By day, Marrakesh is a seemingly conservative Arab city: many of the city’s denizens mill about in long traditional robes, known as djellabas and, as often as not, women can be found wearing the hijab, or head scarf. But lo and behold, at night—especially for those in the know—Marrakesh is a party town. The city has its fair share of nightclubs and lounges, where the music is live and loud and continues well into the wee hours. Additionally, belly dancers and even burlesque dancers in, cough, rather skimpy bejeweled outfits prove that what you see in films, is in fact true (although I suspect they are also the stuff of fantasies, long after they’ve exited the stage). So if you’re in the mood to party and want to go beyond Pascha–the global chain of hotspots that has a club in Marrakesh—you might want to check out the following:
We often send our own Peacock Pavilions hotel clients to this restaurant and club, with its Moroccan-Lebanese vibe. The décor is appropriately moody, in ivories and deep reds with hand-carved, Oriental plasterwork and stylish swivel seating. Belly dancers make their way onto the scene later in the evening.
A veritable institution in Marrakesh, Jad Mahal is one of the city’s first lounges. Located in the Hivernage district, you’ll find belly dancers, fire breathers and live music here. The décor exudes an over-the-top 1001 Nights and it also serves passable food, if you’re hungry.
This dinner club is home to the Red City’s almost-burlesque dancers, suitably known as the Ooh-La-La girls (I’m not kidding). These very sexy (and dare I say, very limber) dancers will make women want to hold on to their boyfriend’s/husband’s arm once they enter this club’s doors. The décor is sleek and chic.
This atmospheric club and restaurant, known simply as “Le Comptoir” by locals, is another Marrakesh institution. The food is fine but perhaps more memorable are the belly dancers who have been known to hop up onto the tables. Evenings end with live music and then a DJ.
Perhaps the most cosmopolitan and grown-up of the Marrakesh options, this is where I go when I want to have a drink. The menu is Asian fusion and the design is super stylish (if not terribly Moroccan). There is a DJ and, depending on the night, live music and some low-key dancing.