Former imperial city of western Morocco, Marrakech is a vibrant, bustling hotspot for tourists seeking culture and creative inspiration. One of the busiest cities in Africa, it's become renowned for being a luxurious party destination for celebrity movers and shakers, offering much in the way of food, shopping and engaging architecture.
From spices piled high at the Medina’s souks to the curved detailing on its surrounding buildings, there’s plenty to inspire – it’s just a case of figuring out where to visit first. To help you out, here we share our top unexpected haunts for design lovers in Marrakech.
1. The Fellah Hotel
Located around 10 minutes outside of Marrakech’s heart, The Fellah Hotel comprises an offering like no other. Created from an ethical standpoint, owner Redha Moali has transformed the concept of ‘luxury retreat’ through involving and engaging its surrounding community. The result is a destination for total R&R – see pool areas and yoga centre – as well as a true insight into local life through a community library, allotment and farm, plus artist residency scheme, which offers artists and designers the chance to extend their stay in order to truly get the creative juices flowing.
2. Yves Saint Laurent garden
A must-visit destination for fashionistas, The Jardin Majorelle – or Yves Saint Laurent garden – is a little piece of paradise. A smattering of bright green cacti stands out amongst a backdrop of blue buildings, making it feel as though you’ve entered into a Hockney painting. Celebrating the designer’s love affair with Morocco, it’s a stunning tribute.
3. Royal Mansour Hammam
Often the best time for creativity is when one is feeling completely relaxed. With this in mind, whilst visiting Marrakech, it’s crucial you enjoy a traditional hammam experience. Although there are many places to try, the spa at the Royal Mansour comes highly recommended, stating the hammam as its signature treatment. Comprising a full body scrub, it’s the perfect way to clear some headspace in beautiful surroundings.
4. Jnane Tamsna
For a slice of rural Marrakech, the boutique hotel Jnane Tamsna offers a retreat with a difference. Set away from the business of the Medinas, the tranquil space is run by designer, Meryanne Loum-Martin and her husband Gary Martin. Set over nine acres of land, the site has its own gallery, which showcases the work of local artists. Visitors can also undertake activities such as cooking classes and calligraphy, making it ideal for creative folk.
5. Visit the Tannery District
Finally, if you’re a fan of all things handcrafted, then investigating the medieval practice of tanning should be on your list. The tanners have been around since the city was founded, so are of great historical and cultural significance. However, we wouldn’t advise hanging around too long due to the pungent odour. The results of the tanners’ work can be purchased in local shops and in the souks.
Main image: Courtesy of Adobe Stock