The mystery and decadence of Marrakech lingers long after you’ve departed. Built around centuries-old souks, it’s an intriguing mix of old meets new, all set in the shadow of the imposing Atlas Mountains.
LUMIRA founder and creative director Almira Armstrong found the city so alluring, she was inspired to create two new scents: Soleil du Maroc and Desert Nights (read about them, together with our new parfum collection, here).
These are Armstrong’s picks for a Marrakech experience to remember.
Stay: El Fenn
Part hotel and part riad, El Fenn is tucked down a side alley but close to the action. It has just 28 guest rooms and suites but includes all the amenities you’d expect from somewhere larger, including three pools, a spa and a yoga lawn. The rich jewel tones of the sumptuous interiors perfectly complement the soaring ceilings and breezy walkways. In short, El Fenn – which is owned and run by Richard Branson’s sister Vanessa – is the ideal place to base yourself for a stay in Marrakech. Take advantage of the organised activities, including market tours and camel rides, to experience a taste of local life.
Do: The Yves Saint Laurent Museum and Jardin Majorelle
Once a holiday destination for Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, the museum and gardens now form part of the incredible legacy left by one of the 20th century’s greatest designers. Designed by architectural firm Studio Ko, the YSL Museum’s building is a work of art in itself, and hosts temporary art exhibitions alongside the enduring work of YSL. The nearby Jardin Majorelle is a riot of colour, from the ultramarine buildings to the spiky desert succulents.
Located at one end of a spice souk and with views stretching over the city’s rooftops all the way to the Atlas Mountains, Nomad is unrivalled on the city’s dining scene. It’s spread over four floors, but the rooftop terrace is the best place to take in the view, ideally at sunset, while enjoying the modern Moroccan cuisine and a cocktail or two.
Escape: Beldi Country Club
A short taxi ride from the city, Beldi is an ideal escape from the bustle of souks. And with the option to book a day pass to access the stunning grounds and swimming pools, it’s a great idea for when you just need some downtime. Experience the traditional hammam in the spa, take a Moroccan cooking class, or simply relax in the shade of the sprawling gardens.