INSIDERS GUIDE MARRAKECH

Welcome to the section Insiders Guide, where we collect our blog posts with our best insiders tips on the city of Marrakech. New sections will be added throughout 2015. Below we share with you our favorite places, palaces and must-do:s of this city that we love.

Enjoy and please let us know your own favorites!

With love from the Red City,
P&P 

Chapters:
Insiders Guide I: Hotels
Insiders Guide II: Restaurants & Bars
Insiders Guide III: Spa:s
Insiders Guide IV: Golf Resort, Royal Palm
Insiders Guide V: Nightlife
Insiders Guide VI: Update on Restaurants
Insiders Guide VII: Swimming Pools of Marrakech
Insiders Guide VIII: Update on Restaurants and Hotels

Just scroll down and you find ALL chapters of our Insiders Guide!

Insiders Guide VIII: Update on Restaruants & Hotels

Since we have some new favorites we felt it was time for an update on where to eat and where to stay.

WHERE TO EAT - OUR NEW FAVORITES

La Villa Canaille - This is an excellent French restaurant with bistro style menue and an extensive (and expensive) wine list. This place recently changed location and is operated by an award winning French chef. It has a stylish outdoor/indooe dining room with a very urban vibe.

La Villa Canaille - very good French food bistro style. 50-60 Euros pp for a three course dinner (excl wine)
 
Riad 72 - Riad 72, also known as Riad Living, is a stylish guest house where also non residents can enjoy Moroccan or international food on the roof terrace or in the courtyard. Friendly service, nice ambience and good food. Relaxed atmosphere and a reliable kitchen.
 
 
Riad 72, around 50 Euros pp for a three course dinner (excl wine)

Mai Thai - This is one of very few Thai restaurants in Marrakech, a modern take on the Thai kitchen and very good value for money. The service might be a bit off but the food is good and the decor of the restaurant is very cosy. Also open for lunch.

 
Mai Thai - approx 40 Euros for a very nice four course menue (excl wine)

La Table du Palais / Palais Riad Lamrani - this is still our favorite for lunch! A beautiful and carefully renovated palace with a lush garden, very friendly staff and amazing food. Only open for lunch. This is possibly the most beautiful riad in Marrakech and the owners have filled both the palace and the garden with contemporary art. We love to spend an afternoon here enjoying the food and ambience.

 
Palais Lamrani - approx 30 Euro for a brilliant three course lunch (excl wine)

 
Riad L'Orangeraie - Here you find a very exclusive dining experience with amazing food and the most beautiful outdoor setting. Attentive staff, ambitious menue and great wines. Pricy but well worth the money. Very coamopolitan and very imoressive from start to finish.

 
Riad L'Orangeraie - a four course tasting menue is approx 80 Euros pp (excl wine)


La Sultana  - This beautiful palace is a very nice place for both lunch and dinner. At night the roof terrace is magical and you have the most amazing views over the medina. Very good food, both a la carte and fine dining menue is available.



La Sultana - around 80 Euros pp for a tasting menue and the same price for a three course dinner (excl wine). We love the truffels and mushroom lasagne!


Atay - Here is an easy going and nicly decorated little restaurant with a roof terrace and friendly staff. Basic but nice. Good for lunch, dinner or a coffee. Moroccan casual and cheap.

 
Atay - 15-20 Euros pp for a three course dinner (no wine available)

 
Kui Zin - another local restaurant with friendly staff, good food and a nice terrace here as well. Located close to Atay. We prefer the roof terrace to the indoor dining space.

Kui Zin - 15-20 Euros pp for a three course dinner, lunch + water for 6 Euros pp (no wine available)

 
Lotus Privillige - a very stylish and modern riad with a cool lounge ambience. Open for lunch and dinner. Food is mainly Moroccan. Ok wine list. Very beautiful courtyard and reöaxed crowd.


Lotus Privillige - 50-60 Euros for a three course dinner excl wine.

Villa Flore - An amazing art deco house with very nice interiors. Open for both lunch and dinner. Great value for money. Good French food and easy going ambince. The Frnech owner is a froendly lady who likes to mingle with her guests.

