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Honeymoon Destinations: Marrakech

Thursday 22nd March 2018
Colour and chaos. The heart of Marrakech invites a truly sensory experience, where narrow streets and alleyways form a labyrinth of energy enough to electrify the soul. The smells of spice fill the air, preparing the way for all the Northern African flavours that lay behind restaurants’ doors. But the joy of every trip to Marrakech, especially for those on their honeymoon adventure, is the peaceful charm of the riad courtyard as you curl up with a cup of tea and enjoy a quiet moment in the arms of your love.
Posted under: places Tagged: #destinations #honeymoon

Marrakech is truly a place of adventure, but not necessarily the kind where you’ll be trekking up mountains or diving in deep waters. This Moroccan city is a destination for those who wish to immerse themselves wholeheartedly into a different culture and embrace all the unique aspects of this vibrant destination. Diemaa El-Fina is the pulse of the city and will undoubtedly have a place on your travel agenda. Here you’ll find all the narrow streets and colourful doorways that you see in the pictures. If you’re staying in Diemaa El-Fina, or just stopping by for the day, be sure to fit in some sightseeing as you meander through the town. The city is home to the Majorelle Gardens and the museum of the Yves Saint Laurent, an attraction that hosts many visitors for guided tours that offer a glimpse into the mind of the fashion icon. While exploring the historic gardens that Yves himself helped to conserve, don’t forget to snap a photo in front of the iconic logo display – that’s a memory you are going to want to post for sure.

Although you will naturally want to see as many sites as you can, it’s important to note the unique pace of life in Marrakech that often forces you to reimagine your agenda on a daily basis. It’s clear that everyone has their job to do, and this often means that you’re at the mercy of someone else’s schedule. This isn’t entirely a bad thing. Allow yourself to roll with the punches and journey through your vacation with a keen awareness of the present. Try not to think too hard about where your going next or what must-see attractions you want to cross off your list. Rather, enter into the adventure with little expectations other than the sheer thrill that you’re in a totally new and exciting environment.

Of course, there are practical steps that should be taken to help your trip to run as smoothly as possible. The first is to note the significance of haggling and hustling on the city streets. Almost every price is negotiable and, unless you want to walk away having paid a marked-up price, you have to be prepared to do a little bargaining. This is all part of the fun, however it’s an important consideration for those travellers who are not comfortable with bargaining or simply do not enjoy the often time-consuming process of purchasing something as simple as a mere trinket. Nonetheless, honeymooners travelling to Marrakech should be aware and try to book as many logistical things in advance as possible, like travel cards, accomodation and telecommunication arrangements. This will, at the very least, remove some stress when it comes to the necessities of getting around the city without being ‘ripped off.’

How To Fill Your Time

The heart of Marrakech is vibrant and bustling, full of adventures and activities to fill your time. This being said, it’s also a place where you are drawn to appreciate the art of relaxation and an awareness of the present. The markets of Medina are a great place to start and guarantee a memorable experience. Tourists love to flock here on their travels and expect to drive a hard bargain, haggling with vendors for the best possible price. There are spice blends and authentic Moroccan ingredients on offer, as well as finer goods like brass jewellery, scarfs and the most remarkable rugs. But if crowds aren’t really your thing, you can always pay a visit to the many souks that surround the city – similar to local boutiques – and offer an authentic shopping experience at a milder pace than the markets. Another thing you should be mindful of, and perhaps the most important thing to note: be very wary of the monkeys. Yes, they are just about everywhere, and yes, they do steal people’s belongings as you might have already anticipated. Save yourself the headache of losing something important by being conscious of your valuables when you’re out and about.

Shopping is one way to get in a little physical activity, but if you’re looking to get the blood flowing with a casual sports session then be sure to visit a local golf range or tennis court. These sports are particularly popular in Marrakech and are great activities when it’s just the two of you, perfect for honeymooners. You will want to make sure that you treat yourselves while on your honeymoon, and besides shopping and fine dining, visiting a hammam is the best way to do it. Hammams are spa and massage facilities that offer relaxing treatments to calm the mind and body. There are plenty of options in and around Marrakech, but the Ksar Char-Bagh is high on our recommendation list. Enjoy a relaxing scrub and massage in the marbled steam room and leave with a strong desire to do it all over again. A stroll through the surrounding gardens and a visit to the terrace café is a great way to cap off the relaxing day.

