An Event Planner’s Notes from Marrakech
This is serious shopping, with every imaginable handmade product from gorgeous Berber rugs to exquisite parquetry boxes to finely cut metal lamps and shades. It’s all here, in abundance and for a good price. Tell your clients to bring an extra piece of luggage because they will need it.
A side trip to the Sahara on dromedaries (one humped camels) – no problem, ballooning over countryside villages and farms – a snap, a trek in the Atlas Mountains – done. It’s all here, in place and ready for you and your event guests.
In Marrakech, WiFi is available almost everywhere: hotels, cafes, restaurants… and there is the Arsat Moulay Abdeslam Cyber Park in the middle of the city where anyone can go online at internet stations. They even provide the laptops on pedestals.
Power outages are rare – something that is quite common in other developing nations. A solar powered flight from Madrid to Rabat recently made global headlines as the Moroccan government announced a multi-national joint venture, with financing in the tens of billions, to start work on a 160-megawatt solar power plant to be built in the southern city of Ouarzazate. Morocco plans to draw 40% of its energy needs from the sun by 2020.
Luxury hotels and resorts such as the The Four Seasons, The Selman – featuring magnificent Arabian horses, and The Amanjena – one of the Aman resorts, abound, with new properties opening all the time and with many new and exciting locations in the works. There are smaller gems – elegant boutique hotels with full service amenities like La Maison Arabe and La Sultana, and there is, of course, La Mamounia, one of the great hotels of the world.
For this article, I’m focusing on 7 high-end hotel, resort and restaurant properties but in truth, this is a place where event producers can truly let their imaginations run wild, where events can be anything, at any price from Boho Berber to Coutts & Co. The possibilities are endless: the shopping is beyond extraordinary, the culture is warm and welcoming and the country is exotic and familiar, all at the same time.