The new investment M Private Residences made in Rocksure completely opened our membership's doors to new destinations. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting our properties in Marrakech, Morocco and was blown away.
I had no idea what to expect – initially, I had a vision of a country that was deeply Islamic with burkas being the dress of the day. Certainly, there are many elements of that, but my advice to travelers? Don't pack without the usual dress attire you would take to any other European country as Morocco is a meeting point between Europe and North Africa.
Marrakech itself has some interesting sites since it dates back to 1062. There was so much to do, I didn't have enough time to fit it all in on my first visit, but I'd like to tell you about some of the highlights this area has to offer.
Hammam spas are definitely a must-do on anyone's checklist. Incredibly indulgent, visitors come out of Hammam El-Bacha feeling so refreshed and relaxed (nothing beats a great massage!) that many decide to book another spa appointment to try out another hammam before they leave.
Yes! It sounds strange but orange trees are seemingly omnipresent in Marrakech's alleys and courtyards. When exploring Djemaa-El-Fnaa, Marrakech's central square, you will come across a variety of vendors selling orange juice. One glass costs about $1 USD, and often you can try the juice of darker blood oranges for something a bit different. It is delicious, refreshing and healthy!
The Menara Gardens
Visitors can take a calèche (horse-drawn carriage) ride from the Djemaa-El-Fnaa (a market square) to the beautiful gardens, located west of the city at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. It is a great escape from the groups of tourists in the Medina – stroll and take pictures by the lake, which is surrounded by fruit orchards, olive groves and the gorgeous Moroccan landscape.
The Saadian Tombs
Tombs may sound a little morbid, but beyond the ancient walled garden is a site rich with history, that date from the time of the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (late sixteenth through early seventeenth centuries). Three pavilions stand tall and represent the reign of this Saadian sultan, holding numerous graves of this dynasty.
M Private Residences in Morocco
Aside from the culture, the M Private properties in Morocco are immaculate. The Villa el Bouro and El Goute are both luxurious and close to everything you might want to experience.
More importantly, the staff there that took care of my needs are beautiful people, inside and out. They were nothing but extremely polite and made every effort to ensure that I had everything needed to make my stay enjoyable in every way, and made every effort to ensure that they were barely noticeable while I was there.
However, I was interested in engaging with them rather than having them only behind the scenes, so we decided to have what we named the "First Annual Marrakech Invitational Badminton Tournament." At first, the maid was a bit unsure, seeing as no other guests had engaged the household staff in anything but household-related requests. But, slowly and surely, as rackets were handed out, even she came around. I set up the net and hours of fun was had by all.
As the sun set on this wonderful vacation, I couldn't wait to return.
Neal G. is an owner member of M Private Residences