Dar Les Cigognes
Staying in the old city of Marrakech is the much needed calm that staying within the walls can’t offer. Without the street peddlers and claustrophobic souks, the cramped walkways and getting lost, Dar Les Cigognes is just outside of said walls, and is a haven of Marrakech.
Still just a 15 minute walk to Jema El Fina, the main square of the city, it is a straight and easy thatched roofed market stall road, with much more room than the famous souks and less of the calling out.
When welcomed to the road, sweet mint tea is offered and biscuits given whilst they check you in, as well as a huge hug from the owner of the road. Roses adorn the central water feature as well as the flowers being flourished throughout the rooms. The bright entrance greets you with sprawling leafy trees alongside and tablets tucked into the alcoves for peace away.
However, it isn’t just a base for exploring the city, but a home from home. A library and reading room are two of the rooms offered that other riads wouldn't think to add, with books in all languages adoring the walls, and bright red fed hats strewn across. A hammam spa is a popular room in a riad, and in Dar Les Cigognes treatments on offer are a great addition. Even day tours and picnics can be specially created by the staff to make the stay unique. With the many gardens in Marrakech, taking them up on it is wise.
The roof terrace is easily the most serene part of the riad to pass the time in with a snack or two as you are surrounded by plants and trees, but the rooms are where the real luxury begins. Sprawling double beds and ornate furniture will have your body begging for a mid day nap when the heat becomes too much. The deep stone bath invites you in to sit back with the body products created from local produce , onside the window that rings out with the norse of horse and carriages clip clopping past the window a few feet below. A breakfast spread can be taken on the roof terrace but for a bit of privacy, suggest having it in the spacious rooms. It will be a battle to defeat it, with fresh breads, pasties, honeys and jams, fresh sweet fruits of nectarines followed by the best eggs I have ever tasted, no doubt fried with lashings of butter and oil.
It is the little touches that make it all the more special. Having someone greet you at the door every time, with a genuine enquiry as to how your day had been spent, the rose petals and late night nibbles strewn across the bedding. It knows how to make you feel welcome without intruding into you own space, but treading the line of luxury boutique hotel with the warmth of a small bed and breakfast.
The centre of Marrakech can batter the soul which is why Dar Les Cigognes is the place to recover when it becomes too much, to really experience the beauty of what Morocco offers.
Thank you to the team at Dar Les Cigognes for making me feel welcome.