The Magic Of Marrakech
“When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.”
– Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
There is no question you will fall in love with the enigmatic, electric whirlwind that is Marrakech. There are so many places that make up the city, it is difficult to know where to start, but I will start you at the beginning of our journey.
A quick flight for some much needed sun and we touched down early evening in the city and our first destination was to Hotel Les Jardins De La Koutoubia, in the heart of the old town surrounded by the Medina walls. The heat, the smells and the bustle were ever present as we stepped out of the taxi and on to a makeshift red carpet, which ushered us into the peace and tranquillity that is the hotel. Beautiful flower displays and incredible scents greeted us as we walked towards the reception.
The hotel is the perfect mix of old and new and gives a true reflection of the real Marrakech. Once the site of the 13th-Century Ouarzazi Palace, the hotel stays true to local history with it’s Moroccan architecture.
For a moment by night making our way through the corridors, I feared that the hotel wasn’t the 5 stars it claimed, but that thought quickly passed when we stepped into the room and I realised that the old world of the hotel added to the magic.
The room was perfect, scattered flowers, views of the pool and the sun as it rose in the morning; it truly was a room that dreams are made of.
As the sun reached its destination in the morning it blazed through the sliding windows as we lay in bed, there was simply no reason to move from our slice of heaven.
But the sites and smells of Marrakech beckoned us to experience them, so we dragged ourselves from the perfection that was our room to the intense heat and magic of the Medina. Be aware you can lose yourself for hours, days, and weeks in the Medina of mystery. People say many things about the safety of the Medina, but you just need to be as alert as you would be in any other city you may visit, but you are perfectly safe to wonder around freely.
For the ultimate Medina experience we headed to ‘Le Salam’ a restaurant out of time with a colonial style. Giving the impression of being transported into a scene of the movie “Casablanca.” The décor was full of exquisite Moroccan art of living. Dish after dish of Moroccan cuisine was brought to our table, and to top off the perfect night a dramatic display of belly dancers filled the restaurant. If you are looking for traditional but quality food with a great atmosphere make sure you book a dinner date at Le Salam.
Falling asleep on full bellies, the next day, we dedicated to exploring the hotel. Much and to my surprise, there was even a second pool on the rooftop, with spectacular views of the Koutoubia Mosque. The perfect way to let the day fade away. Lunch was spent in the sun dining in Les Jardins de Bala serving Indian and Asian specialities.
As with every journey it was of course time to move again, I had heard very little about the ‘Les Deux Tours’, but we were on our way in a taxi the journey took around 15 minuets whisked out of the hustle and bustle of the medina it felt like we had travelled to a different country, but we were only a matter of minutes away.
One dirt track followed another and we were finally there, two enormous gates loomed over us as we got out of the car, and walking through a small door we were inside. Almost like another world the instant peace and serenity took our breath away, full of greenery and peace- this truly was a perfect heavn.
Given the key to our room we expected the norm, instead the key opened a small gate to a private pool set walled garden, complete with an enormous bedroom, lounge and office. We had our own villa. A private palace to truly relax. Words cannot truly describe the perfection it took our breath away.
A four-poster wooden bed with purple curtains draped across, and petals spread from one side to another. The bathroom was something out of a movie set. The idyllic setting made me question why you would ever want to leave. Sunbathing for two and a private small but perfectly formed pool.
There was still yet more, a pool for all guests surrounded by the idyllic greenery that was the grounds of the Les Deux Tours. This the perfect hotel for honeymooners or holiday makers looking for something that feels like home, but with perfection as its twist.
You are relatively isolated and have to be prepared to relax, you can take taxis and bus transfers into the Medina but there was no real reason to.
A phone call came at 6pm on a first night to the room, which I should mention had very good Internet, to ask if we were dining- of course we were. We drank and ate the night away under dim lights and to the sound of live Moroccan music.
It would have been very easy to slip into a relaxed state and unwind, but our trip had always had a different plan for us, as the sun rose we donned our desert attire ready to take on the wilderness with a little help from “off road buggies”.
Picked up by a charming man ‘Christophe’ we drove and hour into the desert, the time flew by as his knowledge of the area and facts on Morocco were fascinating.
Greeted again by the traditional Moroccan tea and a little explanation as to what to expect, the adventure began.
A must do experience and one not to forget, we travelled through the empty desert at high speeds, surrounded by amazing views for around 3 hours. Too much fun was had by all.
The perfect thing about the buggy experience is that we were back by just after 1pm and sat back around the pool absorbing the rays.
“Les Deux Tours” also does yoga retreats, which seems just perfect for the setting and something I would love to experience at a different time.
The journey never quite complete we were off again, the only mistake we made was taking a taxi that the hotel had booked which seemed vastly more expensive than your average taxi.
Our journey almost complete but another slice of heaven to experience before it was time to end our journey. We drover further away from the city towards the stunning views of the Atlas Mountains, the “Tigmiza” is nestled in a verdant forest of palm trees.
The hotel felt different it was a combination or rural and secluded but with a taste of luxury and mainstream. Friendly staff greeted us and showed us the gym, the restaurant, the pools, the cinema, the English bar and finally our room. We have been so lucky on this journey, every destination was nothing sort of perfect and the “Tigmiza” did not falter. The hotel had the spiritual bliss of isolation but the feel of luxury, leaving you knowing that you had all you needed.
Our room was enormous, a bathroom fit for a Queen, a sofa area to relax and a small window balcony to watch the stars shine though the night sky.
The hotel felt almost empty, although we were not the only guests. The vast space gave a very personnel and private feeling. We dined, relaxed, went to the gym and finished of our travels in perfect bliss. The staff were, truly wonderful and even when I decided I was hungry very late at night they made me a dish to feast on.
This is a hotel to switch off relax and forget your worries, you could lose yourself for weeks. Time certainly stands still in the calm. Again if you want a slice of the city, transfers to and from are laid on every night, the option to experience all was certainly there. It was always the small things that made the stay easy, even the taxi to the airport was added to your bill so you that you could pay by card for it rather than worrying about the last of your cash supplies.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” We found our way to the airport having experienced, the best Marrakesh had to offer.
Hotels in order:
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