A luxury escape to Morocco...

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Holly Westwood | 7 Aug, 2015

Morocco is an ideal destination for a short-haul luxury holiday; only 3 hours from the UK and guaranteed sunshine!

I am lucky enough to have just returned from a fantastic four days away in Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains. ITC Travel Specialists, myself included, visit our luxury hotels across the globe to make sure we have the latest, on-the-ground information. That way we can give every client bespoke, expert service, wherever they travel. Talk about the best job in the world!

On this trip our first stop was at the Four Seasons Resort Marrakech. This luxury hotel is only a 10 minute transfer from the airport, which was perfect as we touched down at 7pm and still made it just in time for dinner! I was impressed by the service instantly, with in-room check-in meaning no waiting around in lobbies.

After a quick freshen-up we headed down to the Inara Bar, where you can sit on the beautiful terrace and enjoy an aperitif. We dined at Arancino, the hotel's Italian restaurant, which was a delight. There's also another restaurant serving tasty Moroccan dishes and a poolside grill for lunch. All interiors are light and airy with subtle Arabic flourishes lending a sense of place. With a fab kids' club and family pool, the resort is great for a Morocco family holiday. Couples will enjoy the adult pool, which is in a different location and great for a bit of peace and quiet!

The next day we enjoyed a guided tour of the Medina; Marrakech's stunning fortified 'old city' dating back at least a thousand years! It was great to walk through the hustle and bustle of the souks and the square where the locals still trade. At night, the square comes to life and attracts tourists who go to visit the market stalls and watch traditional snake charmers. My highlights were visiting the oldest university in Marrakech and the Katoubia Mosque, which is the largest in the city. It was an amazing experience and a real 'must do' on a Morocco city break.

Our next stop was the stunning Palais Namaskar. This is the most perfect location for honeymooners or couples, situated in beautiful gardens with views of the Atlas Mountains beyond. The whole property has a tranquil and elegant feel. Accommodation options range from rooms to ultra-luxe 'palaces' and all are appointed in true Moroccan style. The spacious luxury villas were stunning; they have large swimming pools and are extremely private. You can enjoy a cocktail while the sun sets at the rooftop bar, before dinner in one of the excellent restaurants. 

On day three, we headed up into the Atlas Mountains for a completely unique experience at Richard Branson's Moroccan Retreat - Kasbah Tamadot. This boutique-style property is set in peaceful surroundings amidst outstanding natural beauty. The views are spectacular and the accommodation is totally different. I was lucky enough to stay in a Berber Tent which has a spacious decking area and private Jacuzzi. I felt like a VIP! The night we stayed was a themed 'Berber Feast' evening. I was spoilt for choice by the exquisite Moroccan cuisine and tasted some amazing local dishes. After dinner, an outdoor cinema was set up, providing another unique experience in the mountains and under the stars. 

The Atlas Mountains are around one and half hours from the city centre but it's certainly worth the drive! I would highly recommend a day trip here, even if you prefer to stay closer to the vibrancy of the Medina.

My last night was spent back near the city centre at Royal Palm. The hotel boasts an 18-hole golf course and the largest swimming pool in Marrakech. I sampled the Spa by Clarins, enjoying an indulgent full body massage. Accommodation is very spacious and all rooms face the glorious Atlas Mountains, so a great view is guaranteed. For larger groups and families, there are 10 villas with their own private pool. L'Olivier is a well known and popular restaurant for guests and outsiders for lunch, so I recommend asking our Concierge team to pre-book a table.  For dinner, I would recommend Al Ain for its delicious local food and light evening entertainment. Ask your Travel Specialist about 30% off accommodation when you book a month in advance!

Last but certainly not least we visited La Mamounia, one of the oldest and most iconic hotels in Morocco. Right at the heart of the Medina, this property's location couldn't be better. With 200 acres of pristine gardens and a lovely swimming pool area, you still have the benefits of a peaceful space, yet still so close to all the action. At the Inspiring Travel Company we have some fantastic speciality packages on offer with La Mamounia at the moment, which include half-day tours of the Medina. Just 10 minutes drive from this grand hotel I was back in the airport, ready for the short flight home!

I can't recommend a luxury Morocco holiday enough. We were there for just four nights and I fell in love with the place! As two women travelling alone, I can honestly say that we felt extremely safe and would certainly return here on our own holidays.

Whether you're looking for a city break, a mountain retreat or a twin-centre escape combining the two, Morocco offers winter sun, fascinating culture and short-haul luxury. Why not enquire by starting a webchat or call a Travel Specialist on 01244 355 600? With so many fantastic offers right now, there's no better time to begin your bespoke booking.