Tag Archives: North Africa

One of the best things to do in Marrakech

Caleche ride in Marrakech

One of our recommended things to do in Marrakech

As from last month, we at Riad Sapphire and Spa are offering our guests a unique way to visit the Red city. The ‘calèche’ is an age-old form of transport and is a fabulous way to see Marrakesh from the comfort of your own horse and carriage. It’s a good idea to go late afternoon just before the sun goes down and you’re tired from walking but would still like to see more.

We offer a scenic tour (approx. 75 minutes) which includes the Winter Garden district (Hivernage), La Mamounia, the Royal Palace, the Mellah (Jewish quarter), King’s Palace, the old Pasha of Marrakech’s residence, Koutoubia mosque and finishing by the main square, Place Jemaa El Fna’. Prices are £15 per person (minimum 2 people). We can’t guarantee the drivers speak English, so a guide would need to be booked if you wish commentary in English.

In addition, we can also book a romantic calèche ride to your pre-booked restaurant for the evening. Prices are £10 per person (minimum 2 people) per trip. Please note, no carriages can be booked after midnight as the horses have to go to bed!!

A UK charity – Spana regularly checks the condition of the calèche horses in Marrakech, so one can rest assured they are well looked after…

Marrakech Film Festival 2015

Jeremy Irons Marrakech Film Festival

 

Marrakech Film Festival will take place this year 2015 from December 4th to 12th.

A good time to be in the exotic city of Marrakech. Come and stay with us while you enjoy the 15th Marrakech Film Festival – we have a 20% discount for an affordable stay.

Francis Ford Coppola will be the Jury President.
Francis Ford Coppola Marrakech Film Festival 2015
Marrakech International Film Festival continues to explore the contours of world cinematography by paying tribute to Canadian cinema —  Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg, James Cameron, Paul Haggis, Guy Maddin, Sarah Polley and more.

 

Saffron harvest on organic farm near Marrakesh

Extracting saffron Marrakech

Learn all about growing and harvesting saffron – the most expensive spice in the world.

Harvesting takes place through the month of November – take advantage of our 20% discount offer on our lovely suites in Riad Sapphire and Spa and enjoy some warm, sunny weather.

Have an interesting day out on an organic farm at the Paradis du Safran

Owner Saffron farm Marrakech

New restaurant in Marrakech

Another new restaurant opening in #Marrakech

Buddha Bar in Marrakech door

Buddha-Bar in #Marrakech Bar Lounge Restaurant with Zen music mix

Buddha Bar in Marrakech Restaurant and Lounge

The latest addition to this hotel franchise created by Raymond Visan and Claude Challe – the first restaurant bar lounge being opened in Paris, France in 1996.

The Buddha-Bar attracts foreign yuppies and wealthy tourists – offering an upscale bar-restaurant with an orientalist ‘lounge’ ambience” serving Asian cuisine and DJ music offering an eclectic mix of avant-garde music . The franchise has even compiled albums of their music mix under the Buddha Bar brand released by George V Records.

Buddha Bar in Marrakech

 

The opening night in #Marrakech was on Friday, October 23rd, 2015. The Buddha-Bar is close to the new Menara Mall – check the opening night video

 

Recipes from Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

We publish the recipes for the Moroccan dishes served in our riad in Marrakech. Check out our website for the latest –

Moroccan fish tagine with chermoula

fish tajin with chermoula Moroccan recipeAlready featured:

Baghrir (or beghrir) Moroccan pancakes

Carrot and coriander soup

Aubergine salad

Moroccan lamb tagine

Tagin of chicken with preserved lemons and olives

Bon appetit!

Artist in Marrakech

e have written about the work of Hamid Khantour previously. We now have a mini-exhibition of his paintings in the small courtyard of our riad, Riad Sapphire and Spa in Marrakech.  They may be purchased by our clients – he will come and roll up the paintings for transport home.

Art exhibition Riad Sapphire and Spa in Marrakech

 

Place Vendôme leather store in Marrakech

bags from leather store in Marrakech

If you’re in the market for some leather bags – but don’t particularly want what is on offer in the souks – go to Guèliz. There are a couple of stores along the main shopping street, Mohamed V, around the crossroads with Rue de la Liberté, that offer modern styles and much better quality than in the souks.

