Sunday, 20 July 2014

Insider’s Guide to Marrakech Morocco

Marrakesh or Marrakech, MoroccoFor many travelers, the ancient, bustling city of Marrakech (Marrakesh) is the first stop on a journey through Morocco and a “must see” destination. Marrakesh is a metropolitan oasis pieced together with ancients souks combined with an endless array of shops, cafes, and museum. Even the scooters and motorcycles weaving past pedestrians and donkeys is a sight to behold. Unlike much of the rest of the country, tourism is nothing new in Morocco (or in Marrakech for that matter). For centuries, Moroccans, foreigners and traders from around the world have been coming here for business, pleasure and a taste of the exotic.
Like most cities in Morocco, Marrakech is divided into two parts: the ancient medina (“old city”) and the new city (“ville nouvelle” – often referred to as “Gueliz” after the name of one of the more popular neighborhoods). In the last few decades, the city has become a tourist hotspot and a top destination for many Europeans; many who have purchased vacation and retirement homes here. Even the famous designer Yves Saint-Laurent spent the latter half of his life in Marrakech. And, recently, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy purchased a home here. In Marrakech, expats wander alongside the locals through the medina streets of the famed “Red City.”

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Sparkling kaftans hit the catwalk in Marrakech

Wearing dazzling traditional kaftans, models took to the Marrakech catwalk this week to showcase the latest local and international designs at the 18th edition of the most prestigious traditional fashion show in Morocco. The two-hour long event was held this year under the theme of 'Splendours of Empires.' Fourteen established fashion designers and two newcomers presented their creations at the show, taking their inspiration from the world's great empires.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Happy cause we're from Marrakech

The storyteller of Marrakech

Storytelling in Marrakech is a practice with ancient roots, thought to date back to the 11th Century. But has it been superseded by modern life? The Cafe de France in Marrakech is something of an institution. It is the oldest and most famous of the slightly louche establishments that surround the main square, the Jemaa el Fna. Dating back to the days of the French protectorate, it sometimes feels as if its decor and staff haven't changed since then either. 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Where To Stay In Marrakech

Anyone who’s been back to Marrakech after a several year absence would have difficulty recognizing the place. The winding alleyways of the medina are still there, with atmospheric riads hidden behind nondescript doors and stall after stall of silks, slippers, brass on sale. And in the center of it all, Jemaa el Fna, the main square inhabited by snake charmers, acrobats, sizzling kebab grills, boulevarding locals and mobs of tourists. 

What’s changed, however, is the hotel scene; it’s a veritable explosion with more coming on line all the time: Rocco Forte’s Assoufid, a Baglioni, a Mandarin Oriental, a W, a Park Hyatt, the Jawhar from Monaco’s Societie des Bains de Mer are all set to open over the next year.