Wed Tease Destination Pick of the Year: MARRAKECH

Abracadabra: the perfect wedding in the Medina!

An Islamic country and ruled by a King, it is the most western of the African territories.

Marrakech befits all that you need for your dream wedding.

As a wedding destination, Morocco has a rich tradition of marriage rituals which you may want to integrate into your wedding. The Hamas, the henna and local music, dance and food are unlike anywhere else. The bazars, the intricate stone carvings, the spices, the desert all add up to adventure.

The pulsating city of Marrakech has a number of great hotels that will make your wedding memorable.

The El Saadi palace and villas is a venue infused with the spirit of Morocco. Terra cotta, marble and colorful tiles ornament the buildings. Wood and stucco designs, palms and gardens will flavor your ceremony with the orient. Why not plan the ceremony under the loggia of the tea house just beside the pool? If he says ‘no’ you can just toss him right in!

Photo Credits: The El Saadi palace and villas

The Royal Mansour is a location that is nothing less than royal in its arrangements. Also set in the heart of Marrakech, the ripple of water in the tiled atrium will immediately separate you from the dusty crowded city outside. The furnishings will render you speechless with their tasteful richness. The reception dinner can be arranged either in true Morrocan style complete with traditional dancing, or in the French style, down to the crystal salt and pepper service.

Photo Credits: The Royal Mansour

If the big city is not on your agenda, the Soffitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort is a venue that will unite oriental graciousness with international beachside comforts. Pour out cool wine under the palms with the surf beating the sand just beyond the immaculate lawn.

Photo Credits: Soffitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort

Merrakech has five star alliances which offer immense luxury, stylish royal retreats attracting destination and luxurious weddings.

SELMAN Marrakech

A decadent destination hotel combining the va-va-voom French styling of famed architect Jacques Garcia with a Henri Chenot spa, a fantastic 75-metre pool, personal butler service and the princely Moroccan passion of thoroughbred horse breeding.

Located 7km southwest of the medina on the road to Amizmiz and the Lalla Takerkoust lake, the Selman is set in 15 acres of landscaped grounds with gorgeous views of the Atlas mountains. It’s a 15-minute drive to the airport and a 12-minute drive to the Djemaa el-Fna.

The wonderful surroundings are matched by super professional service and extensive facilities including three pools, a sprawling hammam, the only Henri Chenot ‘Biontology’ spa in Morocco (the design of which was overseen by Chenot’s wife herself), a gym, hairdresser, barber, library, stables and personal butler service in the five riads.

No expense has been spared in adorning each of the decadent 55 rooms and suites and five riads. But whereas the public spaces are aimed to impress, rooms are designed to cosset with cloud-like beds, velvet and leather upholstery, discreetly hidden tech and large, sleek monochrome bathrooms in mosaic tiling. Views over the 15 acres of landscaped gardens and Atlas Mountains soothe the soul and an Art Nouveau sensibility ensures that elegance trumps gaudiness. Riads come with a private garden and pool, and a personal butler.

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Photo Credits: Selman


The Mandarin’s debut African resort is as subtle and stylish as you’d expect from one of the world’s leading luxury hoteliers. Its 54 villas, nine suites, three restaurants and world-class spa are set outside the medina in a gorgeous, two-hectare garden of blooming roses.

This luxury oasis is located a 20-minute drive southeast of the Djemaa el-Fna. A complimentary shuttle ferries guests into the medina when required.

Unlike the recent trend of ever more ostentation in Marrakech’s five star hotels, the Mandarin’s luxury doesn’t shout, it whispers. The 54, single-storey villas and central hub nestle unobtrusively in a fully mature garden that undulates like a dunefield and is planted loosely with feathery grasses and punctuated by centuries-old olive trees. Inside there is a similarly strong, but subtle sense of place. Material texture, symmetry and visual drama combine the geometric influences from Berber arts and crafts with an Arabo-Andalusian sense of scale and symmetry.

In total there are 54 villas, seven first-floor suites and two spa suites. All of them have private pools and acres of space. The signature villas (either 3,000 or 4,500 sq ft) are designed as mini riads around enclosed courtyards each with an infinity pool in black zellij tiling. Four-poster loungers, sofa seating, a fireplace, dining area and a fully equipped kitchen make the outdoor space as utile as the interiors.

The latter are furnished in MO’s signature palette of cream and mahogany and carry throughout Berber motifs in the handwoven rugs, textured tadelakt and latticework screens modelled on moucharabieh. And it isn’t just the glossy high finish or the retractable TV at the base of the bed that impress; smaller details such as the automated shutter system, a shoe cleaning kit and an extravagantly stocked mini-bar reveal a care for client comfort that often gets lost in the hoopla.

