Bivain in Marrakech
Team Bivain exploring Marrakech's contemporary architecture
Ah, Marrakech! A city that's as colourful and vibrant as a bag of jelly beans (minus the sticky fingers). With so much to see and do, it can be hard to know where to start. But we have the inside scoop on the best sights and experiences this magical city has to offer from our recent trip. This magical place, nestled in the heart of Morocco, is a feast for the senses and a playground for the curious. From the bustling souks and the aromatic spices to the stunning architecture and the vibrant nightlife, Marrakech has it all. And let's not forget the tagines, the mint tea, and the sweet sounds of the Berber music. But beware, dear travellers, for Marrakech is also a maze of narrow alleys and hidden gems, a place where getting lost is part of the fun. So grab your sense of humour, your sense of adventure, and your sense of style (because let's face it, you'll want to look good in those Instagram shots), and let's explore Marrakech together, Bivain-style!
Ready for a Moroccan adventure? You'll need a cozy and stylish place to stay! Check out our top picks for every budget:
Marrakech Hotel Stays: Luxury, Boutique, and Accessible
La Mamounia, Royal Mansour Marrakech, and Selman Marrakech. These palaces offer impeccable service, lush gardens, and butler service, not to mention each of their spas are a true oasis and leave you feeling like Cleopatra. At Selman Marrakech, you can graze shoulders with some marvellous equine beauties and beasts while you have an apéro on their sprawling lawns.
El Fenn Hotel - this intimate hotel boasts colourful textiles, a rooftop pool and bar with the coolest vibes and music, and charming decor. Perfect for a romantic getaway or a solo trip.
Small luxury guesthouse-like hotels such as Riad Tajania and Riad Sakkan have 4 to 8 rooms each but offer the most charming, personalised hospitality and experience.
Pestana CR7 - Owned by Cristiano Ronaldo, this affordable luxury hotel is stylish and modern with a large outdoor pool and its located in the stylish Hivernage area, surrounded by the M Avenue boutiques and cafes.
Whether you're living it up or ballin' on a budget, book a room and let the adventure begin!
Boutique in Sidi Ghanem
This city is a treasure trove of souks, markets, and boutiques, where you can find everything from handmade leather goods to intricate metalwork, Beldi ceramics and colourful textiles. Head straight to the souk in the medina. Here you'll find a maze of narrow alleys bursting with vibrant colours, exotic scents, and enthusiastic vendors eager to sell you their wares. And if you're feeling brave, don't be afraid to haggle – it's all part of the game. So grab your baskets and your sense of adventure, and let's get lost in the souk, Bivain-style!
Sidi Ghanem, the design quartier of Marrakech is a 10 minute drive from the medina. This hidden gem is a haven for design enthusiasts and trendsetters, where creativity and style collide in a flurry of colours and textures. Here you'll find a myriad of workshops, showrooms, and studios, showcasing the best of Moroccan craftsmanship and contemporary design. From handmade ceramics at Chabi Chic and Poterie Serghini, MFF for fine foods and teas, Tapolina for fashion and plenty of avant-garde furniture and lighting, Sidi Ghanem has something for everyone.
An art gallery at souk medina
But what really caught our attention was the Magazine Général, a beautifully curated antiques store with an exceptional collection of curious furniture, tableware and art.
And if you’re looking for a gift that screams "I went to Marrakech and all I got you was this awesome present"? Look no further than the El Fenn Hotel gift shop. This place is a treasure trove from handcrafted ceramics and fashion to artisanal perfumes and jewelry. And the best part? You get to browse all these amazing goodies in the stunning El Fenn Hotel.
Welcome to the culinary oasis that is Marrakech! Prepare to be dazzled by the flavours, sights, and sounds of this foodie paradise and astounded by how light on the pocket everything is!
Feeling fancy? Head over to La Mamounia for a luxurious dining experience fit for a king or queen. Better yet, La Grande Table Marocaine at the Royal Mansour Marrakech hotel is quite frankly the most exquisite dining experience in the city with live music and ethereal ambience.
Or, for a more casual vibe, check out Nomad for some tasty tagines and rooftop views. A quick lunch at +61 if you’re in the Gueliz area or Al Fassia Gueliz for the best traditional local food. Friday is couscous day at the elegant co-op restaurant!
But let's be real, the real star of Marrakech's food scene is the street food. For a true taste of the city, take a stroll through the night markets and indulge in some freshly-grilled kebabs or piping hot Moroccan pancakes. Just make sure you have a strong stomach (and maybe some Pepto Bismol) on standby.
A lot of hotels and riads offer a pool and lunch deal and it’s a great way to explore a different property while getting a pretty tan. We love the tagines and quaint pool at Dar Rhizlane and for a more extravagant experience, head to the Mandarin Oriental hotel or the Selman Marrakech hotel. Both have exceptional pools, food and vibe.
For a celebratory night we highly recommend Azar for a party vibe with live dancing and theatrics.
Just remember to pace yourself and leave room for dessert (or another round of mint tea). Bon appétit!
Rooftop bar at El Fenn hotel
For a cozy atmosphere and killer cocktails, head to Le Jardin Secret. Or, if you're in the mood for some live music, check out the jazz scene at the Piano Bar at La Mamounia, or the ever-elegant Churchill Bar at the same hotel.
Sunsets of the El Fenn Hotel rooftop bar is unmissable with the best Margaritas and cocktails we’ve tasted in the city.
And of course, no trip to Marrakech is complete without indulging in some mint tea. Whether you're sipping it in a bustling cafe in the medina or on a tranquil rooftop terrace, this sweet and refreshing drink is a must-try. The Pierre Hermes high tea at La Mamounia is quite a treat if you have an afternoon to indulge.
Now if you’re more of a coffee connoisseur, head to Bacha Coffee. It is the most charming speciality coffee shop with a menu as long as an encyclopedia. Nestled in a stunning museum- courtyard in the Medina, it is absolutely worth the wait you might have to prepare for since its ever-growing popularity.
SEE AND DO
The spa at La Sultana
The Bahia Palace - This stunning 19th century palace is a testament to Moroccan craftsmanship and architecture, with intricate tile-work, carved wooden ceilings, and lush gardens. It's like stepping into a fairytale - just watch out for any wicked stepmothers lurking about.
For a more modern twist, head to the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. This sleek and stylish museum pays homage to the famous fashion designer and his love of Marrakech. Take a stroll through the exhibits and get inspired by the bold colours and patterns that define the city's aesthetic. We highly recommend pre-booking a day in advance and buying all-inclusive ticket to both the museums and the Jardin Marjorelle which is a unique cacti-laced garden in hues of indigo and yellow which is a part of the Yves Saint Laurent estate.
The Yves Saint Laurent Museum
And of course, no trip to Marrakech would be complete without a visit to a Hammam. These traditional Moroccan bathhouses are the ultimate in relaxation, with steam rooms, massages, and exfoliating scrubs that will leave you feeling like a brand new person. Just don't be surprised if you leave with more dead skin skin than you thought you had.
The spa at the La Mamounia is worth the hype but we also love the quaint experiences of the La Sultana spa and the Farnatchi spa. And if you have an afternoon to spare, the Chenot spa at the Selman Marrakech has an attractive lunch and spa offer where you can use their wet facilities for a long, indulgent day.
So there you have it - Marrakech is a city that's full of surprises and delights, from the chaotic energy of the medina to the serene beauty of the Bahia Palace. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring your sense of adventure and your thick skin to deal with relentless cabbies. Happy exploring!