A Morning at the Majorelle Gardens
The Majorelle Garden is one of my favorite sites in Marrakech. This botanic garden initially created by the reknowned painter Jacques Majorelle is an enchanting haven. We can find here water bodies filled with lotus flowers and water lilies as well as mind blowing and colorful alleys arbored with exotic plants and vegetation. Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé have once called this place durring the 80’s. They have rehabilitated the beautiful colonial building with moroccan details that Jacques Majorelle has built and have renamed it La Villa Oasis. The Majorelle gardenis today known throughout the world and the color Majorelle (intense blue seen in the Atlas by Jacques Majorelle) has become a signature color. I love spending time there, taking wonder flicks and shop replicas of the wonderful gift cards drawn by YSL himself every year in decembre in his house for his beloves ones.
A shopping spree in the Medina
The Medina of Marrakech or also known as the old city is, for me, the most magical place in the clay city.
I can spend an entire day strolling throught its beautiful scenic streets. In some of them, you would think that time has frozen. The old cities’ life is very busy and ancestral craftsmenship know how lives on through the hands of the local workers. Tinsmiths, goldsmiths, and craftsmen perpetrate this ancestral know-how. Flamboyant colors, the smell of spices, of warm bread sizzling out of the bakeries along with the sounds of the busy city will transport you into what I like to call, the Real Marrakech.
What continually impresses me, is the ability of our handicraft to renovate itself and keep up with modern time without losing its identity. Hence, we may find thousands of babouch types, jewelery but also home decoration items both beautiful and original.
In its apparent choas, the medina is very well organized. One may find different craftships in differents sections. Towards the Semmarine you shall find fabric and cloths, further down leather goods and as you reach the Place des Epices you shall find herbalists and spice sellers. This always impressed me !
A mint tea on the rooftops of the medina
A must see in Marrakech, the mint tea is the symbol of hospitality and sharing. Every wonderful moment begins with a sip of of this wonderful mint tea extra sweet if possible.
Myself being a huge fan of our national beverage, I would strongly recommend that one goes on a discovery of the different blends avaiblable in this wonderful city. There is nothing better than sipping on a delicious mint tea infused with saffron, cinnamon, or other amazing aromas of the region (verbena for example) while admiring the city light of the clay city shinning at a distance.
An orange juice on the Jamaa El Fnaa square
It is no secret, the fresh pressed orange juice of the Jamaa El Fna square is to put it simply, the best in world ! Refreshing and natural at an unbeatable price (just about 50 cent euros the glass). The sellers in their cozy and decorated booths strive to offer their best smiles in order to seduce you into buying their juice over their neighbors. My personal favorite ? The number 15 on the right facing the Koutoubia
A sunset at the Scarabeo Camp in the desert of Agafay
A breath taking setting ? An actual desert barely 40 minutes from Marrakech ? That is exactly what Scarabeo Camp proposes ! A camp with white curtains and drapes, authentic tents in the midst of moonlit setting. I simply love this place for its one of a kind charm and for the warm welcole offered by its hosts. One can spend the day in the desert and sleep under a sky full of stars ! At night, its bonfire mode and candle-lit diners in a tent with oriental music playing in the background. A change of scenery and escape from reality guaranteed !
A dive into the indoor pool of the Fairmont Royal Palm
Impressively high ceilings, moucharaby alcoves, a round the year heated swimming pool and vegetation covering the walls, this is heavenly interior design of the indoor pool area of the Fairmont Royal Palm. I adore going for a swim following an amazing hammam or bask away in a deckchair while sipping on a fresh lemonade.
A typical Marrakchi lunch aka The Tanjia !
Going all the way to Marrakech and not tasting the Tanjia, is exactly like going all the way to Paris and not succombing to a butter ham sandwich or fresh croissants !
For the little anecdote, this meal cooked in a clay pot for around 7 hours in the hot coals of the traditional wooden oven used to heat the Hammams (Fornatchi) is generaly prepared by the men on Sundays.
Indeed, on Sundays the locals love to get together with their families and have lunch outdoors on the outskirts of town in places like the valley of Ourika for instance. The Tanjia will therefore begin its cooking Saturday night and shall be delightfully eaten Sunday afternoon. The meal conserved in its clay container will keep all its warmth and freshness. A incredible delight to be absolutely tried !
A ride in a hot air balloon at sunrise
Are you hesitating as to what to do on the weekend ? The Fairmont proposes a little ride amongst the clouds. The wake up call is at around 5 am and is absolutely worth it ! The program ? A ride in a 4x4 with breakfast under a berber tent just before soaring around Marrakech and its region. All this simply by asking for it at the concierge service of the Fairmont. For those of you who would rather not wake up this early, the Hotel proposes special flights durring the legendary Garden Brunch occasions !
A ride on Camel back in the Palm Grove
The Palm Grove of Marrakech is classified as a national heritage of UNESCO. I have lived there for over 10 years and it is also one of the iconic places that make up the magic of Marrakech. If you’d like to discover its meanders, I recommend a ride along Camel back if possible at sunset !
A shopping stop at the Lahandira
Today it is only fair to say that Moroccan handicrafts is knowing its best ages ! We can therefore find the very best hand made Berber rugs in the most high end show rooms from New York to Melbourne ! Being a Moroccan woman, daughter of an interior decorator, I have grown in the midst of design while tagging along with my mother in her shopping sprees in the heart of the city !
One of my favorite places is the Lahandira where one can find the most authentic and refined rugs sold in the four corners of the world ! It is also one of the most Instagrammable sites in the Medina. Ismail from the Lahandira will host you with a huge smile and of course, a warm cup of mint tea ! He will tell you all about the various stars and celebrities that have purchased their rugs from the Lahandira and with who is still regularily in contact with ! Ask him to show the flicks taken by the Vogue USA team durring their stay in Marrakech on the rooftop overlooking the whole Medina.
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