Villa Flore - 30 Euros pp for a three course dinner excl wine. Three course lunch for 15 Euros pp.


Gratuia this is a new favorite located in central Gueliz (new town). Operated by a (very) laid back (non english speaking) French woman this little place boosts great food and good French wines at a very reasonable cost. We love to hang out here for lunch or dinner. Both outdoor and indoor dining.


 
Gratuia,  25-30 Euros for a very nice three course dinner (excl wine), a bottle of Chablis is around 35 Euros.



WHERE TO STAY - OUR NEW FAVORITES


Riad Idra - very stylish and chic boutique riad with great staff and very nice interiors. Excellent location, very private and a modern twist on the riad experience.

Riad Idra, rooms starting from 250 Euros/night


Palais Selman - this beautiful palace is located 10 minutes outside the medina, a very posh and grown up resort with stylish pools, a great spa, nice reataurants and an amzing stable of pure bread Arabian horses that room the grounds. 

Selman, rooms starting from 350 Euros/night at Selman


Riad Nashira - Italian operated hotel with a great restaurant. Stylish and modern hotel in a newly built building with 25 rooms, swimming pool and a spa.

Riad Nashira, rooms starting from 200 Euros/night
 
Peacock Pavilions - super stylish and tribal chic boutique hotel located in an olive grove some 20 minutes outside the medina. This place is like stepping into a magical fairytale world and well known all over the globe for it's style and charm. The hotel is curated by the owner Maryam Montague, who is an aclaimed designer, author, stylist and social media guru. Many retreats and celebrities favor Peacock Pavilions.

Peacock Pavilions - the house of magic

 
 
The pool of Peacock Pavilions, rooms from 200 Euros/night

 
Four Seasons - where ever you go there is a Four Seasons, also here in Marrakech. This is a nice and family friendly resort that we recomend for families with children. You can also go for a relaxed lunch by the pool or dressed up dinner in one of the restaurants.
 

Four Seasons, rooms starting from 350 Euros/night

Insiders Guide VII: the Swimming Pools of Marrakech

 Here is our list of the best places to get wet and wild in Marrakech:


The grand outdoor pool at La Mamounia, enjoy with a pricy lunch at the Italian restaurant. Day passes are available for non residents


Majestic indoor pool at le Spa, also La Mamounia


La Sultana, spa, pool and restaurants (as well as a very nice hotel)

 The spa pool at La Sultana

 
 Les Bains de Marrakech, pool and spa


 Beldi Country Club, boho chic place with a big pool and a great place for lunch


Located in an olive grove: Peacock Pavilions, also a very stylish boutique hotel. This pool is just available for the hotel guests so make sure you book a stay here!

Jnnane Tamsna is a beautiful hotel and lush garden in the Palmerie, you are welcome here for lunch and enjoying the pool also if not staying in the hotel.


 
Thenvery nice restaurant and hotel Maison Arabe features 2 nice pools: 
one in the medina and one in their country club outside town (above)

Palace Es Saadi outdoor pool, the huge pool at our health club


Palais Es Saadi indoor pool, also 8 different hamams available

The amazing pool at beautiful Namaskar Palace - inspired by Indian maharaja palaces


Royal Palm features a 2000m2 (!!!) pool, or should we call it a lake?
Complete with palm trees and fires as decor in the pool.


The Menara, you can´t swim in this beautiful pond but it still qualifies 
as one of the most beautiful pools in Marrakech

 

Insiders Guide VI: Updated tips on Restaurants


The next best thing of eating food is to write about it and here we are, four months into our new life in Morocco, and of course we have discovered a lot of new favourite restaurants and hot spots that we would like to share with you. So here is an addition to our previous blog post on favourite restaurants. For our previous list on where to eat, check out the blog post Insiders Guide II. As always you find ALL our best tips on restaurants, bars, spa:s, hotels and shopping in the Insiders Guide section of this blog. And in the end of this post you get our current top-10-list!



Magnificant Royal Mansour

In Marrakech you find a very happening and vibrant restaurant scene with a lot of different options. The interior design and ambience are often breathtaking but the quality of the food can be both amazing as well as disapointing. What was a great dining experience one week can turn out to be a disaster a week later, this is due to a lot of rotation of the good chefs in town. As a friend said, you can guarantee the design and service of place but never the quality of the food. We were not very impressed with the food at Grand Café de la Poste when we came here but during our recent visits the food has been great, let's see how long that lasts.

