December 11, 2018
Escaping London in December is a great idea, but I often don’t know where to go that’s worth it just for a long weekend. This year I decided to visit Marrakech with a friend for 3 nights and 4 days. We left early the Friday and got back late on the Monday. Enough time for a little exploring, surely?
I hadn’t been to Morocco since visiting when I was 6, so although I’d been before this was my first time as an adult. I was pretty confident that I would love it thanks to the pink buildings and warm sunshine. There are so many beautiful riads in Marrakech it was hard to decide which to stay at! Unless you’re staying in big hotels the riads are normally around €200 or less a night for a double room and should include breakfast. We ended up spending the first night in the desert, which was quite the experience!
I’ve detailed below where we stayed and my top picks for places to visit while you’re there.
AGAFAY DESERT CAMP
Having booked a desert camp in the middle of nowhere online – I was a little dubious as to how it would be.We arrived the Friday lunch time and the team from Agafay Desert Camp picked us up from the airport. And luckily for us when we arrived – it was incredible. Still a little rough around the edges (which to be honest I didn’t mind as it adds charm rather than being excessively luxe) Our tent was huge, had an incredible view and hot water!
We visited the first weekend of December and were graced with 25 degree days, so we managed to lie in the sun, drink some wine by the fire at night and go on a camel ride the next day. There’s also an outdoor pool but since I sadly fell ill that day I didn’t make it in – next time!
RIAD NOIR D’IVOIRE
I was so thankful for Chic Retreats helping us find Riad Noir D’Ivoire as there’s so many options in Marrakech that I was worried I may not find the best ones. This main room in this riad is so vast and ornate and the rooms are much the same. Our bed was a four poster bed and our bathroom had the most beautiful details everywhere.
There’s a wonderful rooftop to catch some sun (or jump in the jacuzzi) and the staff were really helpful letting us know the best spots to visit and where to avoid.
RIAD JARDIN SECRET
The most colourful rooftop I found while looking online was here at Riad Jardin Secret. (Okay fine, I had a small obsession with the bathroom too) Every detail has been thought of in this riad, and I could wonder around the different floors for days taking photos! We had the Superior Room with bathtub, which was on the first floor and so we could see down into the garden of the riad and also up to the rooftop.
The rooftop itself is the perfect spot to watch the sunset and look out onto the city and the Atlas Mountains.
WHERE TO VISIT
JARDIN MAJORELLE is where the blue house in these photos is located. The blue is so incredible, and although I’d send countless photos – seeing it IRL was incredible. I never wanted to leave. There’s a lot ore in the gardens other than the house, too, like the Berber Museum and beautiful orange trees and fountains. It’s also right by the YSL MUSEUM. The museum is just up the road, and as magical as the famous curved entrance is, I felt I had seen a lot of the works inside before. But nonetheless was glad I ticked it off the list as it’s too iconic (as was Yves) not to visit.
JARDIN SECRET no, not the riad, but the actual garden. A total must visit for the most incredible Islamic architecture and art. I could have sat in the sunshine between the outdoor curtains and green tiles for hours reading my book.
SAADIAN TOMBS a little tricky to find (it’s on the south side of the Kasbah mosque) but so worth the visit. You go down a tiny little pink alley and then it opens into a huge courtyard that houses all the tombs. They date back to the Saadian Dynasty and were discovered in 1917 and refurbished by the Beaux Arts service. So colourful and detailed it’s really quite breathtaking.
WHERE TO EAT
La famille, Nomad, Café des Epices, Le Jardin