Category Archives: Morocco

Marrakech – a fam trip and a gala meal

The garden at Palmeraie Golf Palace ready for our Gala Meal

The garden at Palmeraie Golf Palace, Marrakech, ready for our Gala Meal

Letting our hair down after an exciting trip – A Gala meal at Palmeraie Golf Palace, Marrakech

On the final night of our Mega Fam all of the different groups joined together for a gala meal hosted by Palmeraie Golf Palace  http://www.palmeraie-marrakech.com/palmeraie-golf-palace.htm  for a chance to swap stories of our adventures. We began our evening with a quick tour of the hotel, if you can tour a 312 room hotel quickly. This gigantic palace, ten minutes outside the centre of Marrakech is a great place for those who love golf. It has it’s own 18 hole golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior. Continue reading

Marrakech – learning to cook Moroccan style at Maison Arabe

Dadda

Dada Lazziza demonstrating searing a pepper

Making a chicken tagine with Dada Lazziza at Maison Arabe, Marrakech

My last trip to Marrakech was a ‘mega fam’ I organised.  We took 100 travel agents to Morocco to teach them about the country and show them the hotels. There were five different itineraries, trekking in the Atlas Mountains, visiting Fez, a bivouac in the desert, Agadir and Essouira, and the group I led took a cookery course in Marrakech. Continue reading

Marrakech – the mad world of Chez Ali, a Fantasia

The gate to Chez Ali

The gate to Chez Ali, Marrakech 

Chez Ali Marrakech, Walt Disney meets Ali Baba

Probably the most unusual experience I had in Marrakech was a visit to Chez Ali. It can only be described as Disney meets The Arabian Nights. The first time I went I was leading an educational group. On the itinerary it was billed as ‘Fantasia, Moroccan Dinner and Cultural Show’  and I had no idea what to expect. Continue reading

Marrakech – back to the madness, Djemaa El Fna at night

First view of Djemma el Fna at night

First view of Djemma el Fna, Marrakech, at night

Djemaa el Fna Marrakech at night, the greatest free show on earth

After a relaxing day I decided to go back to Djemaa el Fna to see what the fuss was about ‘the square’ at night. I took a petit taxi from my hotel and, even before I saw it I heard the cacophony of drums, eerily wailing pipes and voices. The centre of the square was lit by the food stalls. The smoke from their fires rose up into the night and tempting smells from their wares drifted into the crowd. I was soon caught up in the throng and carried along. Continue reading

Marrakech – a caleche ride to Majorelle Gardens

The only way to travel

A Caleche ride through Marrakech, the only way to travel

Yves St Laurent’s Majorelle Gardens Marrakech, an artists paradise

I decided my next day in Marrakech would be a lazy one so, on Mohammed’s recommendation, I took a gentle ride in a caleche to the Majorelle Gardens. Basically there are two ways to travel around Marrakech, petit taxis, and caleche. Petit taxis can be picked up almost anywhere, you will see queues of them waiting outside most hotels. They and are cheap, if a little rickety and the driving will probably have you squeezing your eyes shut most of the time. Continue reading

Marrakech – a secret, hidden garden, the Saadian Tombs

Intricate carvings and patterned tiles

Delicate carvings and intricate tiles, Saadian Tombs, Marrakech

An evil sultan, and the story of the enchantment of the Saadian Tombs Marrakech

Our final visit was to the Saadian Tombs. These graves have a history to rival any fairy tale. Hidden by an evil sultan they were lost and forgotten in the heart of the city for centuries almost as if he cast a spell. You will need a guide if you want to find them. Continue reading

Marrakech peace – the Medersa Ben Youssef

The Medersa Ben Youssef

The Medersa Ben Youssef, Marrakech

The peace, beauty and tranquility of Madersa Ben Youssef Marrakech

On my very first visit to Marrakech the Medersa Ben Youssef was part of my city tour. I’d seen the square and the mosque, I’d wandered around the souk and had a neck massage and a sit down at the apothecary, now it was time for some culture. Continue reading

Marrakech hotels – reviews

I’ve stayed in Marrakech several time, mostly at the Es Saadi Hotel, but also, once at the Riad Noga. I’ve visited many hotels but I don’t feel it’s fair to review a hotel I haven’t actually stayed at. If you’re looking for good hotels though both of these fit the bill for different reasons. Continue reading

Marrakech Madness – a square, a souk and a mosque

Leather workers of Marrakech

Leather workers of Marrakech

Marrakech, love at first sight

Stepping off the plane into a sultry Marrakech night my first experience of this magical city literally took my breath away. It was late November in England and it made a nice change to the cold and rain I had left behind at Gatwick three hours before. Although it was almost midnight it felt like mid summer to me. Continue reading