Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Souk Up the Atmosphere; KATE FIELDER Finds Herself Mesmerised by the Mix of Chaos and Calm in the Magical Moroccan City of Marrakech

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Souk Up the Atmosphere; KATE FIELDER Finds Herself Mesmerised by the Mix of Chaos and Calm in the Magical Moroccan City of Marrakech

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE FIELDER

NOW I understand. I have experienced some of the mysteries of Marrakech at last, and I know what friends who have visited this wonderful and chaotic city were so excited about when they came home with tall tales and magnificent memories.

I went to Marrakech with my mum, the only other person I know that gets ridiculously excited by the prospect of buying handbags. Oh, yes, and lanterns, which are among Marrakech's most obvious wares.

I admit at first we were slightly apprehensive, having read horror stories online about westerners being subjected to abuse, ripped off or pestered.

However, from the moment we got there, to the second we boarded the plane home, I have nothing but good memories of a fabulous place and nothing more than friendly banter with people in the souks.

With EASYJET's direct route from Manchester, the four-hour flight was a doddle.

On the shuttle transfer from the airport to the outskirts, we noticed mopeds carrying entire families, clinging on for dear life with no obvious safety measures in place.

The street markets were bustling with locals and motorbikes and bicycles carrying loads you'd struggle to get in your car. It was fascinating chaos.

We stayed at The Tigmiza Suites and Pavillons, the most chilledout, heavenly boutique Kasbah-like hotel.

It's only a 20-minute drive from the airport, nestled in the greenery of the Palmerie of Marrakech with views of the stunning Atlas Mountains. It's a really special place.

The Spa We arrived in the early evening and during check-in were led to The Moroccan Room to relax and wait with freshly brewed mint tea and biscuits while we soaked up the beautiful surroundings.

The charm of the place engulfed us, with its heavily themed decor and grand design; every corner and part of the complex was delightful. It was all created by the owners, a local family. The father came up with the concept and his wife, a very talented artist, proudly displays modern yet striking work in suites and communal areas.

Their daughter designed and decorated each individual suite and pavilion to an exceptionally high standard. I stayed in a duplex suite, l'orientale. With its deep earth tones, living room area on the ground floor, and dramatic mandarin style carved wood furniture, and marble staircase, every aspect of the theme worked perfectly, including the somewhat extravagant five chandeliers in one bedroom.

the Tigmiza It made me feel like a queen for the weekend. Exaggerated yet relaxed luxury.

It's a place where no detail has been overlooked. Even at breakfast while sitting on the beautiful dining room terrace, the waiters bring personalised printed mini-bulletins from the hotel to keep you up to date with the news.

One of the many services the Tigmiza offers is a complimentary shuttle each day to and from the historic medina area of the city. …

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