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Best of Marrakesh

This North African city of medieval souks and winding streets is undergoing a dramatic transformation.
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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  Marrakesh is essentially two cities: the medina, as the ancient walled Arab metropolis is called, and Guéliz, the name given to... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Atika, Marrakesh

The shop has a loyal following of travelers who come just for the latest models and colors of its Tod’s-like loafers (most less than $50 a pair).

Address:
34 Rue de la Liberté
Marrakesh
Morocco

Phone:
212-524-436-409

2. Beldi

This tiny boutique Beldi dresses some of Marrakesh’s most fashionable residents in linen shirts, mandarin-collared cashmere jackets, and embroidered silk caftans.

Address:
9-11 Rue Mouassinee
Marrakesh
Morocco

Phone:
212-524-441-076

And every visitor to Marrakesh has to try Dar Yacout, a medina institution. Follow winding alleyways to the restaurants courtyard, strewn with petals. Designed in the early 1990’s by American expat architect Bill Willis, this fantasy palace—shiny tadelakt (polished plaster) walls, scalloped columns, and striped turrets—has influenced Moroccan... More

4. Grand Café de la Poste

You could almost be in Indochina, circa 1950, sitting under slow-turning ceiling fans on a vast bamboo-shaded veranda. It is popular with French expats, who treat it as their own private club.

Address:
Corner of Blvd. Mansour Eddahbi and Ave. Imam Malik, Guéliz
Marrakech
Morocco

Phone:
212-524-433-038

5. Intensité Nomade

Intensité Nomade sells brightly colored caftans by owner Frédérique Birkemeyer, as well as soft leather pants for women, raw-silk pants for men, and Casablanca designer Karim Tassi’s jeans, slinky suits, and sweaters.

Address:
139 Ave. Mohammed V, Intensité Nomade by Frédérique Birkemeyer
Marrakesh
... More

6. KIS

KIS (Keep It Secret) is a by-appointment boutique hidden on the upper story of a tiny medina house that carries more caftans, as well as jewelry and gorgeous bags designed by Brazilian globe-trotter Adriana Bittencourt and her French partner, Caroline Constancio.

Address:
36 Rue Fhal Chidmi
Marrakesh
Morocco

Phone:
212-656-040-270

7. La Mamounia

Closed for three years, the hotel glows again thanks to Jacques Garcia, known for gems like Paris’s Hôtel Costes. The 1923 property has been completely restored and modernized, a three-year project that included cleaning and repairing countless mosaics, moldings, and paintings and adding new furniture, fabrics, and woodwork, much of it made ... More

8. Le Foundouk

The décor—gigantic spindly chandeliers; metal sconces—outshines the menu of Moroccan, French, and Thai dishes.

Address:
Souk Hal Fassi
Marrakech
Morocco

Phone:
212-524-378-190

9. Le Tanjia

The brainchild of Marrakshi restaurateur Nourredine Fakir, this multilevel restaurant pays homage to its location with antique menorahs and historic photographs of the area. Belly dancers perform tableside while you sample tender beef tanjia—named for the narrow earthenware pot in which it is slow-cooked.

Address:
14 Derb J’did, Hay Essalam
... More

10. Le Tobsil

Owner Christine Rio offers a prix fixe feast of Moroccan dishes, including moist pastilla (pigeon pie), lamb or chicken tagine (stew), couscous, and dessert, all served at candlelit tables in an arcaded riad, with Gnaoua musicians playing softly in the background.

Address:
22 derb Abdellah ben Hessaïen
Marrakech
Morocco

Phone:
212-524-444... More

11. Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma

The hotel opens the summer of 2011 on 131 pristine acres in the Palmeraie, the palm forest northeast of the city. The fantasy of Morocco-based expat American architect Stuart Church, the hotel bears a striking resemblance to the great Umaid Bhawan palace, in Jodhpur, India, with its 40-foot-high gilded ceilings. The bedrooms (the smallest is 750... More

12. Moor

One of Guéliz’s newest boutiques, Moor, is the creation of Yann Dobry (who also owns the stylish little shop Akbar Delights, in the medina). Dobry’s new outpost, hung with distinctive lacquered lanterns, features his beautifully embroidered linen, silk, and cotton tunics.

Address:
7 Rue des Anciens Marrakchis
Marrakesh
Morocco

Phone:
212-... More

13. Place Vendôme, Marrakesh

Place Vendôme carries top-quality Moroccan leather goods, from $10 men’s wallets to $200 jackets.

Address:
141 Blvd. Mohammed V
Marrakesh
Morocco

Phone:
212-524-435-263

14. Riad El Fenn

One of the medina’s flashiest addresses, co-owner Vanessa Branson (sister of Richard) has tripled the size of the place since it opened in 2003. Favored by the British media and art-world elite, El Fenn now encompasses three adjacent palaces, with 22 extraordinary rooms—featuring leather floors, plunge pools, and modern works by British painter... More

Many medina properties are expanding, including Riad Farnatchi, which was opened in 2004 by British hotelier Jonathan Wix (who launched the Scotsman, in Edinburgh, and Paris’s Hôtel de la Trémoille). Its five guest rooms—with large fireplaces, sunken bathtubs, and Modernist furniture—were so popular that Wix acquired an adjacent... More

16. Riad Noir d’Ivoire

Co-owner Jill Fechtmann pulled out all the stops. Opulent rooms here have a mix of Moroccan, Syrian, and Indian furniture.

Address:
31 Derb Jdid, Bab Doukkala
Marrakesh
Morocco

Phone:
212-524-380-975

17. Riad Siwan

Opened in late 2009, Riad Siwan is owned by a Dutch couple, Cees and Maryk Van den Berg, who have strong ties to the community and a track record of success with their popular Riad Azzar, a 10-minute walk away. A former palace, Siwan has seven large guest rooms, all appointed with locally made furniture and one-of-a-kind handblown glass lamps.

... More

The cliché “fit for a king” has never rung truer than at the Royal Mansour. A personal project of His Royal Highness King Mohamed VI of Morocco, the property showcases the best of his country’s craftsmanship, so much so that the hotel’s opening was allegedly delayed until every detail was approved by the palace. It was worth the wait: the... More

19. Un Déjeuner à Marrakech

For a light lunch, stop at this cool new restaurant with an attractive staff on the Riad Zitoun Jdid street, a buzzing shopping strip.

Address:
2-4 Place Douar Graoua
Marrakesh
Morocco

Phone:
212-524-378-387