We chose Marrakesh because we all wanted some winter sun. One of my bridesmaids Christine is in the West End, so she could only get holiday dates at specific times, which meant we’d ear marked January as the best time to all get away. Marrakesh is only a three hour flight from London, and offers the biggest cultural difference from the UK, as well as beautiful balmy winter sun temperatures. We also found that Marrakesh offered up so many experiences that were different to your average hen. None of my bridesmaids, or myself are big drinkers, so we wanted activities that didn’t solely centre around alcohol.
Where we stayed…
We stayed in a traditional Morrocan Riad called Riad Alkemia. It’s based in the heart of Marrakesh, within the Medina, and sleeps up to 14 people. It comes with four amazing staff members, lead by Khalid, who want you to make the Riad your home from home whilst in Marrakesh. They took care of every detail of our stay, from helping to organise excursions and activities, to cooking delicious meals, to recommending the best bars and restaurants to visit whilst in the city. What I loved about the Riad is that it felt totally authentic to our surroundings, and unlike staying in a hotel, we felt we really got a taste for the culture. The bedrooms were all excellent sizes, and all came with unique features and en suites. Special mentions go to the incredible roof top terrace which we enjoyed a few of our meals on, and the attention to detail across our stay, including petals in the pool for our farewell dinner.
What we did…
Our trip was pretty jam packed with activities, and I really felt this made my bridal party bond so well across the three days. On our arrival, we had traditional Moroccan mint tea at our Riad before heading out in to Marrakesh for drinks and dinner. We visited Dar Dar cocktail bar for sunset cocktails as it has a famed roof terrace with beautiful views over the city, before heading to Sahbi Sahbi, a female only run food intiative and restaurant that served up delicious traditional Moroccan food. On our second day, we had organised a guided tour of the Souks which commenced at 10am. It was brilliant having a guide with us to show us around, as the Souks are huge and you can easily get lost. In total we spent about three hours exploring, learning all about the Moroccan culture, and the history of the city, before stopping at a lunch spot called Moro. Moro is a creative concept restaurant that showcases local artists and creators, and is a brilliant space to stop for a quick bite to eat. It’s also perfectly located just a stones throw from the YSL Gardens, which was our next stop.
Once we’d finished at the YSL Gardens we headed back to the Riad for a quick change, before jumping in to a minibus which took us roughly 75 minutes out of Marrakesh in to the Agafay Desert. Once we reached our destination in the desert, we were met with the most incredible, authentic Bedouin camp, which was called Darina Camp. Here, we had organised to do an hour long quad bike tour around the desert, before returning back to the camp for a traditional Moroccan dinner under the stars. I have to say that of all the activities we did across the weekend, this was the most memorable, and the team at Darina were so wonderful at making us feel looked after. I’d highly recommend doing this experience at around 4-5pm so that you can really make the most of the sunset, which was one of the best I’ve ever seen in my life. Our dinner finished at around 10.30pm at which point we headed back to Marrakesh, but not before some traditional music to see us off from the Darina team. For our final full day, we were all fancying something a little more relaxed, and so organised a day pass to the Four Seasons Marrakesh, where for £90 each we had full access to sunbeds and a three course lunch. The hotel is stunning, and the service here was exceptional. The sun shone all day and it really was such a lovely way to end the trip.
At around 5pm we headed back to the Riad for our farewell dinner, which was served on the roof terrace, and had a fancy dress theme of ‘diva’s through the decades’. I know my bridal party well enough to know that all of them are guaranteed to go ALL OUT when it comes to fancy dress, and nobody disappointed. It really was the most special meal, with highlights including a personalised poem from each of my bridesmaids written by the wonderful @wrd.it as well as some classic hen party games of Mr and Mrs and more. All in all, I was absolutely thrilled that we chose Marrakesh as my hen destination, and I couldn’t recommend it more if you’re wanting to do something a little different. We found it to be incredibly reasonably priced for everything we did, and found the people to be so friendly and welcoming.
Where we ate…
- Dar Dar for sunset cocktails
- Sahbi Sahbi for a traditional Moroccan dinner
- Moro for a relaxed lunch
- Darina Camp for the full Moroccan experience
- Riad Alkemia
What we packed…
The hen party were kitted out with amazing travel outfits including snuggly hoodies for both bridesmaids and myself from Six Stories.
From there on in, we had the most incredible array of goodies from Gigi and Olive, which included bridal tiaras, fans, personalised bags and more. I also got a stunning White Lace robe from there as a gift from my man of honour which I wore for our poolside day.
In addition to this, my man of honour Lewis had organised some heart sunglasses from Amazon, and some beautiful table decorations which also came from there too.
The best moment…
I think the desert experience has to be my favourite individual moment. But, I have to say that the whole weekend, just seeing all the people I love, love all the people I love was the memory I’ll carry with me most. It was a truly special few days, with an incredible group of friends, and I feel so very grateful and lucky to have had the chance to celebrate my hen with them all.
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