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Exploring the New Side of Marrakesh

Medina vendors selling their wares.

Photo: John Kernick

This North African city of medieval souks and winding streets is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Read the article

Destinations: Marrakesh

Themes: City Break

Inspired by: Marrakesh's Stylish Transformation — by Richard Alleman, Published Apr. 2010

Hotels (8)

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    Royal Mansour

    The cliché “fit for a king” has never rung truer than at the Royal Mansour. A personal project of His Royal Highness King Mohamed VI of Morocco, th... More
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    Riad Siwan

    Opened in late 2009, Riad Siwan is owned by a Dutch couple, Cees and Maryk Van den Berg, who have strong ties to the community and a track record o

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    Riad Noir d’Ivoire

    Co-owner Jill Fechtmann pulled out all the stops. Opulent rooms here have a mix of Moroccan, Syrian, and Indian furniture.

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    Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma

    This property in changing ownership and will reopen in the near future.

    The hotel opens the summer of 2011 on 131 pristine acres in the Palmeraie,

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    Bab Hotel

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    El Fenn

    One of the medina’s flashiest addresses, co-owner Vanessa Branson (sister of Richard) has tripled the size of the place since it opened in 2003. Fa

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    La Mamounia

    Closed for three years between 2006 and 2009, the hotel glows again thanks to Jacques Garcia, known for gems like Paris’s Hôtel Costes.  The 1923 p

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    Riad Farnatchi

    Many medina properties are expanding, including Riad Farnatchi, which was opened in 2004 by British hotelier Jonathan Wix (who launched the Scotsma

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Restaurants (6)

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    Un Déjeuner à Marrakech

    For a light lunch, stop at this cool new restaurant with an attractive staff on the Riad Zitoun Jdid street, a buzzing shopping strip.

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    Le Tobsil

    Owner Christine Rio offers a prix fixe feast of Moroccan dishes, including moist pastilla (pigeon pie), lamb or chicken tagine (stew), couscous, an

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    Le Tanjia

    The brainchild of Marrakshi restaurateur Nourredine Fakir, this multilevel restaurant pays homage to its location with antique menorahs and histori

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    Le Foundouk

    The décor—gigantic spindly chandeliers; metal sconces—outshines the menu of Moroccan, French, and Thai dishes.

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    Grand Café de la Poste

    You could almost be in Indochina, circa 1950, sitting under slow-turning ceiling fans on a vast bamboo-shaded veranda. It is popular with French ex

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    Dar Yacout

    Every visitor to Marrakesh has to try Dar Yacout, a medina institution. Follow winding alleyways to the restaurants courtyard, strewn with petals.

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Activities (11)

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    Sps at The Royal Mansour

    Proprietor King Mohammed VI’s hotel is a showcase of Moroccan artisanship, and the 27,000-square-foot, white-filigree-and-glass spa is virtually a ... More
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    Théâtro

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    Kosybar

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    Comptoir

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    African Chic

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    Place Vendôme, Marrakesh

    Place Vendôme carries top-quality Moroccan leather goods, from $10 men’s wallets to $200 jackets.

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    Moor

    One of Guéliz’s newest boutiques, Moor, is the creation of Yann Dobry (who also owns the stylish little shop Akbar Delights, in the medina). Dobry’

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    KIS Boutique

    KIS (Keep It Secret) is a hidden boutique on the upper story of a tiny medina house that carries more caftans, as well as jewelry and gorgeous bags

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    Intensité Nomade

    Intensité Nomade sells brightly colored caftans by owner Frédérique Birkemeyer, as well as soft leather pants for women, raw-silk pants for men, an

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    Beldi

    This tiny boutique Beldi dresses some of Marrakesh’s most fashionable residents in linen shirts, mandarin-collared cashmere jackets, and embroidere

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    Atika, Marrakesh

    The shop has a loyal following of travelers who come just for the latest models and colors of its Tod’s-like loafers (most less than $50 a pair).

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