Travel List — Marrakech by Holly Hay
As photographic director of Wallpaper* Magazine it’s no surprise that Holly Hay’s skilful eye tracked down such visually enjoyable corners of Marrakech and its surrounding landscape. Here, Holly shares her travel list from a recent Moroccan vacation with husband George Harvey. Fabulous tips include where to buy a rug without the stress of haggling, what to eat when you’ve had too much tagine and a hotel hack at the Mandarin Oriental. Throughout her trip Holly wore Eckhaus Latta collab sunglasses from our Swedish friends at Sun Buddies.
Riad Mena & Beyond
We were too early in the season for the opening of Riad Mena (a firm Patter favourite), but owner Philomena is a very loved friend of many of our friends, and her place in central Marrakech is the perfect spot to stay when in the city (she also has the best insider tips).
70 Derb J´Did, Douar Graoua 40000
Another one of Philomena’s great friends is the utterly charming Romain of Berber Lodge. Only 20 minutes drive or so from Marrakech is heaven as designed by Romain. He is a renowned interior designer in Morocco and this is his independent project. His taste is immaculate. Every corner, every glimpse from a window and every pool of light that could be photographed is the definition of relaxation. Like home, there is no menu, and meals are freshly prepared, leaving you to concentrate on taking it all in. Lunch is simple; grilled meat and salads, whilst supper hosts more traditional Moroccan dishes, and the desserts (you get one with lunch and dinner) are so so delicious.
Douar Oumnes, Tamesloth, Marrakech
Kasbah Bab Ourika
If you have the chance to go a little further, the Atlas mountains are exquisite. We stayed at Kasbah Bab Ourika and were looked after so beautifully by Beatrix the owner, Damien the manager and the gorgeous staff – Ahmad in particular from the local Berber village who has worked there for 10 years. We stayed in the most wonderful room I have ever been in, with its own pool for goodness sake. I also had honestly the best massage of my life. It is very reasonably priced and I have been dreaming about it ever since.
Ourika Valley, Tnine Ourika, Morocco
The Souk at Beldi Country Club
Just outside the ancient medina is the Beldi Country Club which has a mini souk brilliantly edited with only high-quality local craft in a very pretty environment. They make glass on site (Romain sources his there) and the rug store has Berber and Kilim styles – Mr Hassan is thrilled to spend time showing you everything, explaining quality and provenance with no pressure or exhausting haggling.
KM6, Route de Barrage, Marrakech
Le Jardin Secret
Through a door straight from the crowds of the souk, you are in a blissful and silent palace garden. Plant inspiration everywhere and lovely benches to rest on. It has a pretty little café and is well worth the entry price for a very unexpected moment of calm in the middle of the medina.
Rue Mouassine 121, Marrakesh Medina, 40030
Café Le Studio at Musée Yves Saint Laurent
A cool haven that makes incredibly chic use of the colour yellow. This café sells the most delicious pistachio ice-cream and comically huge virgin mojitos. Obviously the museum itself is excellent too.
Rue Yves Saint Laurent, 40090 Marrakech
Eating & Drinking
Le Grand Café de la Poste
When you could do with a meal that’s not a tagine, this place hits the spot. If you get there for cocktail hour they do complimentary canapes.
Avenue Imam Malik, 40000 Marrakech
Positioned on the edge of the spice market this modern restaurant has two terraces with wonderful views over the square and Atlas mountains.
1 Derb Aarjane, Marrakech Medina
I love nothing better than a drink in a hotel that I could never afford to stay in. The Mandarin Oriental on the outskirts of the Medina doesn’t disappoint. So many lovely places to sit and such good people watching. For a posh day out, they offer a package including lunch and use of the pool.
Route Du Golf Royal, 40000 Marrakech
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