My birthday was in May. I’m Gemini, did you know that?
Although that was a couple of months ago, I would like to talk about what I did to celebrate that I had another wonderful year on this planet: this May, I visited the Pearl of the South.
Marrakesh is one of the imperial cities of Morocco and among the many reasons that exist to visit it, there is one that called my attention especially, that made me very excited to know and that doesn’t disappointed me at all. But we’ll get to it.
Marrakesh, like other imperial cities, is divided into two parts: the old city, or the great Medina, and the new city, made by the French, and where the nightlife and spaces for tourists to stay are concentrated. Both parts of the city can feel very different, thanks not only to the fact that they are governed by different rules, but also to the way in which they have been maintained over the years: the ancient city must keep alive the tradition of Morocco and its most precious jewels (its buildings), while the new city can evolve along with the rest of the world.
My hotel was in the new city, of course, but that was not why the experience was less Moroccan. For this trip, I stayed at the Royal Mansour hotel, and just like in the old city, I was delighted by the whole atmosphere. Its colors and shapes, its food and experiences like the spa or the pool and the garden, the rooms, representations of the riads. Behind every door of the palace, I felt I found a place lost in time, preserving the beauty of the past.
The elegance with which the Royal Mansour embodies the traditions and soul of Morocco in every detail, from the reliefs on the doors, the patterns on the sofas, canopies and curtains, to the tapestry and the beautiful carpets, are not easy to describe in words. It is something that undoubtedly has to be experienced first hand. But I can say that I felt part of a world that could only exist within One thousand and one nights.
While at the hotel, I wanted to experience something completely Moroccan and the answer came from the spa and its hamman, which is how Arab bath houses are known. Such places began with the Romans and, over the years, spread to Turkey, Morocco and, well, all of Asia in general.
The Royal Mansour treatment consists of a hot marble bath, which is followed by an exfoliation with black olive and eucalyptus soap, a rasul mask and 100% natural clay. This in order to detoxify, relax the muscles, free the airways and open the pores. Living the Royal Mansour spa is enjoying an experience that takes you to a place of harmony and relaxation impossible to find in another part of the world.
Some extra information about me is that I love carpets and rugs, so the Medina’s bazaar was my little piece of heaven in Morocco. I could not help getting out of there with furniture to decorate my house.
You could not miss a visit to the Bahia Palace, built in the 19th century by Si Moussa, and thought to be the largest palace in history. The Bahia Palace maintains the memory of the country’s culture. With parts of cedar exhibiting lovely patterns —for its complexity—, and hand-painted ceilings, you can still feel the lives of those who once inhabited it. What surprised me most was the harem of the palace, in which there was a room for each of the wives of the great vizier of the Sultan.
During my visit to Marrakesh, I visited herbal stores, where I found oils and essences that keep the delicious aroma of Asia. I lived an experience of 100% Moroccan tea and also visited catacombs, more adorned the higher your rank in society. I was in Le Comptoir and I experienced belly dance in its origins, in addition to having a delicious traditional meal in La Mamounia. But, among these many places and experiences, there is something in particular that captivated me, the reason for my trip to Morocco: the Yves Saint Laurent Museum.
And to speak well of it, I will have to do it in a separate article. I have so much to say, and I can’t wait to share it with you.