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Damian Weilers , Marrakech , L Issue ,  TWENTY6 Magazine, TWENTY6 Travel

It is super quick to Marrakech from the United Kingdom. The flight time is under four hours, which makes Marrakech a perfect weekend get away. Literally a hop, skip and jump away! For such a short journey time, you arrive on another planet, and it is unbelievable. 

For a totally luxurious experience, then the Brilliant El Fenn is definitely a must. Carefully selected by Wilhem Smit, the hotel manager and your lovely host, the hotel’s beautifully curated interiors don’t fail to impress. Wilhem has spent six years transforming El Fenn into a global hot spot. Effortlessly cool on every level, an air of chic permeating through the interiors, the atmosphere, and the art. You may even see Kate Moss shopping up a storm in whatever is the newest boutique in town. Also, don’t miss the wonderful experience of having brunch on the roof - an unforgettable experience to say the least!
However, If you are watching the budget, but also want an amazing authentic Marrakech experience then the amazing Riad Yamina, which is literally moments from Jemaa el-Fnaa, is a welcome home away from home. It is a beautiful property with fabulous home cooking from Yamina, whose Moroccan restaurants in London Camden shot to fame back in the 1970s and 80s. The welcome, staff, and atmosphere, come at a price far below the experience provides, truly one of the best kept secrets of the Medina.
Damian Weilers , Marrakech , L Issue ,  TWENTY6 Magazine, TWENTY6 Travel
Damian Weilers , Marrakech , L Issue ,  TWENTY6 Magazine, TWENTY6 Travel

Eat and Drink 
The Café Des Epices in the Spice square, not only serves great coffee but also provides for the best people watching ever! The cafe is open to the street, and lets you bask in the unique buzz of Marrakech. The food is especially great, the veggie open sandwich is particularly inspired. The perfect place to grab a quick lunch before delving into shopping in the colourful Souks. 
For cocktails and jazz, head to the bar at La Mamounia, the gardens are beautifully lit up emanating a soft glow on the skyline of the souks below. You can sit and enjoy the jazz quartet while enjoy the views and ambience, shared by Churchill and De Galle. While the place has lost some of its atmospheric quality since the refurbishment, it is still the best place in Marrakech for a dirty martini and truly great jazz - Ideal for pre-supper drinks before heading to one of Marrakech’s most celebrated culinary establishments. 
The Grand Café de la Poste is one of the most prestigious culinary experiences Marrakech has to offer. Splash out and get out of the hustle and bustle of the city either by jumping in a cab or better yet, via  a horse and carriage to The Grand Café de la Poste. Formerly the country club for the movers and shakers in the French administration, the space has been transformed into a restaurant that breathes its heritage through the walls. Large airy verandas, billowing fans, the well-heeled locals, and a traditional French menu, makes this a wonderful treat on a short trip.
However if the La Poste is not your cup of tea, and if you are looking for the total glitz and a truly eclectic exploit the La Comptior is the perfect destination. The lamb dishes are mouthwateringly sumptious,  and you can enjoy your meal surrounded by belly dancers dressed in illuminated candelabras dancing around your table. Crazy, fun, and a truly great experience - don’t let the price tag deter you, as this is definitely worth splashing out on.
Damian Weilers , Marrakech , L Issue ,  TWENTY6 Magazine, TWENTY6 Travel

Trips & Experiences 
In Marrakech there is an endless list of things to discover. Wander and get lost in the Souks, shop till you drop, relax in a hammam, barter until complete and utter exhaustion, whether it’s for a rug, a lamp, or a pair of slippers. Marrakech leaves you spoilt for choice! 
Take some time to visit a hammam. It is not often as an adult you have washed in the way that you do in a hammam. But if you want to feel truly clean, you are scrubbed, rubbed, and oiled until you feel like a new you. There are plenty of hammams to choose from in the city. Ranging from the most basic experience which is still mainly for the locals, or to ultra luxury spa treatments, either way it is a truly Moroccan experience.
If you have the time to spare, then spend a day in the oasis that is La Pause, where you can literally swim in the olive grove around the pool. Have lunch in the stunning Bedouin tents, or stay into the evening when the fires are lit around the camp! As you spend the night staring into the desert stars by the warmth of the camp fire. 

If you are feeling flush, then splash out on this once in a life time experience, then there is the Hot Air Balloning which is quite literally float above over the desert and into the candy coloured skies of the Moroccan desert.  Watching goats and sheep shrink far beneath, and seeing the sun come up over the Atlas mountains is absolutely breathtaking.  Nothing prepares you for the silence and calm of just drifting wherever the wind takes you. The perfect end to the perfect weekend in this truly unique part of the world. 
Words by Andrew Downs

Images courtesy of Damian Weilers 

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