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The heart of the new part of Marrakech, the Gueliz region offers an alternative vibe to the traditional and relaxed old medina atmosphere. Here we explore the most unmissable activities in this Moroccan area.
One of the most popular locations in Morocco, Jardin Majorella is the creation of French painter Jacques Majorelle. Jacques spent 40 years injecting his passion and creativity into this magical garden. Complete with enchanting little lanes, magical trees, more than 300 species of stunning plants and tranquil streams, Jardin Majorella is perfect for those who want a break from the busy city. Those who want to experience the city’s Art Deco and Moorish influences in a quiet and relaxing environment will find joy here.
This architectural gem is something to be admired even from the outside with its Roman-inspired finishings. Part unfinished opera house, part outdoor theater, the Theatre Royal is now commonly used to host events. It is a focal point for cultural events in this part of the city, with popular concerts and dance shows among much more. You can view this unfinished masterpiece from the outside, but it is recommended to check the calendar of cultural events prior.
Restaurant and bar Level Five is tucked away under the famous Skybar, high up a flashy building in the Gueliz region of Marrakech. Featuring regular live music to complement their up-market French and Asian cuisine, with a wide range of Indian dishes and sushi platters, this places provides guests with a truly luxurious dining experience. This is also a great place to enjoy some top quality wine. After dining, guests can take in the spectacular panoramic views from the Skybar, and even breathe the fresh air from the open terrace. This restaurant doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to style and detail.
The Guilez region is probably most popular for its shopping, with various popular and upmarket shops. Offering a fantastic alternative to the traditional Moroccan souks, Gueliz has European shops to complement its European-style architecture and layout. For a haggle-free experience, Gueliz is fantastic, with numerous fixed price boutiques such as Zara and Mango, and various designers. For guests wanting to buy Western items, or even luxurious and upmarket twists on traditional Moroccan items, head to the Gueliz region. In particular Place Abdel Moumen Ben Ali is a great pick.
This delightful cafe features a modest but charming decor, with clear Moorish and European influences creating a relaxing and homely cafe experience. Its salon room feature club chairs, chaise lounges, and cushions. Guests can relax on old Berber carpets by the fireplace and revel in the warm, musical atmosphere. Le Grand Café de La Poste gives guests an atmospheric environment with well-prepared French– and Moroccan-inspired food – especially recommended is the duck breast with baby potato.
Less touristy than the more well known gardens in other areas of Marrakech, Parc El Harti has become, for many, a haven away from the bustling city. Surrounded by beautiful and exotic flowers, and majestic trees, visitors can relax and enjoy the sound of the birds which overpower the traffic. A perfect place to eat lunch, or even meditate, Parc El Harti is also a perfect family destination, otherwise known as the ‘Dinosaur Park’ with its dinosaur-inspired playground.
The sportier of Marrakech’s visitors may often find themselves frustrated at the lack of sporting facilities. Thankfully, Marrakech has well facilitated hotels which will, at a price, allow outsiders to use their facilities, from pools to tennis courts. In the Gueliz region sits the Royal Tennis Club of Marrakech, which contains nine courts, as well as a stadium court. Being the oldest and largest tennis club in Marrakech, this place is popular with tennis enthusiasts. Not only that, they also host popular sporting events, so take a look at the calendar prior to visiting.
On the border of the Gueliz area, this park has a telecommunications museum at the entrance, the stunning Atlas mountains as a backdrop, and an endless water supply feeding into it. This makes it a lively and colorful location. Originally intended to be a food-producing area, it was transformed into an admired botanical garden under the French occupation. Then, following years of neglect, the park was adopted and renovated. Now, it showcases the historical side of the park as tribute to its original owner. The historical garden invites visitors to appreciate the refreshing greenery and foliage, as well as having cyber areas for those WiFi addicts.
Sometimes off-putting to the Western visitor, a visit to a hammam, or local bath house, will involve a strip down and lots of naked bodies, although males and females are segregated. Typically, a masseur – also naked – will scrub you down very intensely, giving you what will no doubt be the most thorough wash of your life. For those who want to try out this traditional spa/bathing experience, but in a more modern setting, Gueliz is a great place to look. Numerous luxury hotels have their own spas and offer this Moroccan experience.