This is our second time visiting Marrakech. As soon as we were collected from the airport by our driver Mohamed, I was taken back to the magical energy, the colours, noise, the textures and smells of Marrakech. Undoubtedly Marrakech is not everyone’s cup of tea. This is a city with a real edge. It is contradictory and not easily understood, but for most people, that is all part of its mysterious appeal.
Last time (in 2013) we stayed in a hotel outside the medina and loved the quiet break from the hustle and bustle, but this time we booked a couple of glamorous hideaway riads to stay in and to say the least, we were very excited to try something new. For the first four nights, we stayed in Riad Assala that we booked through Airbnb and were very happy and relaxed in this beautiful hideaway inside the medina. It was at Riad Assala where I also met my namesake turtle friend.
Riad Assala and our room Mini suite Bahia.
Carolina, the friendly tortoise.
I had lamb chops, served with grilled vegetables and an aubergine, olive and red pepper relish. Riz went for the Nomad Burger: spiced lamb burger with aubergine, caramelized onion and harissa mayonnaise.
Herb-infused “green” couscous with arugula, caramelized onions and toasted almonds – this is going to be one of those dishes I’ll keep dreaming of so I have to learn how to make it. And I did, you’ll find the recipe here.
Courgette and feta fritters served with a minted yoghurt sauce.
1 Derb Aarjan, Rahba Lakdima (Place des Epices), Medina | +212 5 24 38 16 09 | website
After lunch, we were strolling through the souks and got lost so many times…
We wanted to start off our week in Marrakech in the most relaxing way and headed to the Heritage Spa that evening for indulging Hammam and massages. All their products are 100% natural and organic, based on argan oil. We went for the Menara Detox Package for two and it was incredible; you are taken to a room where you lay down on heated marble beds, you are scrubbed with black olive soap and then rinsed with pails full of warm water, exfoliated with special clothes, and then covered in a volcanic mud mask. Your hair is washed and you are fully rinsed. This rigorous hammam gommage followed by a massage rendered us blissfully paralysed. You feel so clean and pampered after, it really was the perfect start.
You can choose between two black soaps for Hammam and the oil for your massage.
After Hammam, you can relax in this sweet little lounge and have mint tea with some local sweets.
40, Arset Aouzal – Bab Doukkala – Marrakesh | +212 (0) 5 24 38 43 33 | website
Feeling utterly relaxed and refreshed we sank into our bed dreaming of tomorrow’s adventures. Right in the heart of the medina.