Dar Al Assad, Marrakesh, Marrakesh-tensift-el Haouz, Morocco
Prepare for your senses to be slapped. Marrakesh's heady sights and sounds will dazzle, frazzle and enchant. Put on your babouches and dive right in.
You’ll understand how religion permeates the rhythms of daily life when you hear the sonorous call to prayer echo out from the mosques. As an old imperial capital, Marrakesh is home to some beautiful examples of Islamic architecture, most impressively the Ali ben Youssef Medersa and the Koutoubia minaret. The city also holds on to a heritage of the other religious communities that once helped it become a vibrant caravan town. Head to the old Jewish district of the mellah to visit the Lazama Synagogue and the Miaâra Jewish cemetery to gain a greater understanding of Marrakesh's cosmopolitan past.
Think of the medina's souqs as a shopping mall, but laid out according to a labyrinthine medieval-era plan. Whether you want to spice up your pantry with North African flavours or buy a carpet to add Moroccan-wow to your house, this magpie's nest of treasures is manna for shop-til-you-drop fanatics.
Got your map ready? Well, it's probably of little use to you here. Wrapped within the 19 kilometres of powder-pink pisé ramparts, the medina is Marrakesh's show-stopping sight of crowded souqs, where sheep carcasses swing from hooks next door to twinkling lamps, and narrow, doodling ochre-dusted lanes lead to nowhere. The main artery into this mazy muddle is the vast square of Djemaa el-Fna, where it's carnival night every night. Stroll between snail-vendors, soothsayers, acrobats and conjurers, musicians and slapstick acting troupes to discover the old city's frenetic pulse. The party doesn't end until the lights go out.
Red baked-mud medina palaces beneath the snow-capped High Atlas and a powder-pink ring of ramparts around 19 kilometres of seething souqs, Marrakech is Morocco’s most memorable experience. Founded almost 1000 years ago on the edge of the Sahara, this southern market town grew to become one of the great cities of the Maghreb and a Unesco Heritage site to boot. But Marrakech isn’t some petrified piece of history that tourists come to gawk at, it’s bursting at the seems with an intense density of life and a modern entrepreneurialism that puts Manhattanites to shame. This isn’t a place where you can gracefully glide through. Instead you’ll find yourself telling jokes with snake charmers, dining outdoors in the Djemaa el-Fna, hankering after the latest henna tattoos and getting a hands-on scrub down in the local hammam. Pause for unexpected beauty and banter often with multi-lingual locals, because what are the chances you’ll come this way again?
Marrakech is a city of moments: gazing on the iconic Koutoubia as the call to prayer rings out at sunset, wandering the Bab Doukkala market buying armfuls of fragrant mint, and ducking under dripping yarn drying to a shade of imperial purple in the Dyers Souk. The focal point of the city’s rambling morphology is the Djemaa el-Fna, its finest sights the sculpted Bahia Palace, the Medersa Ali Ben Youssef and the green cacti garden of the Jardin Majorelle. Come 2016, Marrakech will also have its first piece of museum architecture: a new David Chipperfield-designed Museum for Photography and Visual Arts.
For over 10 years gorgeous Dar al Assad was the home of fabric designer and interior decorator Daniel Bainvel. Now you can sink into statement beds in brass and carved cedar in one of five royally appointed suites. Decor incorporates baroque chairs, rare Rabati embroidery and artworks commissioned from internationally recognised artists.
Dar Al Assad is located in central Marrakesh, 200 metres from Jamaâ El Fna Square and near the Medina. It offers 5 luxuriously styled Moroccan guest rooms with air-conditioning.
Each of the Al Assad’s guest rooms has a private bathroom with free soaps. Free Wi-Fi is available in the hotel’s public rooms.
Guests of the Dar Al Assad can relax in one of the 3 sitting rooms and enjoy mint tea and Moroccan cakes on the terrace and floral patio.
Check in :
Check out : 12:30 PM
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