A Weekend in

 Martina's Marrakech

Travel tips by Martina Mondadori
Images from Miguel Flores-Vianna and Martina Mondadori
Image from oltrepò pavese

Villa Oasis, Marrakech, the former home of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. Image: Miguel Flores-Vianna.

Martina Mondadori shares an insider's guide to the magical city of Marrakech, revealing her go-to addresses, from stylish hotels and secluded spots to the ultimate destinations for rugs and haute couture quality embroidery.


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Left: Jnane Tamsna, a home away from home in the Palmeraie. Right: Kasbah Bab Ourika. Images: Martina Mondadori.

Where to Stay


For those who love the buzz of the Medina, my favorite hotels are: L’Hotel, by Jasper Conran, for refined elegance, and Riad Mena, sister hotel to Berber Lodge (see 'Beyond the City').
And in the Palmeraie just outside the city, I love Jnane Tamsna. Run like a very restful, chic house by owner, Meryanne Loum-Martin, it's a home away from home with cozy, timeless decor. Meryanne - who organises candlelit dinners in the gardens for guests - makes you feel like you're her house guest, while the living room has an excellent selection of books. For more hotels, see 'Beyond the City'.
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Left: Collected treasures at Kasbah Bab Ourika. Right: Saharan mats. Images: Martina Mondadori.

Where to Shop


One can get happily lost in the many souks, markets and ateliers of Marrakech, full of true artisans and real craftsmanship. Here are some of my favorite addresses:
Sidi Ghanem
The city’s “Industrial Zone”, filled with local craftsmen’s ateliers, is a great experience and a real destination for designers and interior lovers. 
Brigitte Perkins, Tadert Titbirine
A company of hand weavers and embroiderers created by Brigitte Perkins, this is the ultimate destination for haute couture quality embroidery. They offer exclusively hand crafted and traditionally produced classic Moroccan patterns for bespoke Interiors projects. A favourite of French designers, Jacques Grange, and the late Alberto Pinto.
Al Matjar, Souk Semmarine
In the heart of Souk Semmarine, a three-minute walk from the main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa, this is the best place for rugs. They have a great selection of traditional Saharan mats from Mauritania, typically used by Nomads. 26 Souk Semmarine.
Boutique at Jardin Majorelle
The shop at Jardin Majorelle - the former home and gardens of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé - has many beautiful items, inspired by Morocco, Jardin Majorelle and the designs of YSL.
Au Fil D’or, Souk Semmarine
Also in the heart of Souk Semmarine, a two-minute walk from Jemaa el-Fnaa, this is my go-to place for iconic Moroccan velvet embroidered jackets. 10 Derb Semmarine.
De Velasco Maroc
Contemporary Moroccan style imbued with tradition, by designer Sana Redwani.
Mustapha Blaoui, Medina
In the heart of the Medina, a true Aladdin’s cave for all things Interiors. Mustapha also has another shop outside the city center, on the Amizmiz Road. Call or Whatsapp +212 6 17 36 09 31.
Musée Yves Saint Laurent
The well-curated bookshop at the Studio KO-designed YSL Museum has an extensive selection of books on fashion, design, interiors and style.
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A terracotta palette and great attention to detail at Kasbah Bab Ourika. Images: Martina Mondadori.

Where to Eat


Marrakech is full of flavour, delicious cuisine and intensely atmospheric settings in which to dine. Some of my favorite spots in the city are:
L’Hotel Marrakech 
Café Nomad
Terrasse des Epices
Grand Café de la Poste 
Jnane Tamsna
Berber Lodge


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Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech, the home and gardens of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé; Miguel Flores-Vianna. 

Beyond the City
Interior lovers should explore some of the new hotels appearing outside Marrakech. Berber Lodge, on the way towards the Atlas Mountains, is definitely worth a stop (even just for lunch). Set in an idyllic area near the village of Oumnass (with its glorious fort, which can be seen from the garden of the Lodge), it was inspired by Berber architecture and built using local craftsmen and resources. It's decorated with a very simple, local feel that is a real breath of fresh air. It was a joint project by the owner, French Interior designer Romain Michel Meniere, and Studio KO in Paris. 


As one approaches the Ourika Valley, the gateway to the Atlas Mountains, Kasbah Bab Ourika is a must-see. The rooms are individually decorated and the common areas and gardens are a delightful escape from the hustle of the city. The mix of a terracotta palette, local textiles and rugs, and incredible attention to detail, make this hotel a real destination. 
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Left: Kasbah Bab Ourika. Right: Jnane Tamsna. Images: Martina Mondadori.


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