Royal Mansour
Oh yes, it is posh. Very posh. And expensive. Very very expensive. But we are totally seduced by this palace out of 1001 nights, filled with magic and impressive craftsmanship. Royal Manaour is the latest addition to the super luxury hotel scene of Marrakech. It is, like La Mamounia, owned by the King and very upscale. Royal Mansour has a beautiful spa (see previous blog post), amazing suites and two restaurants: the Moroccan and the International restaurants. We prefer the International restaurant of Royal Mansour, the food is excellent and the ambience to die for. To give you an idea about the price level a bottle of still water is 10 Euros and a main course around 45 Euros. However, right now they have a three course set menue for just 65 Euros, which is great value for money.

The gate to Royal Mansour


Outside the international restaurant of Royal Mansour

ILimone
ILimone is in our opinion the best Italian restaurant in town. We have been here many times and both the pasta and deserts are like in Italy (and we love Italy). You dine under the citrus trees in the lush courtyard, the staff and owner are very friendly and attentive. Also open for lunch with a nice roof terrace as well. This is a new favorite spot that we can highly recomend. 


ILimone

Riad Nashira
Riad Nashira is operated by the same team that also runs Café Arabe and Hamam de la rose. Riad Nashira also has an Italian touch and the menue contains both Moroccan and Italian dishes. The food is very good and the ambience modern and lounge-like. Open for non residents both for lunch and dinner.



Riad Nashira

Namazake, at the Pearl
Located on the roof top terrace of hotel the Pearl in Hivernage you find the Japanese restaurant Namazake. If you fell like sushi or modern Japanese food this is a good spot. The views are amazing, the music and lounge ambience is very international and the food is good. You can also come here to hang out for a cocktail, go for a swim in the pool and enjoy the views (both of the guests and the medina)


Namazake, Japanese food on the roof top of the Pearl hotel

Latitude 31
Latitide31 is an outdoor restaurant in the medina (no indoor seating). The kitchen is very ambitious and the food excellent, fine dining level for a very good price. Very nice ambience and DJ:s playing lounge music. Perfect for a nice lunch or dinner. The only downside is that they don't serve wine, we cross our fingers that they will receive the permits for this shortly since the food here truly deserves some good wine as company.

Latitude 31

La Table du Palais
La Table du Palais is the restaurant of Palais Riad Lamrani, set in a beautiful, lush and traditional palace garden this is the perfect place for a long lunch (not open for dinner and closed Sundays). They serve an excellent three course lunch and have very friendly and attentive staff. We keep coming back to this favourite place. Ambitious kitchen serving French and Moroccan food with a modern twist.


La Table du Palais, the restaurant of Palais Lamrani

Pop-Ups
We are super happy to notice that several pop up restaurants start to pop-up in Marrakech. Famous and not so famous international chefs teaming up with local restaurants and creating pop up events for a couple of nights or weeks. This brings even more energy to the already vibrant restaurant scene. We have been to both some good and some bad ones. A couple of weeks ago Paris Pop-Up took over the roof top terrace of Restaurant Nomad and presented an amazing menue and great cocktails, one of the best menues we had here actually. If you are visiting Marrakech, make sure to google for which events and pop-ups that might be taking place during your visit!


Paris Pop Up at Nomad in May

And the jumbo price for lousy service goes to...
As mentioned in the beginning, the quality of food and service at a venue can change quickly here in Marrakech. We have always loved Bo Zin for the ambience and cool vibe and also promoted it as one of the coolest places to go in this blog. We still love the ambience, DJ:s and the vibe of Bo Zin but we unfortunatley need to add some negative comments to all our previous praise. The food is good but the service has gone from good (2 years ago), to bad (1 year ago) to lousy (this spring). It is obvious the logistics and staff management is not working anymore. It took 30 minutes from getting menues to placing order (after asking to do so 3 times), missed drink orders, un-coordinated and non existing service from staff etc. We will still go here for the outdoor bar and music but don't expect good service... Hopefully they will get this under control shortly.

