Four Seasons Resort Marrakech: Within Walking Distance Beautiful gardens, stunning architecture, vibrant shopping, unique attractions and much more. Here are six tips for experiencing Marrakech like a local.
1/6 Just across from Four Seasons Resort Marrakech is the Menara Gardens, a beautiful, 88 hectacre (220 acre) garden oasis that dates back to the 12th century. Built as a respite for city residents by Abd al-Mu’min, a ruler from the Berber-Muslim Almohad caliphate, it serves the same purpose for visitors exploring the palm tree, fruit tree and olive tree orchards that surround the large artificial lake. The gardens were refurbished during the 19th century, and a green-tiled pavilion was built for use by the sultans. Nowadays, it’s the perfect place to catch views of the landscape all the way (if you’re lucky) to the Atlas Mountains.
Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
2/6 The bustling Place Jemaa el Fna is the heart of the Medina. With its snake charmers, acrobats, dancers, storytellers, food vendors, musicians and magicians, Marrakech’s main square is the most vibrant to be found on the African continent. And when you’re tired of wandering about, you can observe the hustle and bustle from the comfort of one of the café terraces that line the square.
Photography Getty Images
3/6 To see Moroccan design at its best, head to the Palais Bahia in the Medina, which was meant to be the world’s grandest palace when it was built by the sultan’s grand vizier in the late 19th century. The palace blends Andalusian and Moorish architecture, and is full of antiques and beautiful design touches, like hand-painted carved wooden ceilings and doors, beautiful archways, elaborate stucco plasterwork, zellige tile-work, and tedlak walls. It’s some of Morocco’s best eye candy.
4/6 In the alleyways that shoot off of the Place Jemaa el Fna are Marrakech’s souks. Along the labyrinthine lanes, you’ll find fashion-forward clothing stores that put a contemporary spin on traditional Moroccan dress, antique rug dealers, tailors offering up exquisitely intricate caftans, furniture and interiors shops that sell elaborate tables made from antique wooden doors, and herbalistes who mix up highly effective skin-care cures—all of whom have set up shop alongside traditional spice vendors and guys selling all sorts of tourist tchotchkes. Don’t be overwhelmed if you get lost—that’s half the fun. Just watch out for motorbikes that may be speeding through.
Photography Getty Images
5/6 Just west of Jemaa el Fna is the Koutoubia Mosque, which is the most prominent landmark in Marrakech. The mosque was one of the world’s tallest when it was built in the 12th century to celebrate the victory of an Almohad sultan over the Almoravids. And while that’s no longer the case, the mosque’s 68-metre (223-foot) minaret is still the tallest building around, thanks to regulations in the Medina that don’t allow structures to be built higher than a palm tree. The mosque is open only to Muslims, but there is a lovely rose garden that accommodates non-Muslim visitors.
6/6 Of all the expat residents in Marrakech, French painter Jacques Marjorelle and fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent were among the most famous. Visitors to Marrakech can see their legacies at , a colorful, fantasy-like botanical garden that was created by Marjorelle in the 1930s, and later purchased and restored by Saint Laurent (Saint Laurent’s partner, Pierre Bergé, still owns the garden). Wander among the 5 hectacres (12 acres) of ponds, pavilions and plants from across the globe, including cacti from America’s Southwest, bamboo from Southeast Asia and palm trees from India. There’s also a mini-museum that houses Saint Laurent’s personal collection of Islamic art and a quaint café that’s perfect for a quick coffee. Jardin Marjorelle
Visitors to Marrakech in search of a conveniently located pied-à-terre would do well to check into
Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, which is ideally situated for exploring Morocco’s Red City. Thanks to its easy access to sites like the rose-hued ramparts of the Medina, the ornate Palais Bahia and bustling Place Jamaa el Fna, you can spend a leisurely afternoon sight-seeing and still make it back to the tranquil Resort grounds in time to catch sunset from the rooftop bar, a glass of Moroccan vino in hand. Plan Your Visit
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