HAMMAM & SPA
The Hammam is a quintessential Moroccan experience of relaxation and cleansing. You first enter a warm steam room (naked or very close to it) to let your pores open, followed by a coating of savon noir (black soap). Then comes the 'gommage' a rigorous process whereby your skin (well the dead cells anyway) is shed from your body in clumps with a rough glove. You are then covering in a full body clay mask and left to relax whilst it works its wonders, before being brought back to reality with an ice cold wash down to close your pores. The ritual ends with a soothing massage and some relaxation time (now clothed) with a Mint Tea.
Depending on where you choose to have your Hammam (ie. your budget) the experience can be very traditionally communal (separate mens and womens of course) or a more private experience.
In-house Spa treatments available at Riad Chayma in association with Renaissens. Our professional beauty therapists invite you to relax and enjoy a well-being experience in the privacy and comfort of your own room.
We also recommend the following Spa & Hammam venues:
Note: We recommend booking in advance as most Spas book up quickly.
When you begin to melt in the Marrakech summer heat, head for one of the swanky outdoor pool clubs to cool off. There are several venues open to anyone at a fee.
- NIKKI BEACH
Set in the heart of the Palmeraie, Nikki Beach is a charming oasis with a relaxed and sophisticated ambience. Its a place of excellence in the Red City where you can spend quality time in a convivial glamorous atmosphere. Sip the best cocktails and fine wines as you let yourself be enchanted by the music of our resident Dj.
- LA PLAGE ROUGE
Located 10km outside of Marrakech the location feels like a scene in a Hollywood movie complete with camels and desert mirage. The all-day pool lounge features mattress rental, bar service and international djs spinning under the piercing desert sun. The 80-meter sunken-sand swimming pool is arranged with oversized loungers offering towel and waiter service. Well-oiled figures spend the day basting by the pool while snacking on a light mix of fusion food and icy cocktails.
If you are travelling to Marrakech with the Kids, there's no better place to spend cooling off at
The first waterpark to open it's doors in Morocco, offering fun attractions for the entire family. The unique wave pool, the lazy river, water slides for all sensations and 2 magnificent lagoons ensure pure enjoyment for the whole family. There is also a calm pool for the little ones to enjoy.
A free shuttle is offered by Oasiria at various times throughout the day. The collection points are in Guéliz (near McDonald's) and Djemaa El Fna (Parking near Koutoubia)
GET LOST IN THE MEDINA
By far one of the best adventures you can have in Marrakech is to loose yourself meandering through the labyrinth of narrow allys in the Medina. Maps and a good sense of direction will only get you so far, so relax and enjoy your experience.
SOAK UP THE SOUKS
Shopping the various Souks of Marrakech are definately an experience in sensory overload. There is the Dyer's Souk, where skins and brightly coloured wool are hung out to dry, the Leather Souk, where you can watch all kinds of sandals and shoes being made, the Spice Souk with it's colourful and aromatic selection of goods and the Carpet Souk where intricate patterns are weaved into carpets using age old techniques. One of the loudest places is the fascinating Blacksmith's Souk, where welders make sparks fly and the constant noise of banging and clanging resonates through you. Nimble fingers bend and shape the metal into beautiful lanterns or ornate chairs to receive a final, shiny layer of lacquer before drying in the hot sun. You are sure to find an authentic hand crafted treasure to take home as a remindered of your trip to Marrakech. But getting the price you wish to pay will be by far the biggest experience of your Souk Shopping ........ love it or hate it, you MUST haggle and haggle well!!!
CALECHE 'THRILL' RIDE
You would expect a ride on a horse drawn carriage (Caleche) around Marrakech to fall into the experiential category of relaxation......... well you'd be mistaken. In a city where cars, over loaded donkeys, trucks, buses and motor bikes with up to 4 pillion passengers all share the roads in a chaotic sequence of near misses; being a passenger of an open-air horse drawn carriage can be described as nothing short of an adventure.
Don't get me wrong, it can at times be rather romantic travelling on the quieter ally's or roads, but its not always possible to stay in such serene surroundings.
The main pick-up point for a Caleche is the Place de Foucauld between Djemaa el Fna and the Koutoubia Mosque, as well as outside the major tourist attractions like the Majorelle Gardens or simply hailed on the street. Like most things in Marrakech, there is no set price, so you will need to haggle with the driver to get a fair price before you set off. Ensure you have made your destination(s) and duration of the tour clear.
SUNRISE BALLOOON ADVENTURE
First you will discover the balloon preparation and inflation, and once aboard, you are ready to float where the wind takes you for approximately one hour. After a gentle take off from a typical village, let yourself touch the clouds, without the slightest feeling of vertigo! The spectacle that unfurls before you will remain in your memory for ever.
The ground crew will be there to greet you at the landing for the traditional breakfast in a tent in the front of the atlas.
After our camel excursion in the middle of the famous Palmeraie of Marrakesh, our team will take you back to your hotel or riad with land-rover. Tour time - 5hrs.
Quad, it is not only one vehicle with 4 wheels but also a machine to discover new horizons! To explore Morocco differently, it's the perfect way to go meet extraordinary people and fabulous landscapes. Our excursions combine pleasure, action and human contact, in a protected framework and a sympathetic nerve.
STAY IN A RIAD
Why come all the way to Marrakech and stay in a big generic hotel, when you can stay within the walls of the ancient Medina in a traditional courtyard house - The Riad. A riad stay is a unique and essential experience in Marrakech. Riad Chayma holds true to the meaning of its Arabic name - 'A very beautiful house'. A fusion of traditional Moroccan architecture, artisan lighting and bespoke furniture, together with high quality modern fixtures, fittings and linens; combine to create a beautiful Moroccan home away from home. Contact us now to book your Riad stay.
SIP MINT TEA
Mint tea is a drink of hospitality in Morocco and traditionally served by the man of the house to every visting guest. You will find the highly sweetened beverage thoughout Marrakech and a delight to drink on a hot or cold day. As a sign of our friendly Moroccan hospitality, our guests are welcomed with a Mint tea upon arrival at Riad Chayma.
The use of henna for decoration in Morocco goes back to the time when the Berbers first migrated to the area. Historically the designs that are drawn have great meaning and power to the Berber women. They ward off evil spirits, carry healing powers, aid fertility and prosperity. You can get a quick Henna design applied amongst the chaos in Djemaa El Fna by one of the many average skilled henna hustlers. However the best way to have a genuine experience is to have a design applied by a real Moroccan neqasha (henna artist) in the comfort of your Riad.
Haggling for a bargain is an ancient art form in Marrakech and definately an experience to be remembered. It's best to decide on the price you wish to pay and stick to it. The general rule is to pay 1/