The finest hotels in Morocco are far more than a comfy bed and a cold cocktail; they’re a reflection of the past, an amalgamation of the deep culture and, often, embedded in beautiful landscapes. You might stay in an extravagantly restored riad in Marrakech, a luxe resort overlooking a medina, or perhaps a vertigo-inducing lodge in the Atlas Mountains. Whichever you choose, you’ll get a taste of the many luxuries Morocco has to offer.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Looking for a unique experience? Then book Culture Trip’s 13-day Moroccan adventure where you’ll be guided through this enchanting country by one of our Local Insiders.
Madada Mogador occupies a 19th-century merchants’ house between the medina and the beach in Essaouira, a former fishing village on the Atlantic coast. There are nine rooms and suites in a stripped-down urban style, some of which have sea or rampart views. The on-site restaurant, which is housed in an old carob warehouse, is known for innovative seafood dishes such as spider crab gratin and lobster and salmon couscous.
In the heart of Marrakech, this restored riad was built in the 1800s for a prominent magistrate. Current owners Maryk and Cees spared no expense in recreating the former splendour of the building, commissioning artisans from across Morocco to make the furniture and fabrics, and to craft the filigreed plaster columns, 4m (13ft) high cedar doors and sculpted cedar ceilings. The result is an oasis in classic Moroccan style, with seven unique suites clustered around a central garden and fountain. There’s also a romantic terrace on the roof.
Les Jardin Des Douars hides among greenery just outside Essaouira, on the fertile banks of the Oued Ksob river. Built with local materials in a typically curvy Moroccan style, it offers rooms, suites and villas decorated in warm African hues, featuring Berber blankets on the armchairs and fireplaces for the cooler months. Don’t miss the barbecue on the palm-shaded terrace: held every Sunday, it showcases grilled meats and the best of the day’s catch from Essaouira. The spa offers massages and beauty treatments using Moroccan argan oil, famed for anti-ageing properties.
Attached to the 17th-century ramparts in Essaouira is Heure Bleue Palais, a lavish riad offering 33 rooms and suites around a courtyard. Also packed into this intimately proportioned building are a cinema, billiards room, gentleman’s club-style bar, hammam and a roof terrace with a pool. The experience here is exceptional: choose from daily cooking classes, guided tours of the medina, excursions on 4X4 or camel, and a wine tasting and lunch in the Domaine Val d’Argan. The Gary Player-designed Mogador golf course is just 6km (4mi) to the south.
Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson bought Kasbah Tamadot from celebrated designer Luciano Tempo in 1998, after discovering the property on a hot air balloon expedition. Situated in Berber territory in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, this 28-bedroom hotel is decorated with items Tempo acquired in Indonesia, India and North Africa, and features an infinity pool, rooftop restaurant, spa, and traditional Berber tents in manicured gardens. Book yourself on the interactive Berber experience, which includes a mule trek, lessons in Berber cooking and baking, and a visit to the Eve Branson Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to preserve Moroccan and Berber crafts.
Kasbah du Toubkal couldn’t be improved upon as a base for an adventure holiday: situated 1,800m (5,900ft) above sea level in the Atlas Mountains, it’s surrounded by some of the tallest peaks in North Africa. Make the most of these august landscapes by booking one of the Kasbah’s all-inclusive trekking packages: ranging in length from five to nine nights, you’ll explore the remote Azzaden Valley (where the hotel has a mountain lodge) and scale the 4,167m (13,671ft) Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. Pack good hiking shoes.
In the sophisticated neighbourhood of Hivernage in Marrakech, Sofitel is a blissful oasis in the middle of the (sometimes) chaotic city. As soon as you step inside, feel the peaceful atmosphere with palm trees everywhere, an incredible fountain and a pool overlooking Marrakech – all in authentic yet sophisticated Moroccan decor. They also have one of the best restaurants in town, l’Orangerie, where they serve French and Moroccan cuisine with a view over the Atlas Mountains.
The Four Seasons Casablanca sits on the seafront of the most populated city in Morocco. Walking in, you instantly notice the modern-chic decor, with marble floors, fireplaces and gorgeous chandeliers in a relaxing and elegant atmosphere. The rooms are as beautiful, with white walls and sophisticated furniture, views over Casablanca beach, and a marble bathroom. The hotel also has three restaurants; head to Bleu for freshly caught fish and views of the Casablanca coastline.
Just a few minutes from Marrakech city centre, Mandarin Oriental sits within olive groves and landscaped gardens, with calming ponds at the centre and the Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. Suites come with private dipping pools, or you could choose the eight-bedroomed penthouse which has a hammam, spacious terraces and a selection of plunge pools. Alternatively, a villa comes with a courtyard and pool, an outside kitchen, a jacuzzi and a spacious living area.
