Marrakesh Travel Diary + Tips!

November 2, 2010

I thought I’d share some glimpses of my travels with you today to take you on a visual journey so that you can see what I saw while I was teaching for 8 days in Morocco. You already had a peek in on where I stayed (drool!), so here are some glimpses of what I saw and was inspired by… Visiting a place like Morocco, so different from my homeland and culture, truly leaves an impression that lasts a lifetime. I was so humbled by the friendly faces, kindness of the people and by the way most live there in the villages with very little, and who work so very hard to keep what they have, yet still wear the biggest smiles and have such joy of heart — and the cats are everywhere and very, very happy too.

Marrakesh Travel Diary + Tips!

Marrakesh Travel Diary + Tips!

Marrakesh Travel Diary + Tips!

Marrakesh Travel Diary + Tips!

Marrakesh Travel Diary + Tips!

Marrakesh Travel Diary + Tips!

Marrakesh Travel Diary + Tips!

Marrakesh Travel Diary + Tips!

Marrakesh Travel Diary + Tips!

Here are a few of my favorite places to eat, see and shop:


* We missed seeing the Le Jardin Marjorelle but it came highly suggested only after we already had our plans set… Maybe another lifetime…

* Bahia Palace – Gorgeous, gorgeous!!! Go!!!

* Enjoy a hamman bath or spa treatment at a 600+ year old spa calledBains de Marrakech. Just make sure you go at the day’s end and then after, spend some time lounging in your hotel room. Don’t go to Bains de Marrakech and expect to shop and tour the city afterwards! You will be very rested, relaxed and well-oiled so you will most likely want to go chill out in your room. Make sure you book your appointment weeks in advance, thought.

Shop: The souks are great but there are a few special shops in the medina and other parts of the city that I highly recommend…

*  For affordable and beautiful clothes and great shoes and accessories, shop at Warda la Mouche. This local designer is so talented and very friendly. She’s French — she speaks some English as well.

*  For spices, I liked Riad des Epices at 56 laksour derb Zefriti in the medina. Try to see if you can get a spice presentation where they’ll let you sample everything as they explain how to use the various spices and oils that they sell. Also ask them if you can go up on their roof deck to see over the city and to take photos. It’s gorgeous up there, especially right around sunset.

Zid Zid Kids studio and showroom

* L’Orientaliste – I didn’t get to see their shop at Rue de la Liberte in Geliz but my husband found their perfume at some random shop and bought it – and loves it! It’s a brand made in Morocco and smells delightful.

* For fine leather bags, go to Place Vendome at 141 Avenue Mohammed V, I bought a gorgeous silvered leather bag for about $150 US that I’m sure would be around double or triple back home.

* For gorgeous Indian and Moroccan fashion and homewares head to Michele Baconnier. I bought a gorgeous lamp, two scarfs and a beautiful pair of white leather slippers there.

* Kif Kif – A must see! I went to two of their shops and bought jewelry, a bag and a few other accessories. Lots of recycled and re-purposed goods and very fresh and modern. Loved Kif Kif!

* If you want an ABC Carpet experience outside of New York, visit Mustapha Blaoui at 144 Rue Bab Doukkala. This man sources the best stuff from carpets to textiles, ceramics and more. Lots of gorgeous lighting, too and he is fair with his prices. I took home a bed cover and some candle holders.

* I didn’t get to visit Kulchi (near Kif Kif) at 1 Rue El Ksour, I forgot to write it down on my list! But I heard that it’s the best place for fashion so make sure you add it to your list and make me proud. :)

* I loved the shop + Michi at 19-21 Souk Lakchachbia. I took home some gorgeous slippers from that store of the highest quality. I heard that John Derian shops there for his New York stores so that already tells you something about + Michi – right?! I am still kicking myself for passing by this gorgeous polka-dot shirt there…


* Cafe des epices — Great food, cheap, fresh, fast and very easy to get to after a long morning shopping in the souks! We went twice and loved it. Order the vegetarian sandwich or a salad with fresh tuna – both are delicious!

* Our plans changed so we missed having dinner at Palais Soleiman, which made me nearly cry, but if you are lucky enough to get to eat there please tell me all about it…

* Have a cocktail at the gorgeous Hotel La Mamounia. What a gorgeous lounge they have there and drinks may be a bit expensive BUT they come with finger food so hey… why not! When I become rich and famous someday (ha!) I will stay here as well. It as pure luxury!

* Djemaa el Fna at night and eat at one of the many fantastic food tents. When you see the snake charmers, monkey handlers and others in the square, always tip them for a photo. Make sure you buy a coconut cookie if you see anyone selling them – they are delicious!

Psst: If you are going to Morocco soon, pick up the terrific guide Shopping in Marrakesh by Susan Simon.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

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  • Reply laura trevey November 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks for the glimpse!! Gorgeous and brightly colored mosaics….

  • Reply Heather November 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    It sounds like a wonderful experience! I’d love to go! If only I could just hop on a plane…

  • Reply Carole November 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Lovely photo’s Holly. I’ve only been once to Marrakesh but can’t wait for my next visit. Maybe I’ll stay at Peacock Pavillions!

