Most travellers come to Marrakech hoping to find exotic-looking people, ornate palaces and treasure-filled souks. They want to take a magic carpet ride into the world of the Arabian Nights - and to be able to buy the carpet afterwards. Amazingly, Marrakech manages to live up to this fantasy.
The magic of Marrakech has a lot to do with its setting. It lies at the foot of the High Atlas, on an ancient trade route through the Sahara. You can feel the energy of Africa in the Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech's main square. For almost a thousand years the square has played host to a nightly carnival of singers, tumblers, sorcerers, herbalists, story-tellers and snake charmers. Overlooking this vast open-air show is the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, the highest and most beautiful building in the city.
Then there are the souks. You can wander down miles of labyrinthine passageways, illuminated by shafts of sunlight, watching cloth dyers, wood carvers, jewellery-makers, leather workers and blacksmiths at work. There are temptations on all sides; Touareg jewellery, trilobites, spices, apothecarist’s potions, colonial bric-à-brac, colourful slippers, silk tassels, hanging lanterns, leather bags, wicker baskets and yes, carpets, in every design and colour.
Away from the medina is another Marrakech. The peaceful Majorelle Gardens, beautifully restored by Yves St.Laurent; the splendidly over-the-top Bahia Palace; the ancient medressa of Ben Youssef; the fashionable shops, bars and restaurants of Guéliz where you can sip a cocktail surrounded by a crowd as hip as any to be found in Paris or London.
Many visitors choose to stay in one of Marrakech’s many riads, traditional courtyard houses in the medina. Alternatively, you can head for one of the many modern hotels in Guéliz or the Palmeraie. Further afield is the Marrakech countryside, home to some of the city’s smartest hotels and hideaways. Staying in the Marrakech countryside means a more relaxing lifestyle, fabulous views of the mountains and quick access to Marrakech when you need it.
The Kasbah is a welcoming environment for people seeking a comfortable mountain refuge and for those who wish for superb rooms in a stunning setting.
Kasbah Tamadot is a luxurious hotel in the Atlas Mountains which was bought by Richard Branson during one of his ballooning expeditions.
Very well-run riad in the Bab Doukkala area of the medina of Marrakech. Choice of Moroccan or French restaurants and lovely spa.
Marrakech's best kept secret.. a haven of tranquility, peaceful architecture in large gardens and only ten minutes from the city centre.
Want to stay in a desert camp but don't have the time to travel 6 hours to Southern Morocco? We have the ideal solution!
Set 12km outside of Marrakech, this guesthouse offers both tents and a main-house for bedrooms, and offers views of the High Atlas Mountains
Probably the most luxurious hotel in Morocco. A spectacular masterpiece exceeding the demands of today’s discerning traveller whilst reflecting the true essence of Moroccan tradition.
Luxury five star riad-hotel located in the heart of Marrakech...
Amanjena (peaceful paradise) is the first Aman resort on the African continent and is located just outside the ancient city of Marrakech.
A 23 room riad with pool, roof-top terrace, spa and restaurant.
Set on a lakeside with large gardens, two pools, spa, restaurant, and views to the Atlas mountains
A 20-room hotel in the Palmeraie, renovated by designer Lazaro Rosa Violan
Riad Farnatchi has been created out of five small Riads in the heart of the oldest part of Marrakech where houses have stood for many centuries; some of the walls are over 400 years old.
Lovely Italian owned riad in the heart of the action of the Medina of Marrakech. Great access to the souks and the square. 7 rooms.
Charming authentic riad with cosy, comfortable rooms, located half way between Jemaa El Fna Square and the modern town.
Beautifully run riad with sumptuous spa. Located between souk el'khamis and the Majorelle gardens. Perfect for the best of the old and new Marrakech.
A blend of Moroccan and Indian themes in a 161-room hotel set amongst 55ha of landscaped gardens, with large spa
Selman is a new super luxurious hotel experience in the countryside near Marrakech (only 5 minutes from the city).
An 8-room villa with garden chalets set in two acres of ground
A 5-bedroom villa set in 2.5 acres of gardens, comfortable for 12 people, and possible for upto 20 people.
The Lawrence of Morocco map displays the locations of the destinations and accommodation that we have selected and visited; for each item, hovering over or clicking the marker will display a short summary and photo of that place or hotel, and hotel pricing. Follow the links in the info box to the full page listing which has much more information.
Note that the online map offers both a satellite view (click satellite in the top right) and, for some locations, a street level view (Drag the person in the top left onto the map). These let you explore the country; and when you wish to explore in person, or if you have any questions about the places you see, give our staff a call, or request a quote. Our staff regularly visit the places and accommodation that we feature.
When you book a holiday with us we will provide full driving instructions for reaching your accommodation, where necessary; these can be used by yourself, or you could enjoy the luxury of a driver. Alternatively we will arrange private (car rather than coach) transfers for you; helicopter transfers are also possible for some destinations.
We loved our vacation in Morocco.
We loved our vacation in Morocco. The trek completely lived up to our expectations and the third day in the gorge exceeded them. The accommodation was very comfortable, the food was fresh and healthy and, considering the circumstances, very well prepared. However, what made the trip was how knowledgeable, professional and friendly our guide Abdellah Allali was, we ...
Freelance travel writer, Stephen Bayley, travelled to Fes with Lawrence of Morocco in April 2013, writing for the Independent.
When travelling around Morocco it is not (contrary to common belief) necessary for women to ‘cover up’ out of respect for local modesty traditions. Morocco is a very mixed society with Moroccans who dress as westerners and more traditional families dressing in a more traditional way.
The only areas of the country where it is advisable for women to cover up their legs and shoulders would be in some parts of the High Atlas Mountains (very remote areas) where the locals are rarely visited by foreigners. It is highly unlikely that you will be visiting these areas on any holiday arranged by Lawrence of Morocco.