Truth be told, this blog post is a little overwhelming to write! Going to Morocco has been a dream of mine for over a decade and it feels surreal that I am reflecting on the experience today. We really only had 4 full days in Marrakech (plus one day dedicated to travel) but it felt like way longer than a week because we packed EVERYTHING in! Below is all my travel advice for this stunning city!
We took a redeye out of IAD on Friday night after work so Ben only had to take 2 days off for this incredible experience! After taking the redeye through Casablanca and landing in Marrakech, we took a taxi to our Riad. Pro-tip, if you accept “help” from anyone on the street, you are 100% expected to pay them cash. Definitely exchange cash out at the airport because most of the city doesn’t accept card unless you’re at the resorts. Once at our Riad, we decided to get out and explore. We started by shopping the Medina, where locals sell their wares and other locals buy everyday items.This would have been the day we explored Ben Youssef as well but it was closed for renovation. We checked out Jemaa el-Fna (the main square) and saw the tanneries where Moroccans make leather (which you can skip by the way haha). We ended with a little break on the Riad Berbere rooftop before getting dinner at Limoni.
This was probably our biggest day. We woke up and wandered the city yet again after breakfast at L’Oriental. We walked what felt like the entire city because often times in Marrakech, it is faster to walk than take a taxi around the Medina which is a pedestrian only area. We started our day by going to Le Jardin Secret and exploring the grounds. We then walked through the main square and saw the monkeys and snake charmers next to the fruit markets where vendors would call out for ben with his new nick-name “Ali-Baba”. We strolled through the garden on the way to Palais Badi (which happened to be closed due to a Dior fashion show!) There is also a similar water garden near the airport that we forwent to have drinks at Royal Mansour. They have a spa (which is incredible) but we decided to get lunch and drinks by the pool! You can buy a pool pass or a spa treatment to use the facilities but we got lucky and just walked in! We then took a carriage ride to Jardin Majorelle which is the memorial place for fashion icon, Yves St. Laurent. We got lucky with barely any line! We ended our day with a romantic rooftop dinner at Max & Jan’s!
Day three was possibly my favorite day. We took a cab to La Mamounia which is only open to the public on certain days. This is actually where the Dior team was staying and we ran into a few of them on site! My biggest regret of the trip is not booking a spa treatment here months out! We then grabbed a ride to Amanjena which is about 20 minutes outside of the city but worth the drive. We made lunch reservations and were able to wander the property to get a taste of how the other half lives. I snapped part one of Shae and Kristen’s engagement session at this amazing luxury resort right after one of the best meals I’ve had in Morocco! We then drove back to their very own Riad Sierra to drink some Moroccan wine and take a few snaps of their place! We ended our perfect day with dinner and drinks at Palais Namaskar. Although this was 30 minutes outside of the city, this was probably my favorite part of the trip. Ben and I shared rooftop mojitos while witnessing the most amazing sunset only to be met with dinner at a table covered in rose petals. A must do in my book AND you can buy a pool pass to relax there all day!
Day four was hard to beat in terms of travel experiences. We got a transfer to Scarabeo Camp which is an hour outside of the city. Initially, I wanted to go into the Sahara but it is a 3-day venture with the drive in and out. (Had we done this, we would have stopped in Ouarzazate and stayed at Caravanserai Luxury Desert Camp in Erg Chebbi). Since we wanted the experience without the time commitment, we decided on a closer desert! We stayed in a luxury tent and were met with an amazing lunch, lovely staff and our new friends Shae & Kristen came to meet us for beers before our camel ride! At night, we listened to live music while eating traditional Moroccan food by a campfire. It was definitely one of my top 10 experiences in my lifetime.
There you have it folks! My Morocco vacation ‘unpacked’. I usually end these things with other suggestions we didn’t quite get to! Here are the food joints we were recommended: Dar Moha, Nomade, Pepe Nero, Dar Cherifa, Café Atay. Last little tip: not every Riad and resort lets you come explore off the street! We wanted to see the following properties but either ran short on time or it was kept private to guests only: La Sultana, Dar Les Cigognes, Raid BE, Raid Yasmine (open for lunch only).