24 Hours in Marrakech

Marrakech Tiles - Susannah Huntington

Marrakech is rich, colourful and full of life. Start by exploring the city’s most exotic and ancient quarter, the Medina.

The charming Riad de l’Orangeraie is located in the Mouassine district of the old Medina. This beautiful house has two courtyards - one with fountains, flowers and tress (Côté Jardin); the other with a small blue mosaic hamman (Côté Oasis). Around these patios are seven bedrooms, each named after a spice and decorated in warm earth tones. One of the most stunning features of this riad is its roof top terrace, where you can sip your mint tea and take in a view of the Medina that stretches as far as the Atlas Mountains. The terrace has many hidden corners where you can sunbathe or enjoy a romantic meal prepared on demand and to your taste. The owners and staff at this fine hotel are affable and attentive, playing no small part in creating a relaxed atmosphere. Centrally located, the riad is only five minutes from the main square Djema El Fna.

If you seek some tranquility, head towards the stunning Koutoubia Mosque, the largest in Marrakech and one of the oldest, dating back to the 12th century. The mosque’s minaret is exquisite, decorated with glittering ceramic tiles and copper globes. It towers over Marrakech and is visible throughout the city. Non-Muslims are not permitted entry to the mosque, but anyone can wander through the surrounding gardens, perfumed by thousands of roses and orange blossoms. (Avenue Mohammed V, Marrakech)

Should you desire a basic white kaftan or a vintage jellabah, look no further than La Maison du Kaftan Marocain, the place to go for traditional Moroccan clothing and accessories. A veritable treasure trove, the shop stocks garments in a wide variety of colours, fabrics, patterns and styles. (65, rue Sidi Yamani, Mouassine 40000 Marrakech Medina; Tel : +212 (0)24 44 10 51)

Le Tobsil is set in one of the finest riads in the Medina. Romantic, intimate and richly adorned, the restaurant is considered one of Marrakech’s finest. Guests are seated on two levels around an open courtyard and are treated to the hypnotic, soothing songs of the local gnawa musicians. The food is equally sumptuous: try the five-course set menu, replete with vegetarian mezes, pastilles, tagine, couscous, pastries and fresh fruit. Reservations are advised. (22 Derb Moulay Adbdallah ben Hezzaien, R’mila, Bab Ksour, Marrakech Medina; Tel: +212 (0)24 44 40 52)

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