Luxurious things to do on a holiday in Marrakech
Think of Marrakech and it's likely you'll imagine bustling souks, colourful spices and elaborate Arabian architecture. The city really does live up to this image, and is also an excellent place for a luxury holiday.
Here are four things you should definitely do to have the full Marrakech experience in true style:
Visit a hammam
Hammams are a type of spa designed to leave you feeling completely and utterly relaxed and rejuvenated. They've been around for centuries and offer sessions that normally last for two hours. First, you'll begin by moving through a set of increasingly hot rooms where the air has been perfumed with heady eucalyptus oil (working in a similar way to a sauna).
Then, a specialist will use black soap to wash you with and a massage glove for exfoliation and super smooth skin. Female visitors have the option to undergo a hair removal treatment utilising the sugaring method at this point. Lastly - and this is the best bit - you'll be given a deep massage with argan oil, which is particularly great as an anti-aging treatment.
Stay in a luxury riad
Riads are a fairly common form of accommodation in Morocco. These buildings have a central courtyard and several bedrooms/suites for guests. Their layout promotes socialising especially well, as travellers are usually encouraged to congregate in the courtyard after the evening meal.
As with normal hotels, you can choose from small, mid-range riads and more luxurious establishments where your every need will be catered for. Make sure you opt for a high-end riad with a rooftop terrace, on which you can sunbathe and generally relax. Notable luxury riads in Marrakech include Ksar Anika - which has a bar and restaurant on its roof - and Riad Slitine, which is actually made up of four separate riads restored to their former 17th and 18th-century glory.
Indulge in fine dining
There are many excellent places to eat in Marrakech, but if you want to dine in true luxurious style, Narwama is one of the best. This Thai restaurant has some gorgeous decor and a roof that opens up to allow diners to gaze up at the stars, making for an unforgettable experience.
If you'd rather sample some authentic Moroccan cuisine, Pepe Nero offers just that in a wonderfully decadent riad setting. Unusually, it has two separate menus listing Moroccan and Italian dishes. The former include chicken and saffron tagine and slow roasted shoulder of lamb, while the latter range from tomato and basil fettuccine to carnaroli risotto with squid ink.
Wander around a palace (or two)
Marrakech has several palaces and other palatial residences that are well worth visiting to see how various rulers and well-to-do families once lived in luxury here. Bahia Palace, built in the 19th century, features some incredible carved ceilings and elaborate decor that stretches from the floor right up to the roof. Its occupants added to the building over a long time with the aim of creating the ultimate palace, and you might be able to see where one section constructed in a particular period joins another created in a completely different decade or century.
Elsewhere, El Badi Palace was once a truly impressive structure that is now, sadly, mostly ruins. However, you can still get a good idea of what it was like to visit in the palace's heyday, with the remaining walls being extremely high and the courtyard harbouring the remains of huge pavilions that were used by royalty to host massive gatherings.
These are just a few of the things you can do on a luxury holiday to Marrakech - do you know of any others?