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The Weekender: Marrakech, Morocco

How to make the most of a weekend steeped in Marrakech’s rich culture and hidden luxuries

For the sensory traveler, Marrakech is among the most stimulating places in the world: the buzz of the medina’s market stalls, the fragrant air of freshly ground spices and roasted meats, and the constant kaleidoscope of rich colors at every turn together lend to the all-enveloping experience for which this city is known. For as overwhelming as the medina itself can be, an equal counterpart of tranquility is found nearby at the recently unveiled Fairmont Royal Palm, where world-class dining, golf, and design come together in exquisite form within a lush 231 hectare olive grove. In other words, it’s oasis of quiet luxury juxtaposed against the city center’s vibrant fervor. Here’s how to make the most of a weekend in Marrakech, Morocco with the best of both worlds at your fingertips.

Royal Palm Hotel, Beachcomber Hotels, photo by Alan Keohane

Friday Afternoon:

Arrive at Marrakech Menara airport. A chauffeur awaits just beyond the arrival doors, ready to escort you to Fairmont (a mere 15 minutes away). Upon arrival and check-in, you’ll be whisked to your sprawling room via golf cart, which you should take as an opportunity to soak up the views of the stunning property along the way.

Royal Palm Hotel, Beachcomber Hotels, photo by Alan Keohane

Friday Evening:

After freshening up for the evening, head down to Le Bar near the lobby for an apéritif. Be sure to grab a seat facing the window; the picturesque Atlas Mountains make for the perfect backdrop to a signature Fairmont cocktail. Once dinnertime rolls around, make your way upstairs to Al Aïn, where a traditional Moroccan dining experience awaits.

Al Aïn

Al Aïn

Saturday Morning:

Wake up early for either a massage appointment or hammam ritual at Spa by Clarins or a workout in the state-of-the-art fitness center. Either way, you’ll want to work up an appetite for the hotel’s impressive breakfast spread. Fuel up on fresh mint tea and housemade Moroccan treats for a full day ahead.

The Clarins Spa at Royal Palm Hotel, Beachcomber Hotels, photo by Alan Keohane

Saturday Afternoon:

Early in the afternoon, find yourself in the heart of the medina, either with a guide or on your own. Spend some time getting lost in the maze of vendors and winding alleyways before sitting down to lunch in the oasis that is Le Jardin’s lush courtyard. (Do not leave without ordering the orange blossom crème brulée for dessert.)

Fairmont Royal Palm

Fairmont Royal Palm

Saturday Evening:

Return to the hotel for a pre-dinner break before your reservation at Le Caravane, yet another showcase of Fairmont’s exceptional dining capabilities — Chef Yann Meinsel’s local and seasonal fare and an expansive wine collection add a unique and elevated layer to the hotel’s diverse culinary portfolio.

Le Caravane

Le Caravane

Sunday Morning:

On the morning before your departure, squeeze in either a round of golf on the 75 hectare green or a soak in the 25 meter ozonized outdoor swimming pool, both accompanied by panoramic views of the Atlas Mountains — the perfect postcard ending to a visually-charged weekend in Marrakech.

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