Modern and ancient culture mingle in luxury Marrakech
You can be at your high-end Marrakech hotel in little under five hours including a four-hour flight and short transfer.
Then this city of two sides will show you what luxury means. The old medina is the hub of the city with its ancient buildings and bustling souks. In contrast, the modern quarter has a thriving art scene, exciting nightlife, and is home to the exotic Jardin Majorelle gardens once owned by Yves Saint Laurent.
Living the high life in Marrakech
For every authentic souk selling woven carpets or Berber jewellery in Marrakech there’s another ripe with designer fashions – head down Rue Mouassine and to Souk Cherifia for the latter. And for every down-to-earth Moroccan restaurant, there’s a high-flying one, like Gastro MK and its tasting menu, making it easy to find indulgences in Marrakech.
In the modern area of Gueliz you’ll find most contemporary galleries and elegant boutiques, while the leafy suburb of Hivernage hosts the most renowned nightclubs. For example, Theatro is a superclub-turned-circus-show where world-class DJs are surrounded by acrobats and performers. Open every night from 11.30pm to 5am, be prepared for the fireworks. Then there’s CLUB555, which is the biggest club in town – its two VIP areas welcome names like DJ Snoopadelic on decks. Meanwhile, W Club is where the super-rich party in the top-floor VIP lounge.
Many of the top hotels replicate the vibe of the ancient medina, with red walls, intricate archways and their own spas. For more options in Hammam baths, try indulgent Orient-inspired Le Spa or Feng-Shui themed Palais Namaskar. And for further relaxation, wander around the colourful Le Jardin Majorelle, which was created by French painter Jacques Majorelle and maintained by the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner. It also houses a lovely museum with indigenous Moroccan artefacts.
Other popular holidays in Morocco
If you crave a luxury holiday by the beach, Morocco has you covered with the broad sands of Agadir. But Marrakech might have won you over with its rich colours and intriguing history. To find out more read our travel guide and take a look at the luxury Marrakech hotels below.
In the luxurious and green area of La Palmeraie, this First Choice Premier hotel is set in 13-acre grounds, allowing for a pool of massive proportions. An All Inclusive hotel, there's a poolside bar at hand and three restaurants covering buffet breakfast and dinner, Moroccan and al fresco Italian by the pool. The Riu entertainment programme lays on fitness and art classes, and live shows in the evening. You'll find pitches for all sorts of sports and an indulgent wellness centre with Hammam and beauty salon. The large rooms and suites have modern Moroccan styling and a free shuttle bus will take you to the medina 15 minutes away.
The contemporary Medina Gardens hotel is a TUI couples retreat. Exclusively for adults, entertainment covers things like cocktail making and massage master classes. For extra romance you can choose rooms with their own hot tub on the terrace or spacious junior suites with a lounge area and espresso machine. A five-minute walk to the medina and Jemaa el-Fna square, the hotel also has you covered with a pool bar that becomes Fountain bar with evening entertainment, an outdoor shisha bar and casino, plus a spa with Hammam, Turkish baths and beauty treatments. The international buffet restaurant has show cooking stations and there's an a la carte restaurant by the pool.
First impressions count at the grand, terracotta-coloured Kenzi Menara Palace, and an authentic Moroccan feel enhances the food and dark-wood bedecked rooms. The outdoor pool is surrounded by citrus tree gardens and the indoor pool is near the O Spa for massages, a sauna and Turkish bath. Volleyball courts and a fitness centre keep you active and a piano bar helps you chill out come evening. Dine at the international buffet, Italian or Moroccan restaurants, or hop on the 10-minute shuttle bus to be among the bars and restaurants of Jemaa el-Fna square.
In the hip Hivernage area close to the central medina cultural quarter, you'll feel away from it all amid Kenzi Farah Hotel's gardens. They contain a large pool with a pergola-covered bar and a Mediterranean restaurant on the terrace. Also looking onto the gardens is the spa with indoor pool and treatment rooms providing massages, steam and scrub therapy and purifying masks. Dining options are available at The Orangery buffet venue and Moroccan restaurant where rich tagines are accompanied by occasional themed nights with traditional music and belly dancing. For even more in the way of culture, it's just a 20-minute walk or five-minute taxi ride to Jemaa el-Fna.