Our top-10-list (June-15):
1) Gastro MK at maison MK
2) Royal Mansour, the international restaurant 
3) Dar Zellij
4) Grand Café de la Poste 
5) Table du Palais
6) I Limone
7) La Maison Arabe
8) Amaia Restaurant
9) La Sultanae31

Insiders Guide V: Marrakech by night

Marrakech has always had the allure of decadence and oriental mystique. After all, this is where Yves Saint Laurent, the Gettys, Patti Smith, the Rolling Stones and Winston Churchill came to party already in the 60:s. Today Marrakech is the jet-set destination of the Arabic world and people fly in from all over the globe to have a good time here. 
 

Welcome to 1000 and 1 nights!

Fashion designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino and the Hermes family have homes here. Gwyneth Paltrow sips cocktails on the roof terrace of El Fenn, George Clooney enjoys a romantic dinner at Maison Arabe, Al Pachino has a coffee at ExtraBlatt, Tom Cruise rides his bike outside town, Angelina Jolie is shopping in the souks, Kylie is relaxing at Royal Mansour and Madonna does pilates on the roof terrace of La Sultana. The rich and famous flock to The red city for a good time, as do the wannabees. 
 

Night falls and the party begins once again

There is always a party going on and some of the worlds most wellknown DJ:s and artists regularly perform at different venues here. The attraction of Marrakech remains and grows stronger every year. As night falls the party and decadence begins once again. Morocco is the most liberal country in the Arabic world and Marrakech is the most liberal city in Morocco. Anything goes. Come follow us into the warm, dark and seductive night of the Red City. Below we list the current hotspots for a fun night in Marrakech.

Comptoir Darna
"Le Comptoir" is an institution in Marrakech and the favorite place of many celebrities and models. The interior is beautiful and the huge staircase is an art piece, where the beautiful staff and equally beautiful guests glide up and down. The food here is excellent, a fusion of Moroccan and French cuisine. You come here for a late dinner, at 22:30 there is a traditional show with belly dancing and other performances, actually very tasteful. The bar upstairs is crpwded and as night falls the DJ:s pump up the music and the party begins. You can either start your night here and move on or stay until morning,
 
Comptoir Darna

Lotus Club
It is dark and decadent. The nightly perormance by the Oh-la-la girls is actually tasteful and fun. The bar is always crowded and the music is very commercial (pop). This is the more grown up version of the Comptoir show. The party factor is really high and you find a lot of Moroccans here. To dont be afraid to go to "a show club", its is great fun and very stylish. The Moroccan version of Moulin Rouge you might say. We were suprised with the quality of the food and very attentive and friendly service (the burger must be the juciest and best in town).

 
Lotus Club and the Oh-la-la Girls

Bo Zin
We LOVE Bo Zin! This great Asian restaurant with its amazing outdoor spaces, excellent bartenders and international DJ:s is perhaps the most cosmopolitan place to go. After dinner the party goes on both inside and outdoors, the champagne flows and the beautiful people flock here. The interiors are beautiful and the music great. Its located 20 minutes outside the medina so you need a taxi or car servoce to get here. The style, ambience and quality of this place is out of this world. We adore to hang out here during those hot summer nights.
 

Bo Zin

Jad Mahal
This is actually one of our favorites. If you dont want to change location we would recomend Jad Mahal, its a "one-stop-shop" for a night out. There is a good restaurant, beautiful bars, live bands playing upstairs and a busy night club downstairs. It is spacious, spontanious and fun. The guests are ordering bottles of vodkam, dancing on the tables and singing out loud. Ocasionally famous guests take the stage for a small performance. Once we were greeted by live horses and eleohants when entering this club, its that kind of place, very Studio 54.

Jad Mahal

Theatro
Theatro is the hottest night club right now. Located by the casino and part of Palace Es Saadi it is a vibrant and international club that atteacts the younger crowd. There is some serious partying going on here and if you want to dance the night away we suggest you go here. Its urban, sweaty, beautiful and happening.
 

