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Luxury Travel in Morocco: Marrakech, Fes, Essaouira, Sahara Desert and Atlas Mountains

OVERVIEW

Luxury travel in Morocco will sweep you off your feet, literally. Wake up at dawn and let a hot air balloon carry you over Marrakech as the sun creeps above the Atlas Mountains. Immerse yourself in Marrakech, Fes and Essaouira, oases dripping with palm trees, history and tradition. Delve into the winding souks bursting with vibrant colors, hand-woven rugs, ceramics, jewelry, shoes, spices, leather goods and every textile imaginable. The scenic landscapes as you travel through the country are transfixing - from the cities to the mountains to the valleys and onto the desert and dunes. Trek these dunes on camel back and stargaze on a crisp desert night while the stars invade the illustrious Sahara sky. Treat yourself to mouthwatering cuisine and luxury riads, bask in the sun, discover hidden alleyways, exquisite Moorish inspired doors, archways and mosques, souks, snake charmers and the azure mediterranean coastline. Luxury travel in Morocco is exotic, unexpected, rugged and beautiful, exciting and tranquil, it's everything you're envisioning and more. Morocco can go from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds, so hold on tight and ready, set, go. 

WHAT WE LOVE 

  • The Medinas and Souks of Marrakech & Fes: 
    Dive into Marrakech' Medina, the city's walled old quarter and Fes, Morocco's second largest city and the 'Athens of Africa'. Embrace the inevitable sensory overload - merchant calls and clambering mule carts echo throughout the streets, the scent of fresh baked goods track you down, the mosaics tantalize your eyes, the heat tickles your skin and the souks enthrall you. These two cities host never-ending labyrinths of artisan shops and eager merchants. Bright colors and fabrics, intricate pottery and artifacts, leather and spices, foreign smells and sounds - the crowds are immense but there's a beautiful fluidity to it all. 
  • The Atlas Mountains:
    Drive, bike or hike across some of the highest peaks on the African Continent. Or, for a really spectacular experience, glide over the Atlas range in a hot air balloon - wake at dusk, watch as your celestical carriage inflates and prepare yourself for a gorgeous sunrise. 
  • The Sahara Desert:
    Journey the dunes of Erg Chebbi and Zagora lined with century-old castles, oases, fortified villages and unexpected bursts of palms among stretches of barren land. Ride deep into the desert on camel back, arrive at your Bedouin camp for the night, eat traditional foods, listen and dance to Berber music and finally, lay beneath the sky and notice your heart beat accelerate as the Milky Way reveals itself above you.  
  • Participate in Moroccan Traditions: Immerse yourself in the culture and learn about some of Morocco's ancient practices. Visit the Tighanimine Womens Fairtrade Argan Oil Cooperative where Berber women teach you the art of cracking Argan shells with sharp stones. Treat yourself to tart green olives and pyramids of couscous but make sure to sign up for a private cooking class and take home some of the greatest gastronomic secrets in the world. Check out Fes' leather tanneries and take in the sight of dozens of men, waist deep in dyes, working at a century-old trade. Dine with a Sufi Brotherhood...the options are endless. 
  • The Azure Waters of Seaside Essaouira: This town still has remnants of its bohemian past - crocheted Rasta beanies are sold alongside fezzes in the souk and surfers come from near and far to lap up the waves and what is now considered one of the world's top windsurfing and kiteboarding spots. Soak up the sun and the crisp ocean breeze, go wine tasting, watch snake charmers and acrobats perform their best tricks and later head south to check out the historical ruins. 
  • Luxury Riads: One of our favorite things about Morocco is that you truly can't escape the culture. Stay in luxury riads, traditional palaces with interior gardens and courtyards and learn all about the historical purpose of this architectural style, a style that has been prevalent in Morocco for millennia. 

