As the leaves begin to transition from green to a beautiful gold and those triple digit Houston days are tempered by a crisp, cool breeze, it’s safe to say fall is upon us. It’s one of our favorite seasons of the year and one of our very favorite times to travel.
We thought we would share a few highlights from Sandy’s recent visit to Morocco with Mary Baskin of The Vagabond Travel Co. From the vibrant cities of Marrakech and Essaouira to the Agafay desert dunes, this Moroccan adventure is sure to inspire a trip of your very own!
During our time in Marrakech, we were fortunate to call the Riad Mena home. Only minutes away from Marrakech’s picturesque square, Jemaa el-Fnaa, the Riad was originally several private homes and offered the perfect sanctuary and memorable experience.
VILLA OASIS AND JARDIN MAJORELLE
A highlight of the trip was our private tour of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge’s Villa Oasis in Marrakech which is truly spectacular. Although I wasn’t allowed to capture photos of the interiors, they were magnificent and the Jardin Majorelle and surrounding grounds were as well.
The Jardin Majorelle is one of the most enchanting and mysterious gardens in Morocco! Although the gardens were in disrepair in the 1980s, Yves Saint Laurent fell in love during one of his visits, saved them from demolition, and restored the area to its original glory. You can learn more about the history behind the garden here.
Conceived by the French painter Jacque Majorelle in the early 1900s, we love how the boldly-colored buildings blend both Art Deco and Moorish influences. It was originally meant to serve as a sanctuary and botanical laboratory and Majorelle began filling the garden with exotic botanical specimens from the far corners of the world in 1922. It was both peaceful and inspiring.
The nearby Yves Saint Laurent Museum designed by Studio KO houses many iconic designs, each with a rich history and interesting story.
VILLA MAROC HOTEL
A favorite stop was our quaint hotel Villa Maroc in the port city of Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. Composed of four riads, this beautiful property has chic rooms, a spa, and the most fabulous views of the ocean.
BELDI COUNTRY CLUB
This delightful escape boasts a mix of traditional Moroccan elements and French chic style. A verdant oasis where you are surrounded by ancient olive trees, artisan shops and stylish interiors that celebrate indoor/outdoor living, all with a distant view of the Atlas Mountains.
EL FENN HOTEL
This boutique hotel with a beautiful rooftop restaurant and bar combines luxury with authenticity and has some of the most extraordinary interiors by designer Madeline Weinrib. Immersed in Marrakesh’s color, vibrancy and artisanal heritage, the interior styling is sure to leave you feeling inspired.
THE INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT
We spent a day touring Marrakesh’s Industrial District (or Sidi Ghanem) which consists of designer showrooms and galleries that feature talented artisans. Textiles, pattern play, and bright bold colors bring life to the culture of Morocco in the form of art and furnishings.
One of my favorite stops was at Marrakshi Life which was founded by two creatives from New York with the mission to embrace Moroccan culture through the traditional weaving techniques of the region. They design and create the most beautiful sustainable fashions!
A few more pics from the Industrial Zone’s quaint shops, all of which carry exceptional items crafted by traditional Moroccan artisans. It’s safe to say we wanted one of everything!
DAR EL SADAKA
Created by French visual artist Jean-François Fourtou, Dar El Sadaka is one of the most exceptional villas in Marrakech. We enjoyed touring the exquisite spaces and enchanting sculpture gardens followed by lunch in the Giant’s House where everything is significantly grand in scale!
“La Mamounia, the magnificence of modernity and the best of tradition”
Known globally for its extensive gardens and ornate architectural detailing, the lavish La Mamounia Hotel is a symbol of traditional Moroccan hospitality. This private estate was transformed into an exquisite hotel in the early 1900s and is owned in part by the royal family. It’s the go-to property for celebrities and politicians visiting Marrakech and has served as “home away from home” for everyone from Franklin D. Roosevelt, Elton John, and Francis Ford Coppola to Kate Winslet and The Rolling Stones.
DUNES OF AGAFAY
It wouldn’t be a proper trip to Morocco without some time spent in the desert! We enjoyed a wonderful night at La Pause Marrakesh desert camp surrounded by the Agafay dunes. It was simply magical and riding a camel was the experience of a lifetime!
A few more snapshots that will have you ready to book your flights to Morroco in no time:
Back in Marrakech, views of a 400 year old garden. The adorned ceilings of Morocco are everywhere:
Rug shopping is a must in Morocco:
Tuk Tuks are the best way to get around the Medina!
Be sure to visit the Bahia Palace built in the 19th century for exquisite Eastern architecture:
Have you been to Marrakech? Leave us a note below with your favorite destinations so we can add them to our itinerary for next time!
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
– Jawaharial Nehru