The dyes don’t run, the leather doesn’t smell bad and the long-term quality is far superior.  They don’t have designer labels – but do designer labels really matter especially if you’re saving a lot of money? If what you want is a good quality bag in terms of design, leather, and style, you will be happy you made the trip.

Place Vendôme in Marrakech has been around for years – they offer bags, belts, leather jackets and even saddles – all at much lower prices than in Europe.

bags at Place Vendome boutique in Marrakech

141, av. Mohammed V, corner of Rue de la Liberté, Marrakesh, Morocco

Closed Sundays

Tel.: 05 24 43 52 63

Good news for Moroccan film industry

Morocco film psychological thriller

Ouazazarte is not the only place in Morocco connected to the film industry.

Kasbah Films is a production services company based in Tangiers, Morocco and founded in 2006. They have recently signed on to “Morocco,” a psychological thriller set against the backdrop of the 2008 economic meltdown.

Told over 72 hours, “Morocco” turns on Simon Collins a wealthy Irish property developer who travels undercover to North Africa on the eve of the financial collapse of 2008 to embezzle funds from his company before it collapses. But Simon’s plans unravel as he comes across Karim, a local property developer and shrewd businessman who quickly discovers the scam and sets off to give Simon a lesson.

Can’t wait to see it.

Café Clock in Marrakech

The first Café Clock opened in Fez, Morocco and now there is one in Marrakech.  A great place for cultural exchanges as well as a cup of coffee and a place to rest.

Cafe Clock in MarrakechCafés are spring up all over the medina of Marrakech – and a welcome addition they are too.

There is local artwork on the walls alongside vintage items, street art and a program set up for cultural exchanges and the promotion of aspiring artists. Every Wednesday there are jam sessions for musicians – anyone can bring along their instrument. There is traditional Marrakchi storytelling with an English translator on Thursday nights. Saturday nights offer live concerts. You can also find classes for yoga, darija, oud, calligraphy and oriental dancing …

More than your average café.  In the Kasbah area of the old city.

224 Derb Chtouka

Marrakech

05 24 37 83 67

www.cafeclock.com

Moroccan style – old and new

riad sapphire and spa_riad in Marrakech_courtyard
Grand patio Riad Sapphire and Spa in Marrakech

For your stay in the ever-fascinating, exotic city of Marrakesh live in a totally renovated ancient riad in a quiet, residential area of the medina.  At Riad Sapphire & Spa we have adopted a colonial 30’s style, but updated for the new century, in a blend of modern architecture with traditional Moroccan architecture. The interior design also is a mix of Western and Eastern, modern and ancient.
Take the glass panelling in the large courtyard with our pool (using solar energy to heat), instead of a traditional forged metal railing, we’ve rendered it in glass but had the beautiful traditional pattern etched onto the glass. The result is a clean look that allows more light to penetrate the loggia/arcade area of the riad.
In keeping with our colonial 30s theme, we have a ceiling fan in the salon – but used Moroccan craftsmanship to make it a little different.  We purchased leather from the suqs and found a leather craftsman to cut and cover the fan blades and support rod – voilà an old idea updated.
In the rooms we have hand-cut metal ceiling lampshades that cast wonderful patterns on the surrounding surfaces.  In the courtyards and arcades we decided on a more modern take on metal lampshades – we only had to show our metal craftsman, Mohamed, a sample and he faithfully executed the designs.  Again, at night these lampshades throw entrancing shadows on the white walls.

 

riad in marrakech_riad_spa in marrakesh_boutique hotel
Sitting room in Riad Sapphire, Marrakech

All the furniture and most of the décor, e.g. tables, sofas, banquettes, lampshades, rugs, artwork, decorative cushions, etc. have been locally made using skilled craftsmen. We’ve done a series of videos outlining the work of some of these craftspeople – see our blog – to watch how wood is turned without using electricity, how the beautiful cut metal lampshades are fashioned, how the fabrics used in some of the draperies are woven and more.
Marrakech is modern, ancient, exciting, interesting, vibrant, innovative, exotic and it has over 300 days of sunshine per year.  Don’t wait to visit!
Come and stay with us – live in a totally renovated ancient riad in a quiet, residential area of the medina of Marrakech.  Book directly online via our secure site and get an extra bonus www.riadsapphire.com