Just minutes from the medina, Gueliz is a sort of suburb of Marrakesh, and it’s nothing like what you’d expect. Even if you don’t know much about Marrakesh, just them mention of its name brings to mind souks and slippers, mosques and mint tea, snake-charmers and desert-dwelling Bedouins. A visit to Gueliz will change all that.
After having spent several nights at a riad inside the bustling medina, we opted to end our stay in Morocco at the new adults only boutique hotel L’Hivernage Secret Suites. Its serene setting and friendly and helpful staff, the quiet swimming pool and gated gardens make for a sublime respite. Our room was huge, with two bathrooms! Great breakfast. They offer dinner, but no alcohol.
[HOT TIP: We were grateful for the ease of getting to the airport from this spot, as opposed to exiting the labyrinth of the medina.]
Once expats resided in Gueliz. Today, a host of young creative types have moved in, opening boutiques and bars and generally giving the ville nouvelle an air the likes of Madison Avenue. We didn’t have time to visit the trendy cocktail bar Baromètre (on Facebook and Instagram) but if I go back I will.
We did, however, enjoy happy hour at the gorgeous art-deco landmark Le Grand Café de la Poste. Like Traveling in Time. If this restaurant doesn’t make you look and feel sexy there may be no hope for you! It was wonderful in a “Play it Sam” kind of way, although you can expect to pay for it. No matter, we drank our dinner and ate the free nosh.
Also nearby is the Jardin Majorelle, created by French painter Jacques Majorelle and renovated by Yves Saint Laurent. This place is worth seeing, but not the best garden in Marakkesh. In my opinion, that would be Le Jardin Secret, in the old Jewish section of the medina.
[HOT TIP: If the line to get into the Gardens is long, try heading to the YSL Museum and buying your tickets there. You can access the gardens through the museum.]