The Magic of Marrakech
“The former royal city houses villas belonging to Madonna, Kate Moss, Gerard Depardieu and Richard Branson. Celebrities travel to Marrakesh with empty suitcases, go shopping in the souks and then rave about the city’s sensuality and authenticity the next day while having breakfast by the pool. Naomi Campbell recently celebrated her birthday there — complete with 5,000 roses, belly dancers and Berbers in traditional dress. In fact, today’s Marrakesh looks as if the art director ofElle Decor had taken a stab at redecorating the Arab world.” Spiegel Online
For those of you who’ve been to Marrakech already you’ll know the bizarre and unique magic it holds. Being a person thats travelled all over the world, I’m always looking to explore and find somewhere new and exciting to visit. I’m not the sort of person who can just lie all day in the sun I get bored mega easily so for me I need to visit places that give you the option to be active and have places to go and things to see but also the ultimate chill out vibe to get that lovely relaxed feeling that only a good holiday can.
What do I personally love? Good food, sun sun sun and shopping but also somewhere with a bit of culture and substance to it. Spain is fine for a run of the mill family holiday but I do find it can get rather boring seeing so many Brits no offence. When I’m away holiday or travelling i want to feel the local culture and explore, not hear and see lots of British Accents.
Lucky for me in Morocco they speak Berber, Arabic and French which means i get a chance to use my French which I haven’t done for quite some time.
Obviously travelling with a child you have to consider whether wherever your going will be suitable with a young children in tow, which when I started reading reviews of how busy it was I began to panic and wondered whether it would be a good idea or would be more stressful than relaxing. But I couldn’t have been proved more wrong, what a wonderful country and how friendly and fun are the locals.
As there were six of us travelling we decided not to be conventional and instead of staying in a hotel we hired a whole house known as a Riad. Arriving after a easy three hour flight we where greeted at the airport by a driver that the house had organised and quickly sped of only 15/20 minutes through the tiny streets of Marrakech to our Riad in the heart of the Kasbah which is the old town. We were greeted by Hasan the manager and he explained all the places that would be good to see and things to do. The maid had also prepared a three course traditional Morrocan dinner of lemon and garlic Chicken Tangine for our late arrival. Talk about easy and stress free wow. The Riad we hired was in the heart of the Kasbah with its sandy cobbled streets I never imagined such a gem of a 4 bed house with a roof terrace could be tucked away down one of these tiny streets.
Our Riad Dar Azure had everything a family could need; self catering kitchen, 4 en suite bedrooms, Dining room, TV, DVD, Wifi and to top it all a stunning roof terrace with views over the whole of Marrakech and of the Atlas Mountains. The roof terrace was conveniently both shaded for our daughter to play and had sun loungers so we could top up our tans while she happily played in a enclosed shaded area. To top it off we could be as lazy as ever because breakfast was prepared daily by the maid and all rooms where cleaned and tidied daily which really helps when you have a hyper three year old at least you don’t have to tidy. Samira our maid was lovely and so very helpful and would happily prepare an evening meal for roughly £17 per person.
Venturing out into the Kasbah was like taking a magical step back in time with most commodities being pulled around by donkey and carts where the local tend to hang out all day on the street. Everyone wants to be your tour guide you just politely but firmly say ‘No Merci or La Shukran’. There are mopeds absolutely everywhere and donkeys/cars/people coming from every direction. The first day or two takes a little adjustment but when you get the feel for the city and the people and understand teh art of haggling then your off.
Then theres the Medina where all the souks can be found with someone trying to sell you anything and everything but the colours and music its so vibrant and fun. Oh my gosh I love this place. From the snake charmers to the spices and beautiful leather bags and shoes to the gorgeous upholsteries. This please is to die for if you like to shop and find unique pieces of furniture, leather, glass. It really helped that I spoke French but when your haggling in the Souks its so much fun if your buying from someone thats not serious and has a bit of banter with you.
After the hustle and bustle of the Souks a must try is the ‘Mellah’ the Jewish quarter for its beautiful roof terraces, one i highly recommend is https://www.kosybar.com/index_en.htm this place is stunning. Then of course while in Morocco we had to try a world renowned Hamman and massage.
Just round the corner from our Riad was https://www.lesborjsdelakasbah.com if you pay for spa treatments then you can have access to the pool for the day. So obviously we kindly obliged to book in for spa treatments and spent the day lounging by the pool. The pool was tranquil and quiet perfect to relax, the bar food was great and the treatments where out of this world. Our therapist Hasna was really in tune to each of our ailments and all of us came out of our treatments singing her praises and so chilled.
There’s so much to see and do in Marrakech the list is endless; from the stunning Secret gardens to the Spas and Souks then the Atlas Mountains I could be here for hours and I could stay there for months, I’m just highlighting my personal favourites. For the artistic or creative minded this city gives you bucket loads of inspiration but theres also soo much to see and do with kids, its got that perfect balance.
All I can say is I’m going to be perfecting my French because this is my new favourite holiday destination, Marrakech we love you and Celebrities feel the same.
Written by TV Presenter Naomi Isted.