Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Mixing the old with the new in Marrakech

royalpalm_196spa copy.jpg

Words: Emma Shaw

Arriving in Morocco I was instantly hit with the heat, which was well and truly welcome following a month of British rain washed down with hot mugs of Lemsip. I’d not visited Marrakech before and had imagined a bustling, busy and slightly stressful experience. But those assumptions were almost immediately thwarted.

Following a 40 minute drive from the airport, we turned down a meandering driveway and reached the grand Beachcomber Hotel. Nestled only a short distance from the heart of the city, I was warmly welcomed into a hub of tranquillity and settled down to utter luxury.

Marrakesh Royal palm

The Beachcomber Hotel

Walking into the lobby of the Beachcomber Hotel, we were greeted by spectacular floor-to-ceiling windows displaying one of the most beautiful views: a vast golf course, icy blue swimming pools, and the faint outlines of the Atlas mountain range. Our bags were quickly whisked away to our rooms and so, to kick off the trip in true holiday style we headed straight to the outdoor bar to soak up the sun and enjoy the first cocktail of the long weekend.

One of the things that struck me most about the hotel was how immaculate the grounds were. The smell of lavender was constantly in the air and the hotel was surrounded by multiple olive trees which produced the argon oils served in the hotel restaurant - a lovely little personal touch for the dinner table. 

My room was impressive. With a lounge area, a generously sized bedroom and a bathroom the size of my small London flat, I could have happily moved in. I enjoyed a number of Carrie Bradshaw-style moments too, parading around my huge walk-in wardrobe, which lit up every time I entered. One mojito down, I was already so relaxed and happy to be in Marrakech. 

Marrakesh royal palm

Out and about

The following morning we tucked in to a laid-back breakfast (making the most of the multiple pastries on offer) before heading to the Moroccan souks. Instantly, my senses were bombarded with colour, spices and smoking food stands. I’d anticipated a lot more in-your-face pressure to purchase and had been advised to cover my shoulders and legs. There was a lot of haggling involved (never buy anything at full price) but I did enjoy putting on my best Del Boy impression and seeing what deals I could wangle.


Read more: Personalised paradise: Koh Samui’s Samujana resort


We stumbled upon the leather markets – where we were warmly welcomed by a shop owner who showed us how he transformed camel and cow leathers into beautiful bags (admittedly, it’s not the most visually appealing process). We were each given mint leaves to smell as the scent of the leathers being treated circled the markets and back alleys ferociously.

Royal palm

Relaxation

On the third day of our stay, we made good use of the spa, seeping further into ultimate relaxation. I plumped for the traditional Hamman experience, which was certainly an experience. Entering the steam room in the tiniest cotton underwear, I was encouraged to lay down and relax on a marble slab. The room smelled beautiful and combined with the sound of flowing water it didn’t take long before I properly relaxed and began drifting off. The Hamman is designed to make your entire body feel smooth and pampered – and yes, they will massage your entire body. This is not a massage for the prudish.


Read more: The cheapest European cities for a bargain weekend break


Once I’d gotten over my British reserve I relaxed a little more and enjoyed being scrubbed and doused in warm water. I was then asked to stand under a cold shower to close the pores before lotion, a final touch that made my skin shine with health. If you're not keen on the traditional Hammam you can opt, instead, for a traditional Clarins spa treatment.

Al Ain Marrakesh

Wining and dining 

Another unmissable experience was dinner at the hotel restaurant, Al Ain, a beautifully decorated dining room lined with candles and huge Moroccan lamps. The menu, created by Chef Meryam Diane and her all-woman team showcased spices that are essential in Moroccan cuisine (read: delicious). I enjoyed a trio of tagines with a glass (or two) of traditional Moroccan wine. As our evening came to a close, we were serenaded by a two-man band, which resulted in the whole restaurant upping sticks and dancing with wild abandon (aided by the Moroccan wine).

We also dined at Le Palace in the New Town. The restaurant felt like stepping into Woody Allen’s Cafe Society-style luxury. Chandeliers lit the cosy dining room and champagne flowed. Apparently a visit by the Made in Chelsea crew has upped the club’s popularity. I'd certainly add my recommendation, too. It makes for quite the contrast from the old town and the souks in the city and was a great place to relax after a day spent haggling. 

The total luxury of the hotel mixed with the excitement and experience of the market made for a perfectly balanced trip. Visit the old town and the new to experience the best Marrakech has to offer. 


A three night stay at Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury Marrakech starts from £499 per person with Destinology, based on two people sharing on a room only basis and including return low cost flights from London Gatwick, baggage charges and transfers. For further information or to book visit Destinology.co.uk or call 01204 824619.

Related

woman reading.jpg

Revealed: the best language for English speakers to learn

rexfeatures_7689057m.jpg

Revealed: the 20 most popular attractions in Britain

travel the world.jpg

This company will pay you £8,000 per month to travel the world

More

See red in Koh Samui

Stylist heads to Thailand to experience one of the most spectacular swimming pools in the world

by The Stylist web team
17 Oct 2017

You're more likely to get better service on a plane if you sit here

We've got all the in-flight seating tips you could ever want

by Megan Murray
16 Oct 2017

These are the 10 happiest places to live in the UK

Is it time for a change of scenery?

by Susan Devaney
11 Oct 2017

Discover a Costwolds bolthole with museum-worthy art

Stylist finds Artist Residence Oxfordshire more than lives up to its name

by Amy Adams
10 Oct 2017

The 10 dreamiest (and most expensive) streets to live on in the UK

We should have started saving about ten years ago

by Megan Murray
04 Oct 2017

Discover the real Rome that lies beyond the silver screen

Stylist goes behind the scenes at the living film set that is Rome

by The Stylist web team
03 Oct 2017

Seriously hip hotels you need to follow on Instagram

From a rock’n’roll hideaway in Texas to a futuristic glampsite in Devon

by Anna Hart
28 Sep 2017

Step between the scenes of Australia’s artsy second city…

Melbourne shuns beaches and boardwalks for coffee, culture and creativity, finds Stylist

by The Stylist web team
26 Sep 2017

This is how to book an NYC shopping trip with Sarah Jessica Parker

Sex and the City fans, this is not a drill

by Megan Murray
26 Sep 2017

Sign up to our weekly travel email

24 Sep 2017