Theatro

Diamond Noir
The Diamond Noir is an institution in Marrakech, this grand old dame of a night club has been around the block and is still going strong. Perhaps its lost the crown to Theatro but it is still a night club to rely on for a fun time. Attracts upscale prostitutes as well and also the gay crowd,
 

Diamond Noir

VIP Room
This is a very easy going and more laid back club that is easy to get into and attracts fun seeking tourists. If you have been on a "Finland Ferry" you will know the feeling of this place. Not posh, but still great fun if you just want to hang lose.

VIP Room

Practical information: 21 (9pm) is a good time for dinner, be sure to make reservations. After dinner you can continue for drinks and music. The dancing and the clubs start late, around 2am in the morning is a good time to start clubbing. The most posh nightlife is located in the Hivernage area - around Sofitel, Palace Es Ssadi and the Louis Vuitton store. You dress upp in Marrakech. Especially the women look like they arestraight  off the catwalk wearing expensive houte couture. 
 
We are sure you will love the night life of Marrakech. Our best nights have been combining a late dinner with some drinks and music at another place followed by late clubbing, that is 3 different places in one night. The most important thing to bring for a fun night: good friends (and nice shoes).
 

Spread your wings and fly!

Lets get this party started!
P&P

Insiders Guide IV: Royal Palm - the best golf resort in Marrakech

Royal Palm - a new addition to the super luxury hotel scene in Marrakech. The other day we got a private tour of this amazing property and enjoyed a fantastic dinner here. Come take a walk with us around this beautiful resort.


The Royal Palm is the premium brand of the Beachcomber group and a new luxury golf resort outside Marrakech. The other Royal Palm resort is located on Mauritius (we need to check that one out as well I think). It is an amazing property with luxury suites, great restaurants, beautiful views of the Atlas mountains and the best golf course in the area. This is a beautiful property located some 20 minutes from the medina and the best place to golf. 


Beautiful interiors and great views.

The superior rooms start at 400 Euros/night and the gorgeous private villas are from 2000 Euros/night. Its posh, premium and very tasteful. For the visitors keen on golf this is the place to stay at with a beautiful golf course for exclusive use.  We think you should combine a golf stay here with some nights in a traditional riad in the medina (see previous blog post), for instance El Fenn, Riad Idra or Palais Lamrani. The design is modern with huge volumes featuring inspiration and elements of both the Moroccan and French traditions.


Spacious lobby

Details from the lobby


Royal Palm hallway


There is a 2000m2 pool (!!!!) - thats a lot of water...


Entrance to the Clarins Spa


Clarins spa at Royal Palm



The beautiful bar


The pools are among the most beautiful once we have seen, we especially enjoyed tha palm and fire features in the water.

Royal Palm

Beautiful rooms, suites and private villas with terraces and lounge areas

Per, Rossana & Patrick outsode one of the private villas, each one with a beautiful garden, pool and private hamam.

Night at the Royal Palm

We really appreciated the beautiful property and the excellent food. For the golfer this is the best option and also well worth a visit for the restaurants. We will be back.

Thanks Royal Palm and Rossana for the tour!
P&P

Insiders Guide III: the Spa:s and Hamams of Marrkaech

Morocco is well known for its traditions of the hamam rituals and arabic beauty secrets. Some of the best spas in the world are located in Morocco and these ancient rituals are deeply routed in the countries traditions. The spas here are based on the hamam tradition that originally has religious meaning and is performed Fridays by men and women separated to clense the mind and body for the weekend, Friday is the holy day in Islam.

Hamam

These hamam rituals differ from the spa experiences we may be used to from Asia or Scandinavia but over the years they have been adapted and developed to embrace also other spa traditions. If you just do one spa treatment in Morocco, go for he traditional hamam at a spa that fits your budget. There are local hamams where you bring your own soap as well as some of the most luxurious spas on the planet.

A local hamam where the Moroccans go Fridays to be cleaned, if you have a Moroccan who can take you it can be quite an experience...

In this blog post we list our favorite spas and hamams in Marrakech, as always in this blog with a focus on high end spas rather then the local one shown in the picture above.

