Morocco Must-Dos

- By Rebecca Prusinowski -

Rebecca Prusinowski of AHAlife lounging in YSL's Jardin Majorelle

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Morocco is a feast for the senses, and Marrakech is the country’s crown jewel.  It’s an intoxicating blend of cultures, colors, scents and spices.  One of our favorite ecommerce sites, AHAlife, just returned from The Red City, and here’s their list of must-dos for the fashionista:

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SHOP THE SOUK

Necklaces at The Souk

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  •  Nearly twenty percent of the country’s population support themselves through craft-making, and you can find all of their wares–from jewelry and teapots to carpets and textiles–at the souk. Smack dab in the middle of the Medina (or Old City), the souk is a maze of over 1000 stalls peddling artisan goods.  If shopping were a sport, this would be its Olympic playing field.  Haggling is part of the experience.  The asking prices are, in the words of Cher Horowitz, “a jumping off point to start negotiations.”
  •  Buy a caftan, wear a caftan: If you’ve read our caftan report, you know very well that it’s the country’s signature wardrobe piece. Whether you opt for an exquisitely decorated piece of handiwork or a more casual number, buy a caftan whilst in Morocco.  And wear it as you explore the city.

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WALK JARDIN MAJORELLE

Beautiful blues at Jardin Majorelle.

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  •  A 12 acre botanical garden designed by French expatriate Jacques Majorelle, the landscape was purchased by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé in the 1980s and is now open to the public. It is a resplendent display of vegetal shapes and colors.

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LUNCH AT GRAND CAFE DE LA POSTE

Grand Cafe de la Poste

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  • Casablanca meets The Jane Hotel in Marrakech vibes.  Settle in with a mojito, order a light French meal and savor the dreamy scene before you.

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EXPLORE AN HEBORISTE

Spices, herbs and oils at Herboristerie Palais El Badii

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  •  The Berber equivalent of a pharmacy, these little shops contain rows upon rows of medicinal and aromatic herbs, spices and essential oils for whatever ails you. Purchase fragrant, all natural rose oil and stock up on argan oil.  With its high concentration of vitamin E and antioxidants, argan oil hydrates skin, helps clear acne, and smoothes fly away hair.  It’s been a cosmetic staple in Morocco for centuries.

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VISIT LA MAMOUNIA

The majestic doors of La Mamounia

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  • All the artistic grandeur of Morocco channeled into one hotel, La Mamounia is a luxurious masterpiece.  Even if you’re not staying here, a visit is essential: tour the grounds, play a round of bocce, enjoy one of their award-winning restaurants, have a cocktail in their famous jazz den le bar Churchill (Marrakech’s answer to Bemelman’s).

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DRINK THE TEA

The high tea pour

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  •  They serve it hot in Morocco (some say a hot beverage on a hot day will cause you to sweat and thus cool you down).  Whether that’s true or not, one thing is certain: the mint tea here is delicious.  Pay attention to their serving practices, too.  It’s all about the high tea pour in Morocco, mixing the sugar cube, mint and heat to create a light froth on top of the drink.

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TRAVERSE TO LA PAUSE

Lunch at La Pause

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  • A desert oasis about an hour outside of Marrakech, La Pause could just as easily be a million miles away. There is no electricity, only panoramic views of the mountains and oceans of sand.  Ride a camel, devour a traditional Moroccan meal prepared with fresh local ingredients, have a siesta, repeat.

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Rebecca Prusinowski is Editor-at-Large and Community Manager of AHAlife, the online shopping destination for gifts and unique global finds. She works in media and fashion with a simple mission to share what’s beautiful in this world.
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