The ‘Riad’ Lifestyle

After journeying through the city and exhausting yourself entirely, there’s nothing quite like coming home to someplace peaceful and intimate, where you can experience the much calmer aspect of the Moroccan lifestyle. Marrakech is best known for its endless array of charming riads that create the perfect environment for romantic travellers. Riads are houses-turned-hotels, visually discrete from the street view but full of character from the inside. The structure of a riad is built around a central courtyard that is often equipped with a pool, sun chairs and a rooftop terrace. Whilst house sharing is now a commonplace practice in modern society, riads typify the traditional notion of ‘local’ accomodation in contrast to contemporary hotels of grandeur. Given this fact, there are plenty of affordable options on AirBnb. Often hosts are willing to facilitate your trip – many hosts offer shared dinners and travel advice on where to go and what to see as well as helping to arrange transport for trips around the city. This stunning riad is beautifully furnished with minimal accents that create a tranquil atmosphere and an excuse to escape the world as you know it. There’s no shortage of choice when it comes to finding a place to stay, and each riad is uniquely different from the next, so be sure to do your research and find the right fit for you. Riad Jasmine is a private guesthouse with seven uniquely decorated rooms and a picturesque pool and lounging area. Most riads include a complementary breakfast and Riad Jasmine is no exception. Lunch and dinner is also available for resident guests only, making for an intimate and authentic dining experience to share among new friends. Jaaneman is another boutique option in the Marrakech medina, with a choice of just five rooms, simply adding to the feeling of privacy and seclusion.

Simple Luxuries

A city of paradoxes, Marrakech is also home to some of the most opulent palaces and luxury hotels that have an undeniably romantic appeal. Tucked around the bend just five minutes from the busy Djemaa el Fna square, El Fenn Marrakech is a renown boutique hotel with twenty-eight rooms of varying sizes and price points. The relaxed atmosphere and polished interiors of El Fenn Hotel captivates the hearts of travellers who want to encounter an authentic and effortless sense of luxury. The same can be said for La Sultana Marrakech, a luxury boutique hotel that inspires you to want to lounge by the pool or embrace the sunset from the rooftop. For another luxurious option, the Dar Darma has a range of small and cozy rooms that are typical of an authentic riad but with an air of opulence that transports its guests to another time and place. The entire location is decorated with lavish design details, ideal for those honeymooners who desire a sense of grandeur for their accomodation. If you have the urge to splurge, then it is worth staying a night or two in a luxury palace like La Mamounia or the Royal Mansour. You can expect to be overwhelmed with gastronomical temptations and a immediate allure to the in-house spa and wellness facilities.

The Moroccan landscape welcomes travellers with its vast, sunburnt countryside. While honeymooning in Marrakech, why not experience the natural beauty of the environment by staying in a farmhouse style accomodation? Dar Ayniwen is home to beautiful gardens and private pools where you can allow yourself to be nurtured by nature, then follow it up with some quality time at the spa and wellness centre. Head to the Berber Lodge for a romantic sense of seclusion among the olive groves, or stay at La Ferme Medina to experience the majestic ambience of garden dining. If you’re a fan of the outdoors then perhaps ‘glamping’ is something to consider as a refreshing accomodation alternative. The Scarabeo Camp is primely located on a desert just outside of Marrkech, where you can embrace the epic surroundings and capture some incredibly memorable photographs. If you’re planning on visiting the Atlas Mountains (which we highly suggest you do) then allow them to become the view from your hotel by staying in a room at the iconic Mandarin Oriental, where the views are sublime and the food, even more satisfying. At the Peacock Pavilions you can enjoy a good old-fashioned date night with your spouse by watching a film at the hotel’s outdoor cinema. And what’s even better is knowing that the profits accrued from visitor’s residence at the Pavilions are donated to charity, which helps to offset the usual sense of indulgence and consumerism that is commonly associated with honeymoon travelling.

Where to Eat

Marrakech is a hub for street food and market stalls. This is a fast and simple way to eat but simply does not compare to the rich flavours of authentic Moroccan food. To experience this you’ll want to generally avoid the stalls, or anyplace where there’s an abundance of tourists, and stick to the local gems. We’ve pulled together a list of some of wholesome recommendations:

  • Nomad Marrakech in the heart of Medina serves up a modern menu in a gorgeous setting
  • Grand Cafe De La Poste is great for a romantic night out, with a Parisian-inspired menu and a historical ambience
  • The Beldi Country Club is perfect for a day of indulgence. Share a nice dinner and a few cocktails after a relaxing time at the spa
  • If you feel like a nice alternative to breakfast at the riad, then venture to Snack Othman for a delicious assortment of light meals
  • Le Foundouk has a great rooftop ambience with front row seats of the sunset. Tagine heaven
  • Ksar Essaoussan is a hidden gem that is often difficult for visitors to find. The converted riad has a delicious offering of authentic Moroccan dishes
  • La Famille is a popular choice and is well loved for its healthy menu with plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes
  • Mochi Eat Healthy is another health-conscious eatery, offering salads, wraps, smoothies and the like
  • For dessert, head to Patisserie Prince off the main square for some delicious pastries
Thursday 22nd March 2018