And the most Instagrammable hotel ever
Why go? If you’ve never experienced the culturally-rich North African city of Marrakech, in Morocco, then you’re missing out. Whether it’s history, food, fashion or just a bit of sunshine that you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.
Where to stay: If you’re looking for that authentic Riad experience, without foregoing on luxury, then La Sultana is the place to go. It’s a bit of a hidden gem, nestled as it is in the historic streets of the Medina, just behind the Saadian Tombs.
The intricate gold front doors give you a hint of the treasures that lie beyond, and you aren’t disappointed when you enter. The hotel is built around four traditional Riads, which are open courtyards usually featuring a fountain, with windows facing inwards to protect the privacy of the women who used to live there.
Each Riad of the hotel is beautifully decorated with different influences from around the world. Think classic Morrocon carvings and marble work, Spanish-style windows and African furniture. The theme carries on in the luxurious bedrooms, which feature sunken baths and vibrant colours.
There are only 28 rooms, meaning that even when the hotel is at full capacity, you truly feel like you’re the only ones there.
In other words, it’s the perfect haven after the hustle and bustle of the souks and the Jemaa El Fna place, which are only a 10-minute walk away.
Where to eat: If you don’t fancy going out in the evening, don’t worry. La Sultana offers delicious traditional Moroccan faire as well as French cuisine, which you can enjoy around the central pool.
If you do venture outside, Dar Yacout is a must, though do book ahead if you don’t want to miss out. The restaurant serves up an excellent tasting course of the finest Moroccan dishes, from salads to pastillas and tagine, and is a favourite with the Moroccan royal families and celebrities.
What to do: You can’t go to Marrakech without visiting the Souk. Tourist trap it may be, but it’s worth embracing the experience, getting a little lost in the winding streets and bartering for those souvenirs you’ll probably regret taking home later.
If you’re into fashion, then don’t leave without visiting the musée Yves Saint Laurent, which is entirely devoted to the designer’s work and love affair with the city. You’ll also want to visit the adjoining gardens, Le Jardin Majorelle, which is a riot of colour worthy of any Instagram feed.
Finally, if you’re staying for a few days, do book yourself into an excursion in the Atlas mountains, where you can hike up the Ouzoud waterfalls and enjoy lunch in a Berber family home.