Mesmerizing Marrakech

Marrakech
A sign in Marrakech that I saw while walking from La Mamounia to the center of the city.

 

Marrakech, the last city on our journey through Morocco, where you come to experience world class hotels and riads, delicious food, and a lot of shopping in the markets. Marrakech’s Medina, just like the Medina’s in the country’s other cities, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marrakesh has the largest souk – traditional market – in Morocco, with some 18 souks selling everything from traditional Berber carpets, lamps and clothes to modern consumer electronics and jewelry.

 

 

Getting There:
We travelled to Marrakech directly from Merzouga the morning after our night in the Sahara Desert. We took a SupraTours bus that got us through the Atlas Mountains and into Marrakech in 8 hours. From the bus/train station, we grabbed a taxi which took us into the Old Medina which is where our Riad is. From there, one of the employees from the Riad met us to help us with our luggage over to our Riad.

 

Off to the Riad.
This is actually our guy from the hotel in the black and the guy in front of him is pushing the wagon with our bags. They were walking way too fast so my pic is blurry! haha

 

Where We Stayed:
We stayed at the Riad Star in the Medina which used to be the home of Jazz Age superstar Josephine Baker. We stayed in their biggest suite called the “Ebony Suite”. This was a two level suite with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a living room area. This suite was the only suite on our side of the Riad and had a private staircase and entrance. When we arrived we had dinner already prepared for us. I had a lamb tagine and veggies and my friend had a vegetarian tagine.

 

 

The service here was really impeccable. They made me mint tea whenever I wanted and would bring it to me wherever I was – in my room, on the roof, in the pool room, or in the dining room! I actually spent more time in the Riad in the evenings than outside. I found that at night I didn’t feel comfortable walking around without a guy with me – especially in the old Medina. Unlike in Casablanca and Fes, where my friends were with us, we were on our own in Marrakech. Therefore, besides one evening where we had dinner in the Medina, I spent my time with the Riad employees learning how to make traditional Moroccan mint tea and learning about what it’s really like living in Morocco.

 

 

Where to Eat:
We ate at various places throughout our time in Marrakech. There are actually tons of little food stands throughout the Medina as well as in Jemaa el-Fnaa which is the main square in the Old Medina. When I’m on vacation I actually don’t eat much throughout the day because I’m so busy exploring. We had breakfast at the Riad each morning. On one of the days we found a cute little Falafel spot just down the street from our Riad called Falafel Cafe. The food was amazing! But my favorite part was sitting outside for lunch beneath the awnings people watching. It was over 90 degrees that day but they have water sprinklers that spray a nice mist over us which felt amazing! You can see it in the photo below:

 

IMG_6266

 

On another evening we ate at a rooftop restaurant in Jemaa el-Fnaa overlooking the markets below. We watched the sunset from here and it was really amazing. The food was great too! No alcohol is served here though FYI! During our walk through the market on our way to the restaurant, we passed many food trucks and outdoor restaurants. One of the guys called my friend Halle Berry and she was super happy about it so I had to take a pic. I’ll have the video of the moment on my Instagram too so go check out my stories there! 🙂

 

 

On my last night in Marrakech I actually stayed at the Riad and made dinner with the employees while my friend Devorah went shopping in the markets!

Walking Around:
We spent our last day in Marrakech exploring the whole city. We walked everywhere from the old Medina all the way to the new Medina. I always believe the best way to see a city is to walk through it and this holds true for Marrakech. We saw tons of little shops, restaurants, and homes during our walk. One thing I will say though – this is not a pedestrian friendly country! haha.. You’re literally j-walking all over the place. My advice is to follow the locals and cross the street with them.

 

 

La Mamounia:
One of my favorite places in Marrakech was the 5-star luxury hotel La Mamounia. It is located in the newer part of the city was a mile walk from our Riad in the old Medina. It it surrounded by beautiful gardens with one of the most amazing interiors I’ve ever seen.  If you’re not a guest, you may enter by just letting security know at the gate that you want to just see the grounds and they will check your bags and let you through. You may not enter with large water bottles but they will hold on to it for you at the gate. You can also have lunch by the pool if you wanted. My friend and I only had time to walk around the first floor of the hotel so we didn’t get to check out their garden. However, it was plenty of time to take lots of cool pictures! The only thing we didn’t get to see that I really wanted to was the famous hall with all the pillars since it was under construction that day.

 

 

YSL Museum/Le Jardin Majorelle:
Our last touristy stop was the Musée Yves Saint Laurent and Le Jardin Majorelle. Unfortunately by the time we arrived the YSL Museum closed early! 😦

 

 

If you’re a fashionista or just into the history of YSL – make sure you get there earlier in the day to catch the museum and also beat the crowds. We did have time for Majorelle Garden and it was so worth it! The fee to get in was about $7. There is an Islamic Museum on the grounds and a memorial for Yves Saint Laurent. There’s a coy pond and a world renowned cacti collection.

 

 

Of course the main reason people come here – especially your usual instamodel – is to take pictures infant of the contrasting blue and yellow walls and famous steps and doorways. The specific color used for the walls here is actually called Majorelle blue and can be purchased from various specialty paint shops in Marrakech. The guys who work here as security also became photographers for anybody who didn’t have somebody to take pics. My advice – let them take your pictures! These guys were so great at getting all the right angles, poses and locations. I took a selfie with my “photographer”! 😛

 

 

When you’re done wandering, you can check out the cafe they have towards the back of the grounds near the museum. They have plenty of smoothies, salads, and sandwhich options.

 

Final Thoughts:
Alas, we have arrived at our final stop on our tour through the beautiful country of Morocco that I love so much! Although it’s already been over a month since I returned to the States, my heart remains there. I recommend visiting Morocco with an open heard and open mind. Be willing to dress the part and respect their culture and traditions and you will have a wonderful and safe time. Also – if you can – bring a guy with you on the trip! 🙂

 

Love,

Sultana Aslamkhan

IMG_6629
Walking down the steps at La Mamounia like the princess I am. haha

One thought on “Mesmerizing Marrakech

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s