Treat yourself to the life of Pacha in Marrakech? It’s possible, even at a lower cost! The red city adapts to all desires. Three typical weekends that will fit all wallets.
Treat yourself to the life of Pacha in Marrakech? Easy, even on a tight budget: the chameleon city adapts to all tastes. “King’s breakfast” and “poor man’s dinner” or vice versa, everything is allowed in this two-speed city where you can savor ch’hiwates (delights) of street food for a handful of dirhams and gourmet meals at almost Parisian prices, staying in a charming riad for less than 100 euros a night and treating yourself to a palate by putting (a chouia more) hand to wallet. Here are three ideas for long weekends (3 days/2 nights) for all budgets, including the magic of a thousand and one nights!
Weekend at 500 euros
THE HOTEL: DAR ETERNITY, AN INTIMATE COCOON
At riad Laarouss, the rue des married, the five rooms and suites of this recently renovated 19th century riad all bear names evoking the feeling of love. What promise to cocoon peacefully for two in a cozy decor all in white stucco, moucharabiehs and caramel tones.
Dar Eternity. From 65 euros per room for two with breakfast. 289 Derb Lfaraka HayRiad Laarouss Tel. : +212 (0)524 44 03 08. And also: another intimate cocoon, Riad Le Limounwith a bohemian chic look (from 80 euros).
THE RESTAURANT: AZALAI URBAN SOUK, A TOP MOROCCAN CHEF WITH A TASTE OF THE WORLD
Marhaba in the quirky universe of a talented ex-top chef: a dozen tables on a confidential terrace in Guéliz where all the pretty neo-Berber decor is for sale! And a showcase for ultra-inventive Moroccan cuisine “with the taste of the world” offered on the slate at friendly prices. The end of the end: reserve “the table” in the chef’s private lounge with three surprise menus (55, 75, 95 euros). About 12/15 euros the dish.
Azalai Urban Souk. 67 bd Mansour Eddahbi. Such. : + 212 (0)6 69 29 31 62/6 61 55 57 02.
And also… Brand new, Mandala Society, vintage spot for a gourmet break in the medina. 159 Rue Riad Zitoun Jdid. Such. : +212(0)808534712.
THE ACTIVITY: PICK UP BOTANY IN A CACTUS PLANTATION
Founded in 1964 by Hans Thiemann, an agricultural engineer, the largest cactus plantation in Africa has recently opened up to visitors. On six hectares you can admire the incredible diversity of forms of these strange plants. The oldest ? A huge 83-year-old prachycereus pringlei!
Cactus Thiemann. Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (5.5 euros/pers.). Also 1-hour guided tours (20 euros/pers.) to be booked at least 3 days in advance (from 4 people). Km 10 Road to Casablanca. Such. : +212 (0) 5 25 05 18 79/+ 212 (0)6 61 61 49 01.
And also… At the foot of the Atlas, Anima is a breathtaking artist’s garden (12 euros/pers., free shuttle to be booked on the site)
THE GOOD TRANSPORT DEAL: MIXING TRANSFERS AND TAXIS
Before departure, it is better to book a transfer than to rely on airport taxis, which are often reluctant to apply the imposed rates. In town, the taxi remains the most practical mode of transport, beige cars are everywhere! We forget the concept of station and we share, carpooling is the rule. For more privacy, reserve a car via green taxis (supplement of 0.93 euro during the day, 1.4 euro in the evening), rather efficient, with a downside in high season. Tel + 212 (0)5 24 29 69 70/06 45 46 49 59
THE LITTLE MORE: ARTY ANTICIPATION IN SIDI GHANEM
On the fringes of the medina, the industrial zone of Sidi Ghanem is full of new addresses for designers this spring, such as Jajjah, the new concept store by pop artist Hassan Hajjaj, or the decoration concept stores by Chabi Chic and Maison Sarayan. . We prepare our list of addresses, fashion and design shops or art galleries and we opt for a tourist transport car to travel from one spot to another.
From 30 euros per half-day.
Weekend at 1000 euros
THE HOTEL: DAR CHIBANIA, LIKE HOME IN A REAL RIAD
More than 1000m² on the ground and three patios: this beautiful residence with ten rooms and suites which has recently become a guest house is the archetype of the riad, the house-garden. Like in the movie Yves Saint Laurent filmed here, we savor the atmosphere of a hedonistic family home, between heated swimming pool, spa and terrace with a view of the Atlas.
From 99 euros for a double, 139 euros for a junior suite, 179 euros for a suite with breakfast. 24 derb Mejate. Bab Aylen. Such. : +212 (0)5 24 44 42 21/+ 212 (0)6 62 89 09 08.
And also… A brand new riad, Elegancia by Cenizaro, with a decor carved by the best master craftsmen. From 140 euros with breakfast.
THE RESTAURANT: BACK TO THE 1930S AT BACHA COFFFEE
It is a 1930s nugget nestled in the secret palace of Pacha El Glaoui. In a setting reminiscent of Rick’s Café in the film casablanca and the Caffé Florian in Venice, you can enjoy refined homemade dishes and pastries with a selection of more than 200 coffee grands crus (around 35/40 euros/pers.). Booking is recommended.
