By Michael Chapman
Explore the vast desert and majestic mountains
If countryside, desert and mountains are your vibe, then head just outside of Marrakech and base yourself in the foothills of the snow-capped high Atlas.
Stay: At Le Palais Paysan, to enjoy the long, hot days with panoramic views of the Atlas mountains, stopping only for a dip in the pool, a lunch of local Tagine or some R&R at the hotel’s traditional Hammam.
Do: Palais Paysan will hook you up with a short transfer to the base camp of Buggy Event Maroc. Hire quads or buggies for a half or full day, and head out across never-ending desert landscape, stopping only for MadMax worthy snaps and a cup of mint tea with the locals.
Do: A hike into the high Atlas mountains is not to be missed. A guide will ensure you’re on the best tracks, and get the most authentic experience with a stop for lunch in a traditional Berber village. The hike itself is mind-blowing, with landscape so vast you'll feel like you're in a Western movie, Jurassic Park and on Mars all at once.
Get lost in the magical Medina
If a bustling, bursting-at-the-seams city excites you, then be sure to stay in the Medina, (the walled ancient city with narrow, winding streets), where finding your way around the seething souks and bartering with local sellers will leave you ready to escape to a peaceful Riad come bedtime.
Stay: At Riad Adore, for a charming, contemporary oasis behind the mayhem of the Medina. Step off the dusty narrow streets and behind an old wooden door, find yourself amongst splashing fountains, tropical plants, plunge pools and intricate architecture.
Do: Visit the Marjorelle Gardens, for a plant paradise filled with cacti, bamboo groves and palm trees. Once the home of fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent, the towering plants are set against an intense shade of ultramarine blue. Arrive early morning to avoid the crowds and take it all in in peace.
Eat: Dar Yacout may be slightly off the beaten track, but if you’re up for having dinner in one of the most beautiful settings you’ll ever eat dinner, then this is not to be missed. The food is traditional, the service exceptional, the setting magical, and we’ll leave the rest to be revealed if you’re lucky enough to experience this gem.
Pick your paradise in the Palmeraie
Situated on the edge of the city’s Northern section lies the Palmeraie, a paradise of hundreds of thousands of palm trees, dotted with luxury resorts, extravagant hotels and private villas. Nicknamed the “Beverly Hills of Marrakech”, the Palmeraie provides a tranquil escape if exclusive luxury living is more your style.
Stay: At Le Palais Namaskar, where golden-domed palaces and extravagant walkways are completely surrounded by water, lush Balinese-style gardens are dotted with hammocks and cushions, and the 41 suites and rooms are luxurious to say the least.
Do: Visit the spa centre for your treatment of choice, head to the airy, open gym, or take advantage of the 24 hour room service, and enjoy the hotel's delicious cuisine from your own private patio. Apart from that, there’s not much else to do, which ultimately seems to be the charm of this place.