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Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

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Devon England
posts: 20
reviews: 1
Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

I don't know if this will be helpful to anyone, but my husband and I have just returned from a 5 day stay in Marrakech, and I thought I'd put info. up.

We were there in the first week of March and the weather was OK, but not fabulous (ie:cold at night and in the mornings - not possible to eat outside or linger on roof terraces without an over coat, then brightening up during the day, but still so you'd want a cotton sweater.It didn't rain, but it had the week before.)We stayed in Riad Orangeraie ( see posts) in the Mouassine area of the Medina. The location was fantastic, very close to everything, but quiet too.We enjoyed our stay but, speaking solely for myself, I'm not sure I'd opt for a Riad again. I found it rather claustrophobic - especially given that it was really too cold to use the roof terrace. Our room was lovely, but cave-like ( which is the nature of the beast) and noise richoceted around like gun fire. We ate in the riad 3 of the six nights; the first 2 times, fine, but the last rather disasterous - dinner was supposed to be a 8 and didn't appear until 9:30, and the menu went on repeat. However, the wine was good and the price extremely reasonable.Next time, though, I might opt for either The Jardins de Medina, or the Jardins de Kotoubia - yes, they are hotels, and not as personal, but both are in the medina, have lovely gardens out of the wind (a problem with roof terraces) and very nice cafe-ish restaurants, with wider menus and alcohol service for that lunch time beer...If you have a bucketload of money to blow, there's always The Mamounia. For us, 5 days in Marrakech was too long. If you don't want to shop a lot, then there isn't that much else to do. We went to the museum of Marrakech, (dissapointing) and the Dar Si Said ( charming and well worth while) The Saadian Tombs seemed permanently closed - at least when we tried to get in. The best museum of Islamic art and Berber pieces we saw was the Majorelle collection in the Majorelle Gardens. This was really delightful and beautifully displayed. The Gardens are fabulous as well, but do try to get there early. By the time we were leaving at 10:30am, bus loads were arriving, and they are small enough that this really changes the feel. We walked out to the Menara and back and found them rather dissapointing, but did come across a new park (sponsored by Maroc Telecom) in the Hivernage (right at the end of rue Sidi El Yamani and straight on and you can't miss it ( by the municipal swimming pool) which was charming, and a really nice place to just stroll out of the crowds of the Medina. We had lunch one day at the Terrasses Allhambra on La Place,which was fine and had a great view, and another at a little cafe in the Kasbah called Nid de Cigonges, which was very nice and featured both pet tortoises and a storks eye view of a neighboring stork nest - wildlife watching at lunch was good. Otherwise we dropped into Jardins de Kotoubia, for peace, garden, beer and sandwiches - also excellent salads.For dinner we ate at Fondouk, which was very nice, although challenging to find. (They sent a guide to get us home ). And twice at Cafe Arabe, which was something of a find. It's very close to the Mouassine fountain, with a pretty outer court and fire lit inner room, and has a good menu of very passable Italian food as well as the requisite tagines. Highly recommended.On the last day we rented a grand taxi and drove out to Ourigane and had lunch at Domaine de Roseraie, an older French auberge, which was utterly beautiful and had wonderful food. (The drive took an hour and 15 minutes, round trip taxi cost was 7000 dirhams, and the scenery was lovely - a nice taste of the Atlas ; also highly recommended). Finally, I took clothes that were too dressy, and, of course, too many of them. Unless you're going to the Mamounia or Tobsil, this seemed like chinos territory, with a nice top for the evenings. French came in quite handy, as less English was spoken than we thought. In all, I'd go back for 3 days but not 5, and perhaps consider other lodging options, especially when the weather hems you in a bit. Oh, yes: and we used ATMs with American bank cards with no problem at all - and never for one second felt remotely threatened, no matter how tight the crowd.

Hope this might be useful....

Vientiane, Laos
posts: 708
reviews: 20
1. Re: Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

Thanks LucyE2, that's really helpful information.

Calgary
posts: 131
2. Re: Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

7000 dirhams for a 1 hour and 15 min each way round trip??? Isn't that slightly overpriced? I'm just trying to get a feel for prices for my trip I'll be doing in May.

3. Re: Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

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Calgary
posts: 131
4. Re: Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

phew!! thats what i thought!!

5. Re: Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

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London
posts: 30
reviews: 4
6. Re: Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

Thanks Lucy,

very usefull information. We are off to Marrakech in 2 weeks time & already booked hotel Amine for 6 nights. However after reading your notes i think that it's too long, esp with 3 teenagers...

any ideas on daytrips from Marrakech?

Thanks in advance.

Vientiane, Laos
posts: 708
reviews: 20
7. Re: Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

A day in the Ourika valley would be a nice change from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. Its very green and lovely, nestled at the base of the mountains.

You might also consider a night in Essaouira.

The Glaoui stronghold at Telouet and the Kasbah Toubkal are also worth a visit.

8. Re: Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

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London
posts: 30
reviews: 4
9. Re: Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

Many thanks for all your suggestions.

Could you plaese also advise on shopping in Marrakech. I need to know more about trendy shops for teenage girls & leather goods (myself)...

best regs, Shohman

10. Re: Just back from 5 days in Marrakech

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