words and photos by Terembe Cherono
A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Morocco for the second time. Marrakech is a bucket list destination and for good reason. Known commonly as ‘the red city‘, Marrakech is brimming with beauty (both natural and built) and a range of activities for all kinds of travellers. It’s both enchanting and easygoing and you’re bound to enjoy your time there – alone or with others!
Here’s a little recap of my trip.
I flew via Qatar Airways so took 3 flights to arrive in Marrakech – NBO to Doha – Doha to Casablanca – Casablanca to Marrakech. Travelling to Morocco from Kenya is a long journey. You’ll either have to take a super long flight directly (12+ hours via Royal Air Maroc) or a connecting flight through other airports outside the continent (other options were Dubai or Paris). It’s a long trip because this continent is huge!
Morocco has a four-season climate and June is typically the summer. This was very welcome for someone coming from chilly, moody Nairobi weather. When I last visited, I was in Casablanca so it was much cooler (Casa is by the sea) and it was heading to winter (I was there in November).
A Rooftop Lunch
I had a beautiful first day in Marrakech. After a tiring journey, I had a long shower and got dressed for lunch. I hopped into a taxi just outside the hotel and we drove out 5-7 minutes to a restaurant that was recommended by a friend.
Kabana is a rooftop restaurant serving food and drinks from a range of cuisines. I asked my server to recommend a main and he pointed me to the salmon fried-rice. It was delicious! I drank a ginger lime cocktail to cool off in the heat and finished off with homemade ice cream for dessert.
After a slow lunch, I was off to my afternoon activities. My first stop was ‘Le Jardin Marjorelle‘ – a popular tourist destination in Marrakech. It’s a lush garden with exotic plants and flowers. To protect the grounds from property developers, it was purchased by Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé and opened up to the public for visits. It’s gorgeous, serene and very Instagrammable.
Right next to the garden, you’ll find the YSL Museum which is devoted to showcasing the work of Yves Saint Laurent. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but the clothes on display were stunning – lots of beautiful designs and fabrics from his works over the years. I bought a combined ticket for Jardin Marjorelle and the YSL Museum at 300 DH which is approximately KSHS 4,300. Totally worth it!
Fragrances of the Trip
I carried two fragrances for the trip – Kayali’s Vanilla 28 for daytime wear and Maison Francis Kurkdijan’s OUD Satin Mood for the evenings. They are both vanilla scents which I thought was apt given the destination.
Moroccan Food at Amal Restaurant
I didn’t enjoy my experience of Moroccan food during this trip but Amal was the exception. Amal is a non-profit restaurant that serves traditional Moroccan cuisine. They create opportunities for women through training and employment. I loved their delicious food and that their business model is based on social impact. Check out them out here.
Italian Food in Marrakech
Sounds preposterous to recognise a non-Moroccan restaurant while in Morocco but this one deserves the special mention. La Trattoria Marrakech is an intimate, romantic Italian restaurant. To start – burrata, grilled octopus and a beef carpaccio. For my main, I ate the ‘fettuccine con gamberi e zucchini‘ which had prawns, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and cream. Simple and effective! Beautiful settings and delightful food. Absolutely worth a visit!
As an avid design enthusiast, I’ve been following Marrakech-based lifestyle brand LRNCE for a long while. They are best known for their beautiful ceramics with whimsical designs. I was beyond delighted to visit their studio. I picked up a vase and tea cup which will be treasured purchases for years to come.
It’s mandatory to visit a market when you’re in an African city so I paid my dues and went to the most popular one in Marrakech – ‘Jemaa el-Fnaa‘. It wasn’t that interesting for me but I’m glad I could get a few souvenirs including this mini tajine for my niece and ‘ras el hanout‘ which is a mixed Moroccan spice.
My trip would not have been complete without a visit to a hamam. A hamam is a steam room used as part of traditional spa rituals in Morocco. There are many hamams available across Marrakech. My initial choice was the spa at La Mamounia but they were fully booked so they recommended the one at Villa des Orangers. My skin was exfoliated, wrapped and treated for approximately 45 minutes. It was a delightful, indulgent experience!
Overall, Marrakech is a wonderful place to visit. The country is definitely an all-round destination suitable for family, girls trips, baecations or solo trips. I’d recommend going with loved ones so you can share an amazing travel experience. Can’t wait to be back again!
Terembe Cherono is a creator, curator and convenor based in Nairobi, Kenya. For the last 10 years, Terembe has used her social media platforms (particularly Instagram and YouTube), to share lifestyle content using extremely compelling storytelling formats. In the last two years, she has developed a highly popular technique for Instagram Stories known as a ‘Daily Recap’ used by numerous content creators globally. She has supported several influencers and small businesses to leverage social media for brand building and sales.