This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.
OK, I understand
Shop
Stories
Postcards
About

Email Sign Up

Close x

Email Sign Up

Close x
/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|
/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|

Send a Postcard

Show someone you care. All you have to do is type in your details below –and the details of the loved one – and hit send. We’ll do the rest.

To:

From:

Message:

140 left
Send my postcard

No Thanks

By submitting your email, you indicate your consent to receiving newsletters and information on our services from us. View our Privacy Policy.

Shopping Bag
0 items added to bag
Number of Items0
Sub Total Amount
0
Proceed To Checkout

Places

Marrakech

Words: Jack Moss

Ever since rock’n’roll’s kaftan-wielding demi-monde descended on the Moroccan city in the 1960s, Marrakech has become a pilgrimage spot for bliss-seekers the world over. Whether meandering through labyrinthine souks, barely changed in centuries, finding sanctuary in shaded riad courtyards or on sun-lit terraces, or escaping the ancient city entirely and dining under desert stars, it’s impossible not to be seduced by Marrakech’s many charms.

You won’t be the first: there was Princess Margaret, who luxuriated poolside at Es Saadi; Winston Churchill, who installed himself at the opulent La Mamounia for weeks on end (a bar in the storied hotel is now named in his honour); Yves Saint Laurent and partner Pierre Bergé, so seduced by the city that they made it their part-time home, purchasing Villa Oasis and the neighbouring Jardin Majorelle after their first trip in 1966. There was Pierre Balmain and Irving Penn, The Rolling Stones and the Gettys – each, in one way or another, travelling to the mythical city pursuit of enlightenment (some with more help from hallucinatory substances than others).

Joining their ranks is easier than ever: arrive via the numerous international flights that land in Menara Airport daily, and head straight for the city centre, which expands outwards from Marrakech’s once-fortified medina. Those pressed for time could do worse than trailing the tourist hordes: Jemaa el Fna, the city’s ancient centre of commerce, remains a sensory experience like no other (expect an abundance of performing snakes, dancers and musicians, long into the evening), ditto for the city’s near-endless open-air souks, which reward those willing to surrender to the twisting passageways generously with traditional handmade ceramics, jewelled glassware, colourful lamps and (probably-not-for-hand-luggage) rugs and carpets.

A more sedate afternoon can be spent in the aforementioned Jardin Majorelle, beloved by Saint Laurent. Though popular, there is still peace to be found in the serene enclave – first built by artist Louis Majorelle and his son Jacques in the 1930s – and its picture-perfect colour palette. (The impressive Musée Yves Saint Laurent is close by, and for those who want the full Saint Laurent-immersion, you can – for a hefty donation – have dinner at Villa Oasis.) Marvel too at some of the city’s many intricately wrought palaces and mosques: Ali Ben Youssef Medersa, a 16th-century Koran school, meticulously restored, will inspire awe (recognise it from 1990s Kate Winslet-movie Hideous Kinky), so too the grand Bahia Palace, with an ornate interior it took hundreds of craftsmen six years to complete. Further afield, visit the ancient village of Imlil, a quieter outpost than the touristy Ourika Valley for which to explore the cloud-topped Atlas Mountains, or alternatively dine in the nearby Agafay Desert (and camp under the stars).

But a day in Marrakech is just as well spent doing very little at all. The city’s most impressive riads – try the serene three-centuries-old Riad Enija, where a lack of televisions or phones encourage total switch-off, or the famed (and photogenic) El Fenn, among an array of others – will see you hard-pressed to leave the sanctuary of their four walls. Impossibly luxurious hotels have long been the city’s mainstay: Churchill-favourite La Mamounia offers unrivalled old-school glamour, or choose the Royal Mansour for opulent escapism with 2500 square metres of world-class spa. (For those who prefer a more rustic approach to self-care, try a traditional hammam, a deep cleanse and exfoliation which finishes in a coating of healing local argan oil – though be prepared for the treatment to be administered with a firm hand.)

Or simply find a spot of momentary peace in one of the city’s many rooftop restaurants or bars, and look down at the busy streets below at a remove. Try the ever-popular Nomad – with Atlas Mountain views and a concise fusion menu – or the perennial Café de Paris, for a mint tea above the noisy bustle of the medina. Alternatively, dine poolside at La Maison Arabe, an elegant boutique hotel and another of Churchill’s haunts.

A perfect day in Marrakech

10am >>> Reset at Le Jardin

A tranquil oasis amid the hustle and bustle of the medina, Le Jardin offers a moment of reset before hitting Marrakech’s streets: begin the day with one of their healthful avocado and date juices, or stick around until lunch for pastilla, briouate and kofta.

11am >>> Hit the souks

A full day – or indeed week – could be spent among the medina’s twisted passageways, which play host to perhaps the most famed open-air market in the world, and a sense-invoking experience like no other. Whether the country’s famed leather goods, ceramics, glassware, rugs, carpets, or spices at the fragrant Place des Épices – you’ll find it all here.

1pm >>> Head backwards in time

Though a new wave of creative energy pulsates through the city – for that, head to Galerie 127 for the best in contemporary African photography, or the sleek Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden – Marrakech’s past remains impossible to avoid. Like the Koutoubia Mosque, nearly a millennium old, which towers over the city (view it up close where its intricacies are revealed), or the ruined El Badi Palace (’palace of the incomparable’) which unfolds dramatically around a vast central pool.

3pm >>> Late lunch at Nomad

Just off Place des Épices is Nomad, a spot beloved by visitors since it opened in 2014. Spread over four floors – try your best to get a seat on the two levels of terraces, with their Atlas Mountain views – the menu sees local dishes given a contemporary twist, from signature ‘Nomad’ couscous, harissa calamari or roast cauliflower with red chermoula.

5pm >>> Discover Saint Laurent’s Marrakech

Take a cab out to Jardin Majorelle (the busy roads of the city’s new town make the seemingly easy walk a death-defying act) and find calm in Yves Saint Laurent’s famed sanctuary, which remains the city’s finest garden. A short walk down the road is the recently built Musée Yves Saint Laurent, an expansive look at the master designer’s era-defining work.

9pm >>> Dinner at El Fenn

Call it a night at El Fenn, the boutique hotel spread over a complex of interconnected riads which opened in 2004 and remains one of Marrakech’s best places to stay. But, whether you choose one of the hotel’s art-filled rooms to rest your head or not, the intimate 50-cover restaurant is not to be missed for dinner: making use of organic produce from the nearby Ourika Valley, the country’s national dishes are reinvented with innovative flair.

Read Next