REST & REJUVENATE

  • Marrakech
    • Royal Mansour: Set within the walls of Marrakech's old city, the Royal Mansour is an oasis of unmatched relaxation. A magical property adorned with courtyards, fountains, fruit trees, waterways and elegant riads that resemble small palaces. Gorge yourself on gourmet Moroccan cuisine prepared by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alleno, stroll through the inspiring art gallery and surrounding gardens, retreat to the property's peaceful enclave for afternoon tea and visit the hammam for a traditional spa treatment.
    • La Sultana: Authentic, unique and timeless. La Sultana Marrakech is a smaller and more intimate property, allowing for a personalized touch in every aspect of your stay - from design and comfort to cuisine and seamless service. Relax from your panoramic terrace or the misted solarium, take a walk through nearby Jemaa El Fna square, explore all that Marrakech has to offer and make sure to check out the open air massage rooms and sign up for a cooking class. 
    • Riad El Fenn: With 28 individually styled rooms and suites, tree-filled courtyards, a 7000ft roof terrace and a family of resident tortoises, Riad El Fenn is undoubtedly one of our all-time favorites. Truly one of the most intricately artistic properties you'll ever see, the design brilliantly combines the building's past with a subtle yet beautiful contemporary twist. Bask in an unparalled tranquil setting achieved with hideaway nooks, private pools and polished riads - this property knows exactly what you need at the end of a long day. 
    • Selman Hotel: The Selman features intimate riads with private gardens and swimming pools paired with oriental inspired art, cuisine, spa treatments and hospitality. What makes the Selman Hotel unlike any others though is the stud - professionaly designed and lavish stables that are home to pure bred Arabian horses - admire these beautiful and regal creatures as they roam freely throughout the gardens. 
    • La Mamounia: This property lives up to its phenomenal reputation in every single way yet still manages to catch you off guard with sheer and unparalled excellence. La Mamounia is sophisticated and grand, the decor is traditional but not without a modern sense of comfort, the riads and suites are seducingly luxurious, the entire experience really begs the simple yet dangerous question - 'why leave?'
    • Palais Namaskar: Palais Namaskar is an oasis of well-being, a place of absolute transquility nestled perfectly between the untamed desert and the majestic Atlas range. Stay in your very own palace with large private pools, secluded walled gardens and breathtaking panoramic views - choose between the Water Palace, Mountain Palace or Pool Palace - the only decision you'll have to make throughout your entire stay. Innovative spa treatments, organic cuisine and evocative Moorish architecture paired with calm contemporary interiors make for a dream-like ambiance and a truly unforgettable experience.
  • Essaouira
    • L'Heure Bleue: This is a fabulous Relais & Chateaux property. L'Heure Bleue lies right in the heart of the historic port city, the pool and the terrace overlook the Medina and the ocean, the cuisine offers a subtle blend of French and Moroccan influences and the attention to detail is second to none - even the soap has fresh orange blossoms in it!
    • Villa de L'Ô: Steps from the beach, the souks and the golf course, this 18th century riad exudes an invincible architectural spirit. The invigorating ocean breeze travels through the property and awakens your senses - notice the beautiful fabrics oscillate and shimmer in the sun, appreciate the subtle alchemy between the stone and sculpted wood and overdose on traditional mint tea and other Moroccan delicacies.
  • Fes
    • Riad Fes: Riad de luxe sums it up perfectly. A subtle mix of Andalusia sumptuousness and Moroccan art de vivre, the Riad Fes reflects its prestigious past and the refined civilisation to which it belongs. This majestic palace is an authentic example of Hispanic-Moorish architecture, boasting four harmoniously styled patios and panoramic views of the sun rising over the Fes Medina and the Atlas mountain range. Hammams and massages, fountains, sophisticated cuisine and a trendy lounge bar: this is a world where traditions and contemporary conveniences combine delightfully. 
    • Hotel Sahrai: An amazing boutique hotel perched on a hill overlooking the city. This property is stunning, a virtual architectural coup, with sunken stone baths and gorgeous displays of Moroccan artifacts throughout all the rooms. 
  • High Atlas Mountains
    • Kasbah Tamadot: Situated in spectacular Asni, a little village and marketplace in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, the award-winning Kasbah Tamadot was purchased by Sir Richard Branson during one of his famous ballooning expeditions. Each of the 27 rooms and suites feature antiques from all over the world and are individually decorated to reflect the architecture of the building. Appreciate the peaceful courtyards, intriguing staircases, landscaped gardens and breathtaking views. The master suite is a miniature replica of the Kasbah, with 360 degree views of the mountain scenery. 
    • Kasbah du Toubkal: A more rugged property situated in the village of Imlil and the High Atlas Mountains. The Kasbah itself is set on a hilltop 100 metres above the reception so you'll have to walk a little ways, but not to worry, friendly mules will carry your luggage. This award-winning hotel offers delightful gardens, large terraces and unparalled views.
WHAT TO KNOW
  • Weather: Generally speaking, Morocco's climate is moderate and subtropical. That being said, it does vary according to season and region:
    • Summer (July-September): During the height of summer, it can get uncomfortably hot in Marrakech and Fes and of course the desert but Casablanca, Rabat and Essaouira benefit from a colder ocean breeze. 
    • Fall (September-October): Summer weather lingers into these months but it does get a little colder and there are higher chances of rain. 
    • Winter (November-February): Winters are mild but temperatures drop heavily in Northern Morocco and the Atlas mountains see a lot of snow.
    • Spring (February-June): Spring sees a summer climate in the South and in the mountains as well as on the coast. 
  • When To Go: Spring is considered the best season to experience Morocco, Fall is a close second and the Summer is typically livelier and more crowded. Depending on where you want to go and what kind of atmosphere you prefer, the answer to this question can be very different so feel free to reach out and ask us.
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