Royal Mansour Spa - the palace hotel and spa owned by the king and the latest addition to the super luxury scene of Marralech. The design of the spa is divine and there is a lush garden and beautiful pool. Probably the best spa in Morocco and yes, it is very expensive but well worth the money. The hamam area is beautiful and palatial. Facials by Chanel,


Le Spa at La Mamounia - the spa of the legendary Marrakech hotel is beautiful and tranquile. We like the pool area upstairs better then the dark hamam rooms downstairs. It is well worth a visit for the ambience and also give you access to the gardens and pools of La Mamounia


La Sultana Spa - amazing palace like spa in a traditional design. Very private and beautiful. Excellent treatments.
Palace Es Saadi Spa & Christian Dior Institut - this is a bigger spa with good treatments. Especially the Dior institute located here perform the best facials in existance. There is also a very good gym.
Hamam de la Rose - more of a small, traditional hamam with a design twist. Very good traditional treatments and no extra fuss (that is no pool, no garden, no gym), you come here for the hamam.
Les Bains de Marrakech - this is the big, beautiful and well known institution. Good place and a nice environment (allthough we heard of friends being offered extra benefits of a romantic nature...)
Local secrets: if you ever stay as out guest at Riad Arabe (and are a woman) our housekeeper Rachida can take you for a Moroccan traditional experience at her local hamam. This is a hamam ritual as original as it gets, a glimpse of Moroccan life and a memory for life. The same applies if you stay att smaller guest houses, ask the staff to take you to their local favorite hamam.

Our own top 3  list of best Hamam experiences
1 La Sultana
2 Royal Mansour
3 Hamam de la Rose

Les sens de Marrakech
Do you want that luxury hamam feeling in your home? Les sens de Marrakech have the most fantastic products including soaps, shower gels, schampos, scented candels and difusers etc. Absolutley amazing products in beautiful packaging. We have les sens de Marrakech products allover the riad as well as in Stockholm. Check them out.

Les sens de Marrakech
Take it easy, take a hamam!
P&P


Insiders Guide II: Where to eat and drink in Marrakech


The food in Marrakech is an amazing blend of the North African and French kitchens. The bars and clubs are sometimes (always?) more vibrant than what you find in New York or on Ibiza. We keep discovering new favorites all the time.

Below we list our current favorite spots in town, check them out next time you visit! 

OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS FOR DINNER 

Maison MKfine dining in a beautiful riad, where you start with cocktails on the roof terrace and continue with an impressive menu in the courtyard. Great wine, good service and very high ambitions in the kitchen.

 Maison MK at night

Dar Zellij, If you want to have Moroccan food, avoid the set-menu tourist traps and head for Dar Zellij. Great food and ambiance.

Le Foundouk, a modern and trendy restaurant that combines Moroccan and French food with a very good result. Cool bar and nice crowd.

Bo Zin, perhaps the coolest spot in town. Excellent Asian fusion food, fantastic bar and garden. World class DJ:s turn Bo Zin into a vibrant night club when the sun sets. Great place to look at the "it crowd" of Marrakech. Go there!

El Fenn, Vanessa Bransons stylish Riad is worth a visit just for the art and ambience. Very chic, OK food and amazing art.

A lot of great art at El Fenn

El Fenn, perhapes more for the ambience than the food...

The Loft, this is an American bistro type of place. Basic and easy going with very attentive staff and good value for money.

Comptoir Darna This is a another hot-spot where you find beautiful guests, local and international celebrities as well as a decadent decor and great food. Live performance, great bar and later it turns into a night club. The Marrakech spin-off of Comptoir in Paris is a fine establishment that delivers every time.

Amaia is a very nice restaurant with high quality in food and service while having a laid back and relaxed atmosphere. Easy going and a solid kitchen that delivers high quality every time.

 The outdoor bar at Bo Zin 


OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS FOR LUNCH 

Palais Dar Donab, A beautiful palace where you can have lunch (or dinner) under the orange trees by the pool, very friendly and laid back.

Palais Dar Donab

La SultanaAbsolutely amazing place to enjoy a (pricy) lunch on the roof terrace with great views. Try the camel kebab - world class!

La Sultana

Palais Lamrani is an amazing palace with exceptional food. This old 16th century palace has been carefully restored for 3 years by a Moroccan/French family and is a fabulous place with an tropical garden and ambitious (and good) menu.  Open for lunch for non residents. We love, love, love this new addition to the medina that is just around the corner from our Riad.

Palais Lamrani

Villa Flore, trendy and stylish little riad with French cusine run by a very elegant French owner who likes to socialize with her guests.

Le  Jardin, set in a lush garden this place serves good food and you find birds in the trees and turtles on the ground.

Le Bagatelle 
A real French bistro with excellent food, friendly service and beautiful interiors. Go there for a long lunch with French wines!

Beldi Country Club, Escape the city, relax by the beautiful pool and have a fantastic 3 course lunch at Beldi (10 minutes by car from the medina).




Beldi Country Club - great for lunch and a swim!


OUR FAVORITE BARS

Bo Zin and Comptoir mentioned above under restaurants also feature excellent bars so you could visit them for that reason alone. Other options are:
Grand Cafe de la Poste, This place is a fantastic colonial-styled restaurant that is good, but we suggest you head straight for the upstairs bar which is like stepping back in time. A lot of effort have gone into the design of this place that used to be the old postal office back in the 19th century. 

Cafe Arabethis is one of the few bars (except luxury hotels) that serves alcohol in the medina. It has a very nice roof terrace where you can enjoy beer, wine, cocktails or champagne. An institution in Marrakech, nice basic restaurant on the ground floor.


Cafe Arabe

Grab a cigar (yes you can smoke inside) and a cocktail in the bar where Winston Churchill used to hang out. Beautiful safari style bar located in legendary Mamounia Hotel.

Riad Elisa
Disco bar in a modern riad with a twist

  Riad Elisa 
La Renaissance, roof top bar
This boring hotel has a roof top bar with the best view in Marrakech. In the twilight hours it is divine.

The roof top bar of La Renaissance, both pictures above

Kosy Barrestaurant with OK Asian food and a nice roof terrace here as well. Located in the medina.

The perfect day
Start off with breakfast at luxurious La Mamounia by the pool, perhaps with a glas of champagne? Go for a swim, get a spa treatment. Walk through the souks, check out the photographic museum. Enjoy a 3 course lunch at Palais Lamrani or La Sultana with a bottle of Medallion rosé wine. Chill out at your riad and listen to the birds and calls to prayer. Take a taxi to Guelize and get the pulse of the new town. Enjoy a cocktail with a view at La Renaissance. Go back to the medina for a gastro dinner att Maison MK and then continue for drinks at cool Riad Elisa and the classical spot Cafe Arabe. Then its either a glas of wine at the the roof terrace of your riad or off to Hivernage for clubs and nightlife, Teatro and Diamond Noir are the night clubs to go to.

Bon Apetit and Cheers!


Insiders Guide I: where to stay in Marrakech


Marrakech is the perfect getaway destination. With direct flights from Stockholm, London, Paris, Amsterdam and many more the red city city works perfect both for exotic weekends as well as longer stays to explore the Atlas mountains and coast outside the city. Marrakech is sunny and warm all year round but the optimal time to visist is March-May and September-November. Here you find our favorite places to stay, check them out and book your trip today!

The spa at La Mamounia

There are very many different options of accommodation in Marrakech. Some of the best and most luxurious hotels in the world are here as well as cheap and charming B&B riads. The first choice you have to make is if you want to stay in the medina (old city) or outside the city where the resorts are. In the medina you find charming riad hotels of all kinds, from budget to top end. The medina is where the charm is and you get the real "Marrakech feeling" and the magic of the souks. To escape from the hectic buzz in the medina into your own little palace is a very unique experience.

If you are only in town for a few days we suggest you chose a riad in the medina. If you stay for a week or more you can combine a few nights in a riad with additional nights in a resort outside town. For instance you find Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Oberoi, Beachcomber, Taj, Nikki Beach and other international luxury hotels some 20 minutes outside the city, many are located in the Palmerie area.

Here we list our all time favorite hotels, all are on a five star level but very different in character. They all feature very nice restaurants as well so regardless of where you stay these hotels and riads are well worth a visit just for the food and ambiance.

Palais Lamrani

Palais Riad Lamrani is located in a 19th century palace in the best district in the medina (just around the corner from where we live). For 5 years it has been carefully restored by a French/Moroccan family and it opened for business in the fall of 2014. It is the perfect riad with a big and lush garden, excellent decor and a few large and luxurious suites and a nicce pool. A lot of original details and beautiful interiors. This is our riad favorite, a true haven and real palace with a heritage.
La Mamounia

La Mamounia is ranked as one of the best hotels in the world. This is where Winston Churchill painted and smoked his cigarrs. It is ultra exclusive and top end. Very expensive and very good. In our opinion it is a bit impersonal but it is an icon with very nice suites and many fine restaurants. The spa is world class. If you look for a luxury hotel located in the medina, with history and top end service this is the place for you.


El Fenn

El Fenn is a trendy boutique riad with a lot of modern art that attracts a fashionable crowd. It has been the place to stay for many years now and is owned by Vanessa Branson. It is a very nice riad if you want a more modern decor. Very nice rooms and suites, some with their own terraces and pools.
 La Sultana

La Sultana is a top end hotel/riad with a few large suites in a great location. The ambiance and spa are great and the restaurants amazing. La Sultana has a palatial atmosphere and is a superb choice if you want a posh and private palace-like hotel.
Maison MK



Maison MK is also a very nice classical riad with a 600 years heritage but a modern take on design and decor. The riad features very nice and large rooms/suites. It lacks the garden that Palais Lamrami has but otherwise a very nice place to stay with a top end fine dining restaurants. Best view in town from the beautiful roof terrace.

The Taj



Taj Sahara Palace , the Taj opened up some years ago outside the medina and was successfully featured in the Sex & the City 2 movie.This is a super luxury hotel with amazing interiors and beautiful suites. If you stay outside the medina we opt for this palace! Beautiful views of the Atlas mountains from most suites.



Peacock Pavilions



Peacock Pavilions is located in an olive grove outside of town. It is operated by interior design guru Maryam Montague and a very "nomad cool" place to stay with amazing interiors and a personal service. They regularly host different yoga and art retreats. A stylish B&B with a twist. And yes, the peacocks room free in the garden.
Erg Chigaga, Desert Luxury Camp 




Erg Chigaga, Sahara desert luxury camp, the ultimate experience is perhaps to be found a day trip from Marrakech. In the Sahara desert you find this luxury camp site, where you stay in large tents with double beds, bathrooms and a berber decor. You can gaze at the stars, enjoy great food and experience the unique Sahara desert in a five star setting. Many companies offer "luxury Sahara camps", this is the best one! Go and be amazed! 

The riads and hotels above are all five star and top international standard. If you want to go for something smaller and more basic (3-4 star) but still very charming and genuine we recommend Riad Dar Zaman or Riad Saba:

Riad Dar Zaman

Riad Dar Zaman is a traditional riad, small but very charming and tasteful. It is a genuine and well maintained little riad and the owner can arrange good excursions and day trips. There is a small plunge pool and great food/service. African decor and a very nice roof terrace.

Riad Saba

Riad Saba is a beautiful classical riad with great location and personal service. The riad is under swedish management and the owner also runs a first class tour operating company, M Travel. Here you find all elements of a riad, beautiful decor, nice food and friendly staff.

Both Riad Saba and Riad Dar Zaman are excellent options if you want to experience riad living and get the Marrakech feeling without paying a fortune. Great value for money. Say "hi" from Per & Patrick when you make your reservations and you will get extra nice rooms.

These are our favorite places to stay that we can strongly recommend but there are hundreds of other optionsCome and find your own favorite little palace! Riad-living is the best! 

Now we are going to relax in our very own riad, in our own lush patio garden by our own indigo blue pool. Its good to stay in fabolous hotels but its great to have your own place.

All the best from the Red City,
P&P 
PS, our home, Riad Arabe, was successfully rented out as a full service riad when we were not in town for the first 1,5 years we owned this place. Soon we fell so much in love with the riad so we stopped the B&B business. Perhaps in the future it will be possible to rent Riad Arabe again, but for now it remains 100% our private home in the medina. www.riadarabe.com is still active if you want to check it out.