Bacha coffee. Such. : + 212 (0) 5 24 38 12 93.
And also… For a bucolic atmosphere, head for the Verger du Ronsard Palace (Relais & Châteaux) for cuisine that tastes like the sun, the chef is from Nice! (about 45 euros/pers.)
THE ACTIVITY: PLAYING THE STARS IN A COLLECTOR’S CAR
How about a ride in a Citroën traction? This is a sample among others of the vintage car fleet of the Domaine du Rétro: more than a hundred models including rarities! Like American billionaire Barbara Hutton’s Rolls Royce Phantom, custom-designed for the narrow streets of Tangier… We follow the fascinating guided tour (18 euros) before taking a 15-minute ride in a classic car. Taste of too little? You can also book trips of 30 minutes or more! (from 55 euros/pers.)
The Domain of Retro. From 100 euros/pers. By reservation: email@example.com. Douar Sidi Bou Othmane. Such. : + 212 (0)6 14 29 77 42.
THE GOOD TRANSPORT PLAN: ON THE ROADS OF MARRAKECH BY BICYCLE
Traffic seems too anarchic to you to cycle? Not even afraid with Pikala Bikes, an eco-responsible foundation that organizes guided tours! In the company of perfectly trained young people, we cross the medina and the palm grove to discover confidential places.
Pikala Bikes. From 23 euros/pers. Such. : +212 (0) 684 913 915.
TIP: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE MAJORELLE FOUNDATION’S GUIDED TOURS
On the first Saturdays of the month, the Majorelle Foundation offers guided tours by experts: Majorelle Garden at 10 a.m., Pierre Bergé Museum of Berber Arts at 11 a.m. and Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech Museum (mYSLm) at 12 p.m. To take advantage of it, you must reserve (by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, on the site or by telephone: +212 (0) 524 298 686) and pay a supplement (approximately 3 euros) to the admission price (9, 11 and 14 euros). You can also treat yourself to a private visit (about 92 euros per site in addition to the entrance fee for groups limited to 10 people).
Weekend at 2000 euros
THE HOTEL: THE TWO TOWERS, AN OASIS WITHIN THE OASIS
Want both space and privacy? In a luxuriant area of 3 hectares of the palm grove with a heated swimming pool (28 mx 5), the boutique hotel Les Deux Tours spreads out its 40 rooms and suites like an Arab-Andalusian village. The latest, exceptional suites with ethno-chic décor, some with a private pool or whirlpool bath.
The Two Towers. From 500 euros with breakfast. Douar Abiad. Circuit of the Palmeraie. Such. : + 212 (0) 5 24 32 95 25.
And also… The Villa of Orange Trees (Relais & Châteaux), four new junior suites around a romantic patio. From 735 euros with breakfast, transfers, light lunch, minibar (soft), laundry.
THE RESTAURANT: ELEGANT BRUNCH AT THE PAVILLON DU SELMAN
Green paddocks where competition thoroughbreds evolve… Against the backdrop of a parade of horses, the equestrian brunch at the Pavillon du Selman features Moroccan or Mediterranean delicacies and addictive pastries.
Selman Marrakesh. On reservation on Sunday (120 euros/pers.). Such. : + 212 (0)5 24 45 96 00.
And also… Chez L’Italien by Jean-Georges in The Mamouniaa winter garden decor and Italian gastronomy, including unusual pizzas, including a dessert pizza signed Pierre Hermé (80/90 euros/pers.).
Avenue Bab Jdid. Such. : +212 (0)5 24 38 86 00.
THE ACTIVITY: SEE THE SUN RISING ABOARD A BALLOON
See the first rays of the sun turning the Atlas Mountains pink? Just get up early and take to the skies aboard a Ciel d’Afrique hot air balloon! The must: the private “Royal” flight with gourmet breakfast to savor in the sky of Marrakech.
African skies. From 200 euros/pers. the classic flight in a shared balloon (550 euros the royal flight), transfers included.
And also… Swap the sky for a desert vessel with a chic camel trek and picnic in the Agafay desert (from 140 euros/pers.) inaracamp.com/
THE GOOD TRANSPORT DEAL: A RIDE IN A VINTAGE SIDE-CAR
Here is a doubly original mode of transport: a very vintage sidecar, piloted by a driver-guide knowledgeable about the secrets of the Red City! The key, several unusual walks, from 1h30 to 10h.
Marrakesh Insiders. From 160 euros/sidecar for a trip between the flea market and the palm grove.
ADVICE: TAKE A WELL-BEING BREAK
Laze in the sun, weave lengths in a competition pool (heated in winter) and munch on delicacies in the shade of palm trees. In winter as in summer, allow yourself a well-being parenthesis by spotting the “daypass” formulas of the hotels. At the Es Saadi Marrakech Resort, treat yourself to a spa treatment and access to the indoor swimming pool and its Oriental Thermae course (90 euros/pers., lunch included). And at the Royal Mansour, we book a private pavilion by the pool 30 meters long (280 euros for 2 with mocktail, lunch and frozen snack and 20% discount on the spa menu).
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Marrakech for 500, 1000 or 2000 euros: three budgets for three tailor-made weekends