  • Reply andrea suskey November 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you for all the tips. I’m going to Morocco next week for a well deserved vacation, and will be spending a couple of days in Marrakesh. Can’t wait to explore and visit your recommendations.

  • Reply Jem November 2, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    It sounds like you had such a wonderful time – your earlier blog posts on Morocco were gorgeous but this one takes the biscuit! The colours are simply stunning, thank you so much for posting :-)

    Jem xXx

  • Reply emma lamb November 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Oh the colour and those gorgeous mosaics! I can see why you feel so inspired and energised by this gorgeous place… :)
    Would really love to go myself sometime soon, not sure I would want to come back though!
    Emma x

  • Reply Rebecca Newport November 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Oh it looks so beautiful! I’m desperate for a pair of those slippers!

  • Reply Zee November 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I think I would be really happy there. So much colors, so much to see, so much to learn!

  • Reply karina November 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Lovely pics! I would love to see what you have brought to your new home and if your travel to Marrakesh will affect your way of decorating in some way!

  • Reply Alcira Molina-Ali November 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    How gorgeous and inspiring.
    It’s been over 10 years since I visited Marrakesh and I really long to return.
    Will have to tuck these suggestion into my to-do book.
    Cheers, Alcira

  • Reply Judit Gueth November 2, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Gorgeous things! I love the tiles! Sounds like an amazing trip. :-)

  • Reply Sarah@Mocha November 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Beautiful pictures. Looks like such a fascinating city. I really like all the vibrant colours!

  • Reply rachel November 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    all that amazing tile: swoooon!

  • Reply emily November 2, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Stunning photos! I’m dreaming of a trip there now! Can you recommend some shopping (home/fashion) sites where one can “get the look” without traveling?

    • Reply decor8 November 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm

      @Emily – Yes I can do that next week! :)

  • Reply Odette November 2, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Last spring I was in Marrakech and also discovered cafe des epices, specially the coffee was very good!!
    Great to see your pictures, Marrakech is like a fairy tail!

  • Reply Shay November 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Beautiful photo’s !! My heart skipped a beat when I saw the gorgeous slippers hanging on the wall..So curious how much are a pair ???
    Love em !!!

  • Reply Erica Cooper November 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Simply irresistible, what an inspirational trip!
    I can’t imagine how fantastic the actual trip must have been. It makes me want to hop a plane right now. :)
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey and experiences!

  • Reply Melissa Allam November 2, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    What a beautiful and colorful place. So many things to look at and such detail in the tile and textiles. I would love to visit this place. Not sure when I ever will get to, but it was nice to see it through your eyes.

  • Reply Lisa November 2, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you so much, Holly, for this breathtaking post. I had always been curious about Morocco, and now I’m even more so.

  • Reply Frau Mayer November 2, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    “She’s French so she spreaks some English as well.”

    Now, this really made me laugh :)

    It’s a pity you didn’t get to the gardens, they’re so much more beautiful than the palace.
    Are there any photos of the loot coming up? Would love to see them!

  • Reply Nat November 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    What beautiful & inspiring photos Holly :) Djeema el Fna is too exotic for me ^^ but I love love love the Jardin Majorelle: a pure Merveille <3 I highly recommend you !

  • Reply Beautiful Habitat November 2, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Wow – great inspiration.Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply bussbuss November 2, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Holy smokes, that’s awesome! Love your photos too… I swear everything you do has a glow of warm pink around it (I love it)!

  • Reply Jess (Where My Heart Is) November 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Wow, wow, wow! Your photos are fantastic. I have had Marrakesh on my destination list since for ever. I am determined to go and now with your recommendations I am even more motivated…a girls gotta shop…and eat right!

  • Reply se7en November 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Would you look at all those pretty colors!!! Simply Stunning!!!

  • Reply amy November 2, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    thanks so much for this wonderful guide! i’ve heard great things about morocco and reading this and checking out the sites you’ve shared makes the thought of going even more enticing for me. so glad to hear you had an awesome trip!

  • Reply jenn November 2, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    oh my goodness… now i must add “go to morocco” to my bucket list. these colors are incredible!!!

  • Reply Ayse November 2, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    These are great photos!! I would love to visit Marrakesh one day. Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply November 2, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    This is totally on my bucket list! Incredible colors and textures! Love it!

  • Reply frauheuberg November 2, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    wow, now i feel like i was there, too…love your pictures and your great travel trips…is on my travel wish list just now…;)…thanks…so exciting and the colors are amazing…really beautiful…hugs…i…

  • Reply janis - pinecone camp November 3, 2010 at 1:08 am

    What a magical collection of images. You really took some amazing photos….I think I have to add this place to my must see list!

  • Reply gina November 3, 2010 at 4:01 am

    my goodness, i absolutely LOVE this! everything is so vibrant. now i definitely have the travel bug (again!) and i want to go!!!

  • Reply Angela DiGiovanni November 3, 2010 at 4:18 am

    WOW – gorgeous, colorful photos!

