Planned as a week-long celebration of Yoko's 40th birthday, a carefully curated trip to Marrakech was the ultimate, one-of-a-kind travel experience. We met from all over — New York City, Miami, Colombia — a mix of new and old friends, both men and women.
Day 1: Marrakech. We traveled directly from the airport to our riad, Fleur D'Orient, where we were welcomed with a gorgeous selection of tea and sweets. The seven-room private residence is an total gem! It's the perfect size for a small group. After an evening stroll through the souks in the medina (the outdoor markets in the heart of the old city), we lapped up the ambiance and entertainment of Comptoir Darna, a dazzling spectacle of music, food, and dance.
Day 2: Marrakech. After an leisurely guided tour of the souks, we settled into lunch at La Maison Arabe, a renowned hotel with an colorful history. (Winston Churchill had once been regular at the restaurant there.) Even more impressive, the Royal Mansour, is an opulent royal palace where we savored an extraordinary (and justifiably expensive) dinner. It is one of the finest and most exclusive hotels in the world and was surely the highlight of our trip. The property is magnificent, truly unparalleled — an absolute must-see!
Day 3: Marrakech. We began at Farnatchi Spa with the usual standard fare massages and treatments, capped off by a decadent meal with a glorious rooftop view. Then, we headed to the souks once again for more adventures shopping its endless labyrinth of unusual treasures. (See what goodies I brought back here!) We finished off a splendid day with dinner at El Fenn, another lovely hotel with a unique restaurant/bar that doubles as a boutique, showcasing emerging Moroccan designers and classic vintage accessories and decor.
Day 4: Marrakech. The Yves Saint Laurent Museum, dedicated to the work of the Algerian-born fashion designer, is a sight to behold. The newly opened museum is an architectural stunner, sharing its grounds with the historic Jardin Majorelle. Private guided tours of the museum and the garden are available everyday except Wednesdays. Nearby the super hip restaurant, NoMad, serves up "Modern Moroccan" dishes where we sampled a variety of local produce and a blend of international and local flavors.
Day 5: Scarabeo Camp. Whisked away to a small encampment on the outskirts of town (a 45-minute journey), we delighted in the simplicity of the desert landscape and the grandeur of the Atlas mountains. Roomy luxury tents are beautifully appointed with comfortable beds and working fireplaces. We rode camels into the mountains, reveled in the sounds of ancestral music, gorged on a feast of homemade Moroccan delicacies, and marveled at a sudden torrential downpour. It was a transformative 24-hour experience.
Day 6: Marrakech. On our last day, we basked in the sumptuousness of yet another pristine 5-star property, La Mamounia. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with bottles of Rosé and the most gracious hospitality. The spa is extraordinary; it's the most instagrammable pool in all of Marrakech! It was the perfect end to our once-in-a-lifetime trip.
A unforgettable excursion — an odyssey into food and culture like none other.