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Travel Well: Marrakech

Marrakech is a major city in the Kingdom of Morocco known for its mosques, gardens, palaces, and souks. The city is also famous for its breathtaking views of the Atlas Mountains, which span across northwest Africa. The medina (also referred to as the old town) dates back to the Berber Empire and houses the souks and other historic landmarks while the new town is home to nightclubs, extravagant restaurants, resorts, and shopping malls. If history and culture with a dash of luxury are things that you look for in a destination, Marrakech belongs on your travel bucket list. Here are my picks for where to stay, dine, shop, and play:

Travel Well: Marrakech

My picks on where to stay, dine, shop, and play in Marrakech.

[Tweet “Marrakech is OFFICIALLY on my travel bucket list!”]


When it comes to lodging in Marrakech, you have three choices. You can either stay at a riad, a resort, or a private villa. A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior courtyard that has been transformed into a guest house. It’s similar to what we in America would call a bed and breakfast. It’s probably the most authentic option, especially if you’re looking to stay in the medina. There are also some beautiful resorts in Marrakech. The Four Seasons and La Mamounia are both breathtakingly gorgeous and travelers looking for a combination between modern luxury and Moroccan culture couldn’t go wrong with either. During my recent trip to Marrakech, I stayed at a private villa and this is another great option, especially for first time visitors. We had a live in housekeeper who prepared meals and tea as we wished, a driver, and a private guide who was knowledgable and showed us the very best of the city from a local’s perspective.

The courtyard of a riad in the medina


When people think of Moroccan cuisine, their minds automatically go to couscous. While couscous is definitely a staple, there is so much more to taste and discover. Although at first I wasn’t a huge fan of Moroccan food, I left having a newfound love for both hot and cold Moroccan salads and chicken tagine. The local cuisine is definitely something every traveler should experience, and there are also quite a few restaurants that have amazing ambiances (many also have dinner shows with belly dancers). Here are my favorites:

  1. The Restaurant at La Maison Arabe: The best Moroccan cuisine I ate during my trip to Marrakech was the food I prepared under the dada at the cooking class I took at La Maison Arabe. Since the food I made for myself using their guidance and ingredients was delicious, I can only imagine how amazing the food must be at their restaurant.

  2. Buddha Bar: This restaurant offers Asian-fusion cuisine in a fabulous setting. There is a huge gold buddha in the center of the restaurant which makes the perfect backdrop for pre-dinner photo-ops. There are also belly dancers who perform while you dine.

  3. The Lotus Club: The Lotus Club is similar to Buddha Bar in terms of it’s cuisine but has a totally different feel. The ambiance is that of a  quirky yet elegant lounge. The belly dancers, while more modern and less traditional than those at Buddha Bar, do not disappoint.

  4. Bo Zin: If you look at any list of the best restaurants in Marrakech, you are sure to see Bo Zin on the list. You won’t find any belly dancers at this restaurant, but what you will find is an simple but very well done menu, a DJ or live music, and a classy but relaxing vibe.


The souks in the medina are your one stop shop in Marrakech for all the goods you can carry home. From spices to rugs, leather goods, and jewelry, there are so many tempting items. Bargaining is the name of the game and chances are, you can get things for far less than asking price. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my post on the 3 things you must buy during a trip to Marrakech. Most things are handmade and you can even see artisans busy at work as you journey through the maze-like alleys. The souks can be chaotic and some shop owners can be aggressive so it’s important to prepare yourself mentally. We went with our guide, and I would recommend that other first timers consider doing the same.


I already shared 3 must do activities in Marrakech, but to recap, camel trekking at the base of the Atlas Mountains, visiting the lush gardens, and taking the amazing authentic Moroccan cooking class at La Maison Arabe are all things that definitely should be on your itinerary. If you’re a spa fanatic like me, there are also a number of fabulous hammams to visit. During my trip, I visited Le Bains de Marrakech twice and both of my services were amazing (and VERY inexpensive). Besides those things, a visit to the souks, and of course, sight seeing, in Marrakech, leisure is the name of the game. It’s easy to waste days lounging by the pool with a good book or relaxing in the garden with a cup of mint tea.

[Tweet “Planning a trip to Marrakech? Here’s your guide for where to stay, dine, shop, and play!”]

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