  • Reply Amanda Swann November 3, 2010 at 5:49 am

    So beautiful! And what wonderful pictures too. I really love the vibrant colors everywhere. This will be on my bucket list of places to visit before I die.



  • Reply Rachel November 3, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Gorgeous Holly…now I know I MUST go sometime in my lifetime. I am dying for one of those sparkly bedcovers or throw pillows in that similar fabric. Cannot wait for you to post where we might be able to get the look without (sigh) being able to visit yet!! ;)

  • Reply embroideryopw November 3, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Nice work done :) and nice pics too

  • Reply Kelsey Genna November 3, 2010 at 10:58 am

    i sooo want to go there now!
    what a beautiful & colourful city x

  • Reply jeshudas November 3, 2010 at 10:59 am

    this is a posting im looking for so long..full of tips and traveling excitement!
    adding with many pictures overthere make this posting i have to bookmarked. i’ll read this when i make a traveling on those places.

  • Reply Mariella November 3, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Holly these photos are gorgeous!! Really, so beautiful! I especially liked the blue doors and the tiles, of course!

  • Reply Maryam in Marrakech November 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    So gorgeous Holly! I see that you have my mannequin lamp in there! And I was the personal shopper for the Susan Simon book — so plenty of my favorites in there, including all the stores you’ve listed.


  • Reply Lizet November 4, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Wow these pictures are great! Just looking at the busy splashes of color inspire me.

  • Reply marianne November 4, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Did you go to where they tan the leathers? I swear that process hasn’t changed in 2000 years! We were escorted through the medina by an 8 year old boy who spoke 14 languages– he took us to his “favorite” places. I was charmed by the people. We were invited to tea by his family, very humble but proud and gracious– a definite return visit for us!

  • Reply nathalie November 4, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    you’re so lucky to have gone! what an amazing experience. thanks for sharing your photos. they’re beautiful and very inspiring. i can’t get over the colours and patterns. it’s all so gorgeous.

  • Reply PriscilaPetersDecor November 4, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    So much colors and beauty! It’s unbeliveble. Cute cat!

  • Reply viviane feijo November 5, 2010 at 3:42 am

    belissimas imagens !!!!

  • Reply Katie Truelove November 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I loved Jardin Majorelle (perhaps it was the escape from the midday heat that I also enjoyed)! You will definitely have to go back in another lifetime:) And while you are at it, if you can make it up to the north of Morocco, Fes and Chefchaouen are also wonderful. Your pictures of tile patterns are so pretty. Just can’t wait to hear about Istanbul!

  • Reply Angela November 6, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Your beautifull pictures made me feel like going to maroco.
    Love the light and the colors!

  • Reply Jen November 7, 2010 at 4:30 am

    I love, love, love these colors:) Simply Bella!

  • Reply brandeye November 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    this post makes me want to visit marrakesh right now!

  • Reply lola and ali November 8, 2010 at 3:06 am

    I have always wanted to travel to Morocco. Your post is inspiring!

  • Reply La Happy November 8, 2010 at 5:55 am

    Oh my word, love love love, this post! So beautiful! Gives me the travel bug! Amazing!!

  • Reply Decor Girl November 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Luuuhve those tiles! Great pics. Don’t you just love visiting other locations to see how other people put together colors? Lovely inspiration!

  • Reply Kristina November 9, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Marocco is such a beautiful place, I have to go there urgently! I am loving the blue windows, the colours and the fabrics!
    Amazing pictures, thanks for sharing!
    Viele Gruesse, Kristina

  • Reply Katiedidonline November 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    What amazing colors! I really love the photos!

  • Reply BODIE and FOU November 11, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Beautiful colors, wonderful pictures..
    A little bit of sunshine in this rainy day :) !

  • Reply hinda November 12, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Loved your post! I am from Marrakesh and very honored to see you posting such lovely photos and advices about it. I agree you with all your guiding tips.

    Blesses :)

  • Reply sophie truong November 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Very helpful post Holly, thanks!

  • Reply Lisa November 19, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    I love your post on Marrakesh! I’m going next spring and will use your list for shopping! I can’t wait to be overhelmed by the colors, fabrics, patterns of the area. My shop on etsy will bloom!

  • Reply Stephanie November 25, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Many thanks for your review about KiFKiF. See you soon in Marrakesh! Stef

  • Reply Walk The Medina September 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Beautiful pictures… I’ve already visited Marrakech and I will return during spring 2014! I will certainly visit your recommendations :)

  • Reply jen October 21, 2013 at 2:10 am

    I know this post is years old….but soooo inspiring! Thank you for sharing the info. I found this during my search on my favorite blogs to see who has been there. My husband and I are wanting to go but it’s just a thought at the moment. Next we need to figure out… we use a travel agent or stay at peacock pavilions (just get there) and do our own planning? Any tips about that? Did you plan the trip or did someone have it set up for you? Thanks again for sharing!

    • Reply decor8 October 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      @Jen – Just contact Peacock Pavilions directly and tell them that you are a decor8 reader and found a post about them on my blog. They’ll take good care of you, the owner is my friend and she’s wonderful. xo

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