Just 40 minutes away from the mesmerizing city of Marrakech, Le Palais Paysan offers a tranquille getaway from the Medina crowds. Tucked away in the outskirts of a Berber village, this stylish, yet unpretentious boutique hotel boasts 16 boutique rooms with their own private balconies – which look out to stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. So when we were invited to go and stay for a few days, we couldn’t possibly say no…
Le Palais Paysan, Marrakech is made up of 16 boutique rooms
Situated across seven-hectares of grounds surrounded by fruit and olive trees, the hotel boasts an outside swimming pool (conveniently located next to the bar) - and even a petting farm complete with chickens, donkeys and horses. Activities on offer include horse riding lessons and hiking trips, while bikes are free to hire – allowing for you to explore the grounds at your leisure. And if you are just wishing to relax – like we were - Le Palais Paysan offers a range of spa treatments, including a Jacuzzi, traditional massages and Hamman, as well as yoga classes.
Rooms are stylish and all have a private balcony
For those who enjoy cooking – or eating – resident cook, Chef Hadid, is on hand to teach guests how to make traditional Moroccan cuisine, with cooking classes available to book while staying there. Celebrities including Nicole Kidman have also benefited from his culinary knowledge in the past – and if it's good enough for her…While there, Chef Hadid worked his magic in teaching us how to make a tagine in his kitchen. Passionate about food, he made the recipes easy for the most amateur of cooks.
The modern dining area serves traditional Moroccan cuisine
Guests certainly don’t go hungry while staying at Le Palais Paysan. The term 'breakfast like a king' is taken quite literally there, with homemade Moroccan yogurt, freshly squeezed orange juice, bread, pastries and eggs just how you like them all featuring on your plate. Make sure you try them the traditional Moroccan way and ask for Shakshouka –a simple dish of poached eggs in tomato sauce. What's more, the majority of the ingredients used from the kitchen are sourced from the hotel's grounds. When it comes to later in the day, meanwhile, there's an impressive cocktail menu to enjoy your evening with.
The outside swimming pool
One thing that was really noticeable during our stay at the hotel was just how friendly and happy the staff were, many of whom live in the nearby Berber village. Nothing was too much trouble and they were passionate about telling you where to visit and what to do during your stay.
Spa treatments can be enjoyed at the hotel
Marrakech often finds itself in the spotlight for both is natural charm and constant flow of celebrity visitors. The Beckhams, Kate Moss and Madonna are just some of them, so while it was tempting to stay relaxing in the hotel, we knew there was lots we had to see before our trip was over.
The Yves Saint Laurent museum is a must-visit while in Marrakech
We made sure to visit the much talked about Yves Saint Laurent Museum, which recently opened in October, showcasing many of the designer's iconic pieces, as well as never-before-seen sketches, letters and fashion illustrations throughout his lifetime. A trip to the shop afterwards is a must. The museum is situated next to the Jardin Majorelle, the iconic botanical garden once owned by Yves Saint Laurent. Sprawling over twelve-acres, it's extremely photogenic, and is visited by nearly one million visitors a year – with fans including Victoria Beckham circa 2015.
Souks make for hours of exploring
No trip to Marrakech is complete without going to the souks. Open from 9am to 9pm, the markets sell everything from slippers to handmade lamps. While there, we tried our hand at haggling and came away wishing we had more room in our suitcase for more treasures.
For more information on rooms at Le Palais Paysan: http://www.lepalaispaysan.com/en/