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Photo Credits: Mandarin Oriental


Palais Namaskar, just outside Marrakech, offers soothing rooms and a rooftop bar with fabulous views of the Atlas mountains.  The rooms are far more spacious than in town, with walls of glass opening on to ornamental pools.

Palais Namaskar, a 20-minute drive from the souks of central Marrakech, rises out of the Moroccan sands at the Palmeraie oasis, with views of the Atlas Mountains – a couple of hours drive away – and a sense of almost total tranquillity. Step outside the gates, though, and there’s little more than desert.

A new ‘Masterpiece’ hotel from the Oetker Collection, Palais Namaskar feels initially like everything a classic Moroccan retreat should be – walkways across tranquil, shallow pools take you from reception to the lobby or restaurant, past colonnades of white pillars and through beautiful, landscaped gardens. Although the hotel was full when I stayed, it felt almost totally empty. The emphasis is on quiet luxury, with secluded spots created everywhere so guests never feel crowded. At night, beautiful candlelight flickers against the Moorish architecture.

The rooms offer much more space than you’d find in central Marrakech, with walls of glass opening on to ornamental pools, and some with private terraces with views of the Atlas mountains. The Pool Villas have private pools surrounded by jasmine or orange trees. The bathrooms come with an additional outdoor tub, while bedrooms have been designed with Feng Shui principles in mind and include fireplaces, iPod docks and Bang and Olufsen televisions. The Wi-Fi network reaches the communal areas, but not the outer, residential reaches of Palais Namaskar’s 12 acres. Which for some will be a curse, but surely is a blessing for those really seeking to relax.

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Photo Credits: Palais Namaskar

SAHARA PALACE – Managed by The Park Hotel Marrakech

Nestled in the luxurious and exclusive Palmeraie region of Marrakech, Sahara Palace offers breathtaking views of the prominent snow capped Atlas Mountains. Opulent and majestic, the Palace unfolds like a beautiful painting, featuring all the splendors of Moorish, Indian and Venetian architecture.

Sahara Palace Marrakech is set on 54 hectares of beautifully landscaped gardens, surrounded by tranquil palm trees and olive groves. The property has been meticulously crafted with a vivid blend of seductive Moroccan and exotic Indian themes.

This palatial desert oasis features 89 well-appointed, spacious guest rooms, including 15 luxurious suites, spread between the magnificent main Palace and four exclusive Riads. All rooms and suites enjoy stunning views over the Atlas Mountains, the Palmeraie desert landscape or the calming pool and gardens.

Our celebrated chefs have gathered the finest ingredients that span the Moroccan, Mediterranean, Indian and Pan-Asian in one unique destination. Our guests can wine and dine in some of the most stylish and charismatic restaurants and bars in Marrakech, whilst the legendary Palace service makes every moment memorable.

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Extension at Marrakech gives you many reasons. Here’s WHY!

Cityscape Minarets and mountain
City life Mint tea, mules, medina mayhem

Berber, Arabic and Moorish culture, oriental spices, desert landscapes, glamorous hideaways… all with a French accent.

Marrakech is a city unlike any other: nowhere is exoticism better showcased than in this ochre-and-rose-hued North African hive of activity. Indulge in a hammam at your tile-and-tadelakt riad before bartering for treasures in the kaleidoscopic souks, then snack on pigeon pie from a stall in the grand place, amid snake charmers and belly-dancers. To escape the hurly burly of the medina, sup on tajine and couscous in a chic cushion-filled restaurant in the Kasbah, or sip Cristal by candlelight in a hip muslin-draped, after-hours hang-out in the new town of Guéliz. And more adventures await, with the Atlas Mountains, Sahara Desert and coastal town of Essaouira all but a drive away.


Get all information on the souks of Medina and a must buy HANDIRA (also known as wedding blanket)

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Do go/Don’t go

It’s great to get your Christmas shopping done here, and New Year is fun, but this is prime time, so it’s busy, with prices pushed up accordingly. July and August are unbearably sweltering, while spring and autumn are delightfully balmy – October/November and February are wonderful times to visit. Things can be slow during Ramadan, when Muslims fast during daylight hours.

Getting There:

Planes Marrakech Menara airport is a 15-minute drive away, with direct flights to London, Paris and and other major European cities, many of which are on budget airlines.

Automobiles There is not much point renting a car: all hotels can organise a pick-up from the airport and the centre of town is only a 15-minute drive away. If this is your first time in Morocco navigating can be confusing. Plus the traffic can be somewhat chaotic what with having to avoid donkeys and horse-drawn carts.

Taxis Small cabs (‘petits taxis’) take up to three passengers and stay within the city limits. They are metered; sit in the front seat so you can keep your eyes on the ticker, or better yet try to agree a price before setting off. Taxis tend to be pricier after 8pm. Big cabs (‘grands taxis’) take up to six people. Always have small change on you: it may be hard to get the correct change without hassle.

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