- 1.- HOTEL EL FENN
- 2.- KABANA ROOFTOP FOOD & COCKTAILS
- 3.- THE NEW RESTAURANTS OF THE HOTEL LA MAMOUNIA
- 4.- HAVE A CUP OF TEA AT THE CAFÉ DES ÉPICES
- 5.- JAJJAH GALLERY-CAFÉ-BOUTIQUE, IN THE QUARTIER INDUSTRIEL SIDI GHANEM
- 6.- GRAND CAFÉ DE LA POSTE
- 7.- CÔTÉ BOUGIE, CANDLE STORE
- 8.- BENI RUGS, CARPET STORE
- 9.- BELDI COUNTRY CLUB
- 10.- THE WHITE CAMEL LODGE, IN THE AGAFAY DESERT
In this article, we show you the places you must visit if you want to get off the beaten track in Marrakech. The coolest rooftop for a cocktail at sunset, Leonardo di Caprio’s favorite restaurant, the showroom that Bernard-Henri Lévy uses to decorate his palace…
Landing in Marrakech is a happy leap into the void in which you close your eyes, clench your fists and get ready to alert all your senses, to witness the real wrapped in an apparent movie set. Paul Bowles said that it is a city of great distances, flat as a table. “When the wind blows, the pink dust of the plain rises skyward, obscuring the sun, and the whole city, painted with the color of that pink earth on which it rests, glows red in the cataclysmic light.” And so, everyone knows it as the Red City, kneeling before the Atlas and dotted with minarets.
These are the 10 places you should visit to get off the beaten tourist track when you travel to Marrakech
1.- HOTEL EL FENN
Our find in the center of the Medina is the El Fenn hotel (Derb Moulay Abdullah Ben Hezzian Moulay, 2), a Riad converted into a sophisticated hotel, thanks to the good eye of its owners, Vanessa Branson (sister of Richard Branson) and his partner Howell James (former director of Christie’s in London). As a result, we find that all the creatives who live or visit the city meet here at sunset to decide where they are going to have dinner.
2.- KABANA ROOFTOP FOOD & COCKTAILS
In these times of passion for rooftops, the rooftop of the Kabana restaurant (Kissariat Ben Khaled Rue Fatima Ezzahra R’Mila. In the Medina) makes all the difference. The entrance, with its steep staircase adjacent to a drugstore, will disconcert you, but it’s worth the risk. You will arrive at an almost magical space, an oasis in the middle of the mess, with a dining room open to the terrace where sophisticated cocktails are mixed with a menu that fuses Mediterranean dishes and an attractive repertoire of sushi made in Morocco. Its best time is at sunset. On weekends DJ’s liven up the fabulous view of the Koutoubia.
3.- THE NEW RESTAURANTS OF THE HOTEL LA MAMOUNIA
The mythical hotel in Marrakech is in a premiere and not only for its remodeled facilities but also for its varied gastronomic offer. One of its greatest assets is Pierre Hermé, the most revolutionary French pastry chef and chocolatier of all times, who serves delicious breakfasts and appetizers in the Salon de Thé, while in the L’Italien bar, of which he is artistic director, he offers typically French savory creations.
Fans of the exotic will fall in love with the best South Asian specialties at L’Asiatique, run by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who is also responsible for the elegant trattoria L’Italien, with its delicious pizzas.
And if Sir Winston Churchill were to raise his head, he would be very happy to see how, in what he called “one of the most beautiful places in the world”, a beautiful tribute was paid to him with the Churchill Bar, now transformed into an intimate and secluded space where it is possible to savor the caviar Maison made exclusively for the hotel by Kaviari, one of the oldest caviar factories in Paris.
Le Pavillon de la Piscine (The Pool Pavilion) has also been renovated with a Sweet Corner by Pierre Hermé and a new Pool Bar to savor the best cocktails by the water. And, for wine lovers, at L’Oenothèque (built underground) you will see an original decoration based on exceptional bottles among which you can enjoy an extraordinary gastronomic and oenological experience.
