Marvellous Marakech

Where to get more info/recomendations
The Hedonist guide to Marrakech is amazing (I wrote them off as I thought they sounded like hen-night guides but I was so wrong, and its a really great book to have).
Also check out the tips on Mr and Mrs Smith

Places to stay:
We stayed at Dar les Cicognes. Its a gorgeous riad, not the most expensive but probably not the cheapest either. There are so many wonderful places to stay everyone had a favourite, but get one with a little roofterrace for breakfast and you won't regret it.

Where to eat:
We had lunch on the roof at the Branson riad (El Fenn) one day which was fab - amazing barbecue food.
You MUST MUST MUST have dinner in the Jemma el-fna square one night. Start by paying an exorbitant price to go and have mint tea on the balcony of the Cafe de France. Its SO worth the view as the sun sets, the storytellers come out, the fires are lit, and the tourist cameras start clicking. Go early to get a seat at the front. Then check out the stalls below for dinner. You'll see, some are very very local, some quite touristy, but you'll get a sense of where you want to sit and eat and we had a really fabulous (and non-dodgy) meal.
For a really romantic but not cheap dinner, book at Dar Moha. It used to be Pierre Balmain's house. Only go if you can get a table by the pool in the garden. Stunning, wonderful...
We also ate at Le Foundouk. Getting there is half the fun - someone in a cloak comes to meet your cab with a lantern and guides you down a little alley. Its pretty modern inside with international food - try to sit up on the balcony
Le Comptoir has more traditional food but a really vibey place.
Have lunch in Cafe Arab when you're in the souk, its welcome relief and the downstairs terrace is gorgeous - Yves-Klein-blue walls, lovely food.
The one we missed but top of the list for next time is Al Fassia, Gueliz - run by women, raved about by Ottolenghi

Other tips:
You WILL get lost frequently but its part of the fun. Taxis can be a mere but are essential in the evening when you're trying to find restaurants that don't seem to exist.

Stuff to do:
YSL gardens are great but crazy queues. Don't know if you can get tickets in advance, but if you can, then definitely do or get there very early (or late).
We had lovely treatments at the Bains de Marrakech (finishing off in side by side bathtubs with rose petals - hilarious!). Not a scary hamam, quite luxe but not over the top and European.
Shopping - everywhere. Its hard to point to specific shops, you'll have your favourites...and then never be able to find them again anyway in the warren of streets! Haggle like crazy and carry home your bargains, if you're anything like us you'll enjoy them for years to come.

Out of town:
Whatever you do, even if you're just there for a long weekend, see if your hotel can arrange a private trip to the Atlas mountains. It's an unbelievable contrast to the craziness in the city - blue skies, hot sunshine, snowy mountains, just stunning. We went to a totally mental market, we hiked up to some waterfalls (don't wear sandals!) and stopped at some incredibly viewpoints on the way. Unbelievably memorable and worth every penny.

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