Marrakech and I was so excited to experience a stay for the first time.
We checked in to what can only be described as another level of luxury, everywhere I turned, there was something new to take in. The vast amount of rich heritage in our surroundings was evident and after settling into our room, a beautiful suite with a view of the vast gardens, I opted to take a tour of the hotel.
I couldn’t wait to see the courtyards, the indoor pool and explore the gardens. I was not disappointed, it was truly magnificent.
Although La Mamounia was evidently luxurious and a much larger hotel, there was no cultural shortage. I still very much felt as though I was in Marrakech and I’m so pleased that the vastness of the hotel didn’t lose any sense of its heritage.
I adored La Mamounia, it’s the perfect destination for a couple, the food was wonderful, of course, the staff were super attentive, and visually it was like nothing I’d seen before. Needless to say, I would recommend adding it to your list.
LOCATION- ON THE FOOT OF THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS
Although I didn’t stay again during this trip, I just had to include my experience at Royal Palm Marrakech in my round up of hotels. You would have seen these images before as I’ve featured this beautiful hotel previously, but it’s 100% worth an inclusion in my list.
Royal Palm Marrakech is a wonderful mix of Moroccan and contemporary design with some of my favourite interiors to grace a hotel, ever. When Jenai and I stayed last October, it was difficult to get us to leave. We barely saw Marrakech because all we wanted to do was enjoy the beautiful spa, pool and not to mention delicious food. I still rave about the lobster dinners I had here. So good!
I’m currently in the process of re-booking Royal Palm Marrakech for my next trip to Morocco, and I highly suggest a visit if you’re planning one too.