Marrakech Memories

Posted by Suzi | June 4, 2012



My dad started a love affair with Marrakech ten years ago, when a weekend away there led to a property investment. Then another. Then another. I was 18 when I first went out. Having just finished school, it was a kind of coming of age trip- with a group of 9 girls and 1 long suffering boy.

Most of our luggage went missing in the airport for the week (typically Long Suffering Boy’s suitcase was one of the only ones to arrive, and so he spent the whole week deeply panicking that all his precious t-shirts were being stretched by boobs), two people got gravely ill, there were Moroccan boys knocking on the door at all hours declaring love. It felt like we’d landed on the moon! Or the movie set of Aladdin; everything was gloriously exotic, unlike anything I’d known, so new, exciting and tainted with magic.

Fast-forward to 2012 and (while still disheveled in a charming way) the city’s now so slick and glamorous. The Moroccans have always had a way with space. From star-lit roof tops to grand palaces hidden down alleyways; you can have architectural experiences there that can blow your mind. But with hip candle-lit bars and rustic country clubs emerging; it’s totally come into its own.

I always get asked by friends en route where to go. It’s not the most obvious place so I figured (having just fired the 587th email of recommendations off) I should definitely do a blog post about it. In no particular order, here’s my definitive Marrakech list…

 

1. Amanjena

 

This luxury 5-star resort, on the outskirts of the city, is glamorous in the most hush-hush of ways. With 18 Pavilions and four two-storey masons, it affords the type of privacy that gets P Diddy checking in when he’s town. Built around a heated outdoor pool and ginormous fish-filled reservoir, get dressed-up and pop along for a sunset cocktail or elegant poolside lunch. It’s pricey but the ultimate photo op.

www.amanresorts.com/amanjena/home.aspx

2. Bo Zin

 

 

This indoor/outdoor restaurant-cum-bar-cum-club is one of those nights out where it’s practically impossible not to have an amazing time. Go for dinner, then stay and dance into the wee small hours.

 

http://bo-zin.com/

 

3. Hotel Les Jardins de la Koutoubia

 

 

 

A mère minute away from the infamous Djemaa el-Fna square, this older hotel is still as beautiful and elegant as the newbie competition. Walking in, you immediately escape the hustle and bustle with the smell of fresh roses and calming proportions of the grand pool and shaded courtyard tables. Best spot for a post-shopping g&t!

www.lesjardinsdelakoutoubia.com

 4. Kasbah Bab Ourika

 

 

 

Every new year I’ve ever spent in Marrakech, we’ve gone up to this hotel/restaurant for a huge outdoor lunch on Jan 1st. It’s the type of place where it’s impossible to retain a hangover (no matter how naughty you’ve been the night before). A short drive from the city, at the gateway to the Atlas Mountains; the air is so crisp, the views so spectacular, it’s like a bloody mary for the soul.

www.kasbahbabourika.com

 

 

5. Le Comptoire

 

 

Another dinner-cum-bar-cum-club venue where the only place in the world you could be is Marrakech. By candle-light the sassy red interiors twinkle and glow as- as if from no-where- belly-dancers emerge and shake their hips to the loud and infectious Moroccan beats.

www.comptoirmarrakech.com  

 

 

6. The Beldi Country Club

 

 

 

Surrounded by lush gardens, The Beldi Country Club is a quiet spot on the outskirts of town- where if you’re feeling frazzled, there’s no better spot to whisk yourself off for a day by the pool. They also do a mean lunch.

www.beldicountryclub.com

 

7. Jereca Farm

 

 

 

I might be a little bias about this one (it’s my dad’s), but if you’re looking for a Marrakech experience like no other, I believe there is no better place to stay. A true labour of love- sitting at the feet of the Atlas Mountains, outside the thick town- it’s the most peaceful spot. Breakfast consists of juice squeezed from the surrounding orange trees and eggs freshly laid by the farm chickens. While you can wander through the rose gardens, olive groves (they produce their own olive oil) and pet the camels- Humphry and Bogart.

 

www.jerecafarm.com

 

 

8. La Mamounia

 

 

 

After closing for three-years to receive a £100m facelift from French designer Jacques Garcia, this legendary Marrakech hotel (sometimes referred to as The Dorchester of North Africa) reopened again in 2010 and has become even more, well, legendary. Gathering rainforests worth of press mentions- while once Roosevelt and Churchill crashed here- it’s now bedding Hollywood royalty; Sarah Jessican Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow et al. Worth a peek for design geeks.

www.mamounia.com

 

9. Nikki Beach, Marrakech

 

 

 

It’s hard to find a picture of the place on the website without  someone in a X-rated swimsuit, cowboy hat or being served magnums of champagne; which kind of says it all. If you’re idea of heaven is lounging on a glamorous white day beds, being served cold rose by an Adonis and people watching- this is your ultimate pool party.

www.nikkibeach.com

 

 




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2 Comments »

  1. I can’t wait to go to Marrakkesh… I’m on my way there today…. keep you posted!

    Comment by Samantha — September 4, 2012 #

  2. Hi Samantha, I hope you’re having a wonderful trip, it’s such a lovely time of year there. Look forward to hearing how you get on! Have a mint tea for me… Suzi x

    Comment by suzi — September 6, 2012 #

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Sydney Interior Designer, Suzi Boyle, Editorial branding, Interior Sourcing in Sydney and London