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The Insider’s Guide to Marrakech

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Marrakech is known for its Moorish architecture, and one of the best examples is Médersa Ben-Youssef, a Koranic college-turned-preserved site that’s open to the public

Marrakech is known for its Moorish architecture, and one of the best examples is Médersa Ben-Youssef, a Koranic college-turned-preserved site that’s open to the public

From its treasure-filled markets to its perfectly spiced cuisine, Morocco’s magical capital city enthralled our co-founder Susan Feldman and travel partner Ethan Trask on a recent trip. Read about their Marrakech must-dos, and stroll the bustling souks without ever leaving home.

Susan and Ethan’s home base for the trip? Riad Kniza, an 11-room wonder with three open courtyards and breakfast served on a rooftop terrace.

Susan and Ethan’s home base for the trip? Riad Kniza, an 11-room wonder with three open courtyards and breakfast served on a rooftop terrace.

From the colors to the textures to the smells, Marrakech is the most wonderful sensory overload. There’s an energy that makes it feel magical.

— Susan Feldman, One Kings Lane co-founder

STAY

Riad Kniza
Dreamy riad (a traditional mansion-turned-hotel) that feels like the home of a well-traveled pal, complete with floor pillows for lounging, multiple fireplaces, and a lantern-lit pool—not surprising given that it’s owned by a top antiques dealer.

La Maison Arabe
One of the original riad hotels and still one of the best, with smile-inducing rooms (most with fireplaces and patios), a pool-sporting courtyard, and a vibe-y bar with a killer happy hour.

Hip Marrakech
Reputable vacation-rental agency that can set you up with a gorgeous riad to call your own for the week for a surprisingly affordable price.

Everyone loved the coolly contemporary design of Nomad, a just-opened rooftop eatery that feels like a true find.

Everyone loved the coolly contemporary design of Nomad, a just-opened rooftop eatery that feels like a true find.

When in Morocco… try a tagine, a savory stew of meat and veggies cooked in a Hershey Kiss-shape vessel of the same name.

When in Morocco… try a tagine, a savory stew of meat and veggies cooked in a Hershey Kiss-shape vessel of the same name.

Eat + Drink

Nomad
Hip, newish eatery with cool modern-leaning decor and a rooftop location that will make you want to camp out at a corner table and watch the sunset paint the market below a dusky pink.

Le Grand Café de la Poste
Potted palms, checkered floors, and wicker furnishings drive home the colonial vibes of this restaurant that draws a fashionable crowd for its Frenchy menu (great brunch) and languorous vibes.

Catanzaro
An always-busy (and affordable) pizzeria that’s a long-time locals’ favorite dishing up thin-crust pizzas cooked to perfection in a wood-fired oven.

Le Jardin
Atmospheric eatery tucked down an alleyway in a 17th-century mansion with tables in a courtyard shaded by palm fronds and movies projected on the wall at night.

Susan became fast friends with the chic owner of Studio Lalla, whose equally chic bags combine cool-girl design with hand-tooled leather.

Susan became fast friends with the chic owner of Studio Lalla, whose equally chic bags combine cool-girl design with hand-tooled leather.

Susan and Ethan spent hours at Trésor des Nomades, which is known for the quality of its wares, the affordability of its prices, and the expertise of its owner, Mustapha Blaoui.

Susan and Ethan spent hours at Trésor des Nomades, which is known for the quality of its wares, the affordability of its prices, and the expertise of its owner, Mustapha Blaoui.

Shop

Studio Lalla
Airy accessories atelier opened by French-born designer and personal shopper Laetitia Trouillet, who’s as plugged in as she is style savvy. Come for a purse, leave with the inside scoop on all Marrakech’s best spots.

Trésor des Nomades
Treasure trove of trinkets, lanterns, and rugs, owned by Mustapha Blaoui, a legendary antiques dealer. Imagine Aladdin’s cave come to life.

33 rue Majorelle 
Cool concept store that’s part clothing boutique, part art and furniture gallery, and part café, offering an insanely beautiful mix of design-forward pieces made mostly in Morocco.

Ben Rahal
The rug store of your dreams—Berber carpets are a specialty—offering a far less harried buying experience than the touts in the souks.

Jardin Majorelle, the former home and gardens of Yves Saint Laurent, is so known for its bright blue, there’s even an YSL nail polish named after it.

Jardin Majorelle, the former home and gardens of Yves Saint Laurent, is so known for its bright blue, there’s even an YSL nail polish named after it.

Markets in Marrakech are heady affairs full of sights and smells you won’t soon forget.

Markets in Marrakech are heady affairs full of sights and smells you won’t soon forget.

Play

Jardin Majorelle
Enchanting desert-y gardens surrounding a neon-blue villa that was a home of designer Yves Saint Laurent. The perfect place to spend an inspiring afternoon.

Médersa Ben-Youssef
Historical site, once a Koranic college, that’s all archways, intricate plasterwork, and elaborate mosaics. It feels like the most tranquil oasis in the midst of the bustling city.

La Pause Marrakech
Eco-luxe property outside the city in the Agafay Desert that’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before, with tent-sided rooms layered with Moroccan wedding blankets and furs and no electricity. Spend at least one night.

Hammam de la Rose
Chic spa in the middle of the medina offering up a haute take on the traditional hammam bathing ritual with an exfoliating scrub, an argan-oil rub, and a mineral mask.

Shop the Marrakech-inspired look →

Join the Discussion

Join the Discussion

2 Responses to “The Insider’s Guide to Marrakech”

  1. Virginia Howard says:

    Been there and want to return, once is not enough to absorb all that is there.

  2. Night time Jma el Fna & day time Majorelle’s garden are my favorites. The Palmeraie and the huge suqs too.

    Argan

    Discover Argan country when you get hot and feel the need to layback and chill. Essaouira beaches are 2.5 hours away. There is plenty to discover in Essaouira, the Argan country. A favorite is the halfday Argan Tour provided by http://EssaouiraTaxi.com. You get to witness and share the making of Argan oil like it’s been done since centuries in a typical house in the middle of the Argan country. A fun day out of Marrakech.

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