A Stay in Marrakech, District by District
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
You are planning a trip to the Red City and the “Where to stay?” and “Which area is best?” questions have returned too many Google hits? From the hustle-and-bustle of the Medina to the magic of the Palm Grove through the New Town’s nightlife and the refreshing countryside, you will rapidly be spoiled with choices. Here are pros and cons of each area, as well as our top luxury stays…
The Old Town
On top of its unique Moorish architecture and typical buzzing alleyways, the Medina also features loads of museums and traditional riads -or garden houses- Marrakech has become famous for. If you are looking to experience “real” Marrakech and are OK with the busyness, then this is the perfect location for you.
Our best bets are La Villa des Orangers and La Maison Arabe. The former is a riad and a Relais & Châteaux affiliate located a stone’s throw from Jemaâ el Fnâ Square, while the latter is more like a Palace with very fine cuisine.
The New Town
Here, architecture is not really a big issue. The real positive aspects about the New Town are respectively the food and shopping experience during the day in Guéliz, and the Hivernage’s nightlife with numerous lounges and nightclubs.
The public transport network is well-developed and you can venture into the Medina from there in no time, while enjoying all modern amenities of a City. It’s like being in Europe, but in the Moroccan sun! Though it’s hardly chock-a-block with attractions, it does have one impressive must-see: the Majorelle Garden.
In Guéliz, consider to stay at La Renaissance or Bab hotels, and at the Sofitel Marrakech Palais Imperial in the Hivernage District. Radisson is coming soon.
The Palm Grove
If you play golf or wish to stay closer to the City centre, then the Palm Grove is for you! This is mainly a residential area with big villas belonging to movie stars, politicians, singers, and so on.
There are hardly any stores to be found, but you will be overwhelmed by the One Thousand and One Nights atmosphere: quiet, big open spaces and majestic palm trees all around.
Any guesses for your stay? Dar Ayniwen, of course, a luxury hotel nestled in a 2-ha big garden, with 5-star service, fine and organic food and a hammam & spa.
The Countryside: Roads to Ourika, Imlil & Tamesloht
If you prefer the scenery and quietness of the country, then choose to stay outside of the City centre’s buzz. Although this would mean that you would need a mean of transportation, the rewards are unparalleled.
These green secluded areas are the perfect spots for those looking for rest and chill out, with clean fresh air as well as outstanding views of the Atlas Mountains. Many hotels in the country are fitted with large swimming pools, like the breathtaking Bab Ourika or the Kasbah Tamadot by Sir Richard Branson, or the more chic casual Beldi Country Club on the road to Amizmiz.