Marvelous Marrakech

Salts and spices in Marrakech’s Medina. Photo by Tasha Williams.

Tasha recently returned from Morocco, where she found culture and luxury different from anywhere else in the world.  After landing in Marrakech, Tasha checked into one of Riad Joya’s elegant suites, which are decorated to reflect the natural landscape and history of Morocco.  Each room has plenty of space to relax, complete with a large bathroom.  The breakfast at the Riad Joya, a fusion of traditional Moroccan and Mediterranean specialties, is to die for.

The air in the labyrinthine Medina hangs with the aroma of freshly baked bread and authentic leather.  The old Islamic capital is home to the Djemaa El-Fna, the main square where locals fire up traditional dishes, tell fortunes, and charm snakes. The Koutoubia Mosque’s minaret towers above the maze of Medina, displaying a masterpiece of Islamic architecture.

Locals sell fresh fruits and vegetables in Marrakech’s Medina. Photo by Tasha Williams.

A two and a half acre botanical garden lies in the middle of the populous Marrakech.  Jardin Marjorelle, designed by French painter Jacques Marjorelle, was purchased by Yves Saint Laurent as a gift to Marrakech in 1980. The garden is abundant with Marjorelle blue, which is seen throughout Marrakech.  Exotic plants and lily littered brooks make Jardin Marjorelle a serene natural oasis in a lively city.

Tasha later visited La Mamounia, a five star hotel with a vast walking garden, a luxurious outdoor pool and spa, and three gourmet restaurants.  The hotel has welcomed plenty of celebrity guests, such as Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Elton John, and many others.  La Mamounia prides itself on its elegance, and provides it from the moment they transfer guests from the airport by Range Rover or Jaguar until their departures.

A young nomad desert guide in the Agafay. Photo by Tasha Williams.

Marrakech is also a great location to hop on unique excursion to escape from the bustling city.  Tasha enjoyed a ride around the outskirts of Marrakech in the sidecar of a restored Russian motorcycle.  She also spent one afternoon in the Desert Agafay, where Moroccan nomads bring tourists on a camel ride just one hour outside of Marrakech.  The desert is neighbored by the snowy Atlas Mountains.  In the spring, wildflowers bloom in the Agafay, showing a hint of life in the arid desert.  After the camel trek, Tasha entered a traditional Berber tent for a lunch of fresh fruits, homemade bread, and tagine.  

From luxury suites and booming markets in Marrakech to adventures in the expansive surrounding desert, Morocco contains a world of culture with something for everyone to enjoy.