Sahrai is a five-star hotel in Fez with views over the oldest medina in the world. Head to the in-house restaurant, Le Relais de Paris, for French classics with medina views, or The Rooftop bar for drinks accompanied by a live band. The rooms are not only stunning but original, with spacious bathrooms wrapped by glass walls – best suited to couples. This is also the only hotel in Africa with a Givenchy spa with all the Givenchy products.
One of the best hotels in Rabat, Sofitel sits near the Royal Palace, so you can count King Mohamed VI as a neighbour. It has a beautiful Andalusian garden with more than 3,000 roses, plus a traditional Moroccan hammam, an incredible spa, and the So Lounge club. The rooms are as elegant as the rest of the hotel with modern furniture and spacious bathrooms and balconies overlooking the gorgeous gardens.
This Four Seasons in Marrakech is a paradise between the old medina and the new city. The rooms are modern and chic, with comfortable beds, large bathrooms and views over the beautiful gardens and pools. There are three restaurants – Quattro, Azzera and Inara – serving an international selection of dishes from Moroccan to Lebanese and Mediterranean. And if you’re bringing the little ones, a supervised kids “kasbah” has a theatre, play zones and a shallow swimming pool.
Only 20 minutes from the city centre, this luxury resort has an enormous garden with a large pool and palm trees everywhere. And if you’re here for an active experience, there’s yoga, tennis, squash, a golf course and acres of greenery to explore. The rooms and suites are both large; the latter has up to two rooms, a fireplace, a spacious living area and a terrace overlooking the Atlas Mountains. The villas are spacious, with two rooms, ensuite bathrooms, a hammam, swimming pool and a picturesque garden.
Palais Amani is located in the vibrant city of Fez, just a few minutes from the old medina. It’s a traditional riad that provides refined dining, 18 spacious rooms, a library, a living area, a rooftop bar and a spa. The luxurious in-house hammam has an exfoliation room, showers and a relaxation area. The rooms display traditional Moroccan decor with zellige tiling on the floors and walls, plus a spacious bathroom with a shower and bath, and a living area with Moroccan sofas.
This five-star luxury hotel in Marrakech is located close to the Atlas Mountains, with picturesque views and incredible decor. It has a long pool surrounded by palm trees, a gym and a spa with a hammam. All rooms have a terrace overlooking the enticing pool and garden, while suites have two terraces and VIP welcome amenities. But for the ultimate luxury, book the Selman Villa, which comes with butler service, a private bar and a strip pool. Whatever you choose, make sure to visit the on-site stud farm, home to prize-winning Arabian thoroughbred horses.
Beldi was built to resemble a douar – a typical Moroccan village – to provide a traditional, local experience. This 14ha (35-acre) resort features a country club-style restaurant and pool, a spa and a souk selling artisanal wares from the surrounding villages. There are 38 suites, each with a private terrace overlooking the Atlas Mountains or the picturesque douar houses. The restaurant, El Badia, offers traditional Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine, using fresh, local fruit and vegetables. There’s also a bar, from which you can sip cocktails while listening to jazz music.
A palatial hotel, La Mamounia has an A-list guestbook with Jennifer Aniston, David Beckham and Sir Winston Churchill among former guests. It plays on traditional Moroccan decor with zellige tiling everywhere, enormous chandeliers, doormen dressed in traditional attire and fountains surrounded by beautiful lights. The rooms are spacious with elegant Moroccan decor and white marble bathrooms, while the suites are larger, with bedrooms that include a walk-in closet and a terrace overlooking the pool and gardens. Alternatively, book a private riad-style retreat, which has three rooms (each with a walk-in wardrobe), four bathrooms, an indoor lounge, dining area, kitchen, private pool and terrace.
Located on the beach of Fnideq, 15km (9mi) from the city of Tetouan, Banyan Tree offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean and exceptional resort living through sumptuous private villas. There are eight villa categories, all with spacious bathrooms, a cosy living area, large master bedrooms, a spacious backyard with a private pool and stunning views. There’s also a spa with Moroccan-inspired signature treatments, gym and yoga room, library, kids’ club and beach-side kids’ pool.
Mark Nayler contributed additional reporting to this article.
Looking for luxury hotels in Marrakech? Check out our guide to the 9 best luxury hotels in Marrakech, or go for something differetn and book a stay at one of the best hotels in Morocco, bookable on Culture Trip
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