But plunge into it you must, because to do otherwise is to miss out on so much of what makes Marrakech what it is. Haggle. Laugh. Walk away. Walk back. Offer a lower price. Buy the slippers. Allow yourself to be passed from guide to guide on a wild goose chase for an ‘only today, something very special’ which ends up being a terrace-top view of the tanneries - and for goodness’ sake, accept the mint leaves and crush them under your nose to ward off the smell. Get lost in the souks. Sample spices and buy things for which you’ll likely never find a culinary use. Allow your arm to be grabbed by a henna artist; snatch it back if you wish, or submit to the intricate swirls and patterns of her syringe applicator and hand over some dirhams at the end. Watch flame jugglers by night, sample street food, observe wild dancers, marvel at snakes being charmed, decline to pose for a photo with a monkey, circumnavigate the city walls in a horse and carriage.
Do it all. It’s exhilarating.
It’s also, unsurprisingly, exhausting - and like many buzz-inducing things, Marrakech is best enjoyed with some quality downtime between forays into all of its colourful madness. The Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury Marrakech is located within a few minutes’ drive of the Medina - a complimentary shuttle bus runs several times a day between resort and centre - yet feels as ethereally distant from the glorious hustle and bustle as the reflection of a star on a pond is from the night sky.
Suites are spacious and luxurious, decorated with the kind of low-key opulence that smacks of genuine taste. High ceilings and dark wood abound; the colour scheme is rich and soothingly neutral, with occasional pops of brightness incorporated in the plush floor rugs and comfy armchairs. By night, subtle lighting options and a discreet turn-down service lead you irresistibly to the bed, which is piled high with mounds of white pillows and made up with silkily cool cotton.
The bathroom offers equally blissful shower and bathing options while, beyond this, the dressing room provides ample space for hanging and folding clothes, as well as a comfortable vanity area. Walk from the large living area through to the balcony, with its huge divan, tiled table and views of endless greenery; all rooms at the Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury Marrakech face the golf course. For larger groups or those seeking complete seclusion, there are also a number of villas, complete with private pools, from which to choose.
By day, informal lunches with a Mediterranean feel can be enjoyed at L’Olivier, which is right by the main pool, with umbrellas and plants providing shade and waiters wearing jaunty hats and willing smiles. By night, head to Le Caravane, with which you’ll also become familiar via the morning’s exhaustive and beautifully presented breakfast buffet. Here, service is just the right blend of attentiveness and unobtrusiveness - a stool appears next to my seat for my bag, my scarf is draped on the back of my chair before I even notice it’s slipped off, we’re wrapped in thick, soft robes of black as soon as a nip appears in the air, and ushered inside (to an already prepared table) beneath umbrellas when a quick but heavy rain shower passes over.
There’s more than ample reason to be as horizontally inactive as you please at The Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury Marrakech - as well as comfortable sun beds surrounding the seemingly endless blue waters of the climate-controlled outdoor pools, there’s the Clarins Spa, which offers a range of relaxation, pampering and beauty treatments and hosts another, indoor, pool, hanging with greenery and reserved solely for client use.
Those travelling with younger family members may be looking forward to enjoying a few child-free hours while their children are cared for - but should be warned that they may have difficulty leaving their offspring in the Kids’ Club, simply because the surrounds are so utterly swoon-inducing that they’ll be tempted to stay there themselves.
Although it’s incredibly easy to lose hours (and all sense of direction) in the souks, be sure to set aside some daylight hours for exploring some of Marrakech’s beautiful gardens: Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle requires a fairly hefty entrance fee in comparison to its size, but it’s Instagram heaven for lovers of colour and has a charmingly peaceful cafe and gorgeous bookshop. The gardens at Hotel La Mamounia are also a must - make a reservation for an indulgent Moroccan afternoon tea and then stay on for a wander through the grounds.
A three-night stay at Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury Marrakech starts from £499 per person with Destinology, based on two people sharing on a room only basis and including return low cost flights from London Gatwick, baggage charges and transfers. For further information or to book, visit destinology.co.uk or call 01204 824619.
The Moroccan Dirham is a closed currency, so do your exchange on arrival and spend up your extra dirhams to ensure you have no more than 1000Dh with you on departure.
Some of the vendors in the souks will accept Euros and US Dollars but it’s best not to rely on this.
During my stay I was hosted by the Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury Marrakech. All words and opinions are my own.
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