Marrakesh – advice needed

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  • EU_Flyer

    I was slightly drunk one night and booked a non refundable ticket to Marrakesh for early January. Now I have to go and will do so solo for 4 nights just after NYE.

    Should I stay in a riad in medina or one of the big resorts near the centre like the Movenpick or Radisson Blu?

    I value safety + peace/quiet but also open spaces to sit and read a book – so worried that Medina may be too chaotic and a riad too limited in facilities?

    Also – any insights into weather or local attractions?

    Many thanks in advance.


    It will be cold at night and sunny by day, make sure you’ve got both extremes packed for. If you stay out at one of the ‘resort’ hotels, you might as well go to Spain. If you stay in the new town, you’ll possibly find it unimpressive.

    My recommendation is that, as you are going to Marrakech, do the proper Marakchi thing and stay in a Riad. The facilities may be limited but the service and welcome will be extraordinary. If you want open space, make sure the Riad has a rooftop where you can sit and breakfast and read in the morning sun.

    I recommend the maison mnabha as a lovely riad – but there are many to choose from.

    Go for it and have a great time.

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    I can highly recommend the Villa des Orangers as a place to stay. It has an extremely relaxing ambiance and is superb in every respect.

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    As others have said don’t go resort style, or if you do, then it’s La Mamounia, lots of history and heritage, but for I would plump for a riad I used jasper conran’s L’hotel last year and can highly recommend it.

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    For a first trip, you’ll want to stay in a Riad in the old town. They have thick walls, you shouldn’t have too much noise. Set expectations to “nice B&B”, they are not purpose-built modern hotels! On the positive, you can potentially have breakfast on a roof terrace, with things cooked to order, with just a few other guests, rather than a scrum for a bland hotel buffet

    If you want to sit about and read, a Riad with a roof terrace should do you nicely, plus there’s a load of nice parks and gardens about the city

    Make sure you download Google Maps for offline navigation before you leave, but armed with that you can avoid getting lost in the old town, and you can have fun exploring. The Medina is safe just confusingly laid out. Pretty low pressure selling too, just plan on haggling when you find something you want.

    Taxis to the new town are pretty cheap, if you want to go to some of the fancier modern restaurants there. Agree a price before you set off, they’ll never use the meter for tourists.

    I’d say that the Bahia Palace and Saadien’s Tombs are must-sees, just amazing buildings. Jardin Majorelle was wonderful too, but that’s a bit further, it’s in the new town area. Several small-ish but good museums dotted about. Otherwise, wander round, see the market areas, figure out what stuff you enjoy more there (reading / shopping / buildings / gardens / museums / etc), then do more of that!

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