Marrakesh - Modern and The Traditional

Katrina Smith on 03 April 2017

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I was very lucky to go on a trip organized by the Moroccan Tourist Board in March. I have been before, but over 20 years ago so I was eager to see what if anything had changed.

Marrakesh is just a short 3.5 hour flight from the UK. The transfer to our hotel was very quick, being just 15 minutes from the airport. We stayed at the Movenpick Mansour Eddhabi Hotel which is well placed to see all that Marrakesh has to offer. The interiors of the hotel are fabulous, bright colours, sumptuous furnishings and lots of relaxing water features. The bedrooms are large and modern with very comfortable beds! I stayed in a classic room which was large at 30m square, but if you are looking for something larger, they have two bedroom suites which feature large bathtubs and terraces or balconies and are 72m square. The ultimate though is the luxury penthouse suite with its own infinity pool.

I was very excited to be visiting the souks and especially the Jemaa el-Fna, the main square and market place in the medina. Our driver dropped us off just outside the entrance to the souks with a guide (by far the best thing for first time visitors to do is hire a guide), without him I am sure we would be lost and still looking for a way out of the meandering lanes of the souks.

Each street in the souk is different, some specializing in beautiful lanterns, others slippers and shoes, and then others woodwork and spices. By far my favourite were the spice stalls with all the different colours and the vast array of aromas.

The souk is an experience so different to anything else I have experienced. There is so much to take in, whilst also listening to the calls of the shopkeepers enticing you in to view their wares. It also takes on a very different feel in the evening. The Jemaa el-Fna is best viewed from above, so head for a restaurant or café with a rooftop terrace and look down on the square or across to the Koutoubia Mosque, the highest point in the city.

We finished off our visit to the medina with dinner at Le Salama, a traditional Moroccan restaurant serving platters of freshly cooked meats, tagines of vegetables and plenty of Moroccan wine, all accompanied by belly dancers!

This visit certainly was everything and more than I expected. I would not hesitate to recommend Marrakesh to my clients and will definitely look forward to returning in the future.

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