4.- HAVE A CUP OF TEA AT THE CAFÉ DES ÉPICES
In the Spices Square (75 Derb Rahba Lakdima), just at the entrance of the souk, there is a narrow building painted in deep terracotta color. Go to it without hesitation. This is the Café des Épices, one of the spots of Marrakech and the perfect place to observe without being seen.
Sit at one of its tables at street level or go up to its terrace, with privileged views. Order the most aromatic mint tea you have ever tasted or a spiced coffee with cinnamon, thyme, and cloves and, under the thatched umbrellas, you will be a silent witness to the best of the decorations: Berber women weaving raffia carpets, straw hats, nougat sellers, spices, olives, fruits. A spectacle!
The bohemian touch is provided by customers working on their computers as if it were a coworking and temporary exhibitions of photography.
5.- JAJJAH GALLERY-CAFÉ-BOUTIQUE, IN THE QUARTIER INDUSTRIEL SIDI GHANEM
Almost at the edge of the city is the Quartier Industriel Sidi Ghanem, a chic industrial area where artisans, cafes, and sophisticated stores meet, among which we discovered a new and modern gallery-café-boutique: Jajjah.
Among chairs with a Parisian terrace look and whimsical lanterns, we found in its pop-up the handmade bags (at the back, on the right) of one of Morocco’s most famous designers: Zakaria Bendriouich. He lost a kidney in an accident, the doctors recommended him to drink a lot of water and as thanks to this simple remedy, his bottle bags were born, which have become a trending topic.
6.- GRAND CAFÉ DE LA POSTE
Founded in 1925 as a café and post office, the Grand Café de la Poste (Angle Boulevard El Mansour Edhabbi et Avenue Imam Malik) is an institution in the cultural and social life of Marrakech. It is located in Guéliz, the trendy area favored by the French who live here, and the décor by architects Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier of Studio KO recreates a colonial atmosphere of bygone times.
The writer and philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy is one of the most loyal customers to its traditional couscous and other delicacies, many with a clear Thai influence.
7.- CÔTÉ BOUGIE, CANDLE STORE
Located in the Quartier Industriel, considered the Soho of Marrakech, in Côté Bougie you will find all the candles to scent your home.
8.- BENI RUGS, CARPET STORE
This is a showroom and atelier where you can find the most special carpets of Morocco, always handmade by the Berber communities of the Atlas. In addition to the different versions of the classic Beni Ourain, they offer models that are constantly renewed. One of its most outstanding features is that you can order your own design.
9.- BELDI COUNTRY CLUB
Fifteen minutes by car separate the Medina from the Beldi Country Club (Km 6, Route de Barrage. Cherifia), where you will find the hotel most loved by the designer Alexandre Mattiussi and the place chosen by Poppy Delevingne to celebrate her wedding.
A unique destination that combines Moroccan craftsmanship and that chic heart that every Frenchman carries with him. Here I’m not moving gardens and pools with intention, pottery and cooking classes, restaurants, an amazing spa… it even has a tempting souk that you’ll want to pack in your suitcase. Book a day to experience it or stay in their rooms.
10.- THE WHITE CAMEL LODGE, IN THE AGAFAY DESERT
A vast expanse of scorching sand dotted with dunes, 45 minutes from the red city, is the Agafay desert, which must be crossed for trekking in the High Atlas. An amazing space that hides another jewel: the White Camel Lodge.
This unexpected hotel-oasis where you will find luxury and Bedouin influence and nature where turtles pass by and frogs croak at will. The rustic from an unsurpassed aesthetic perspective is installed in its thirty rooms, luxurious tents, and lodges inspired by the Berber style, in many cases built with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to contemplate the ocher tones of the desert, a sunrise tinged with fire or the violet tints of twilight.
In addition, three restaurants with Moroccan and international specialties and a magical pool. Pure calm after the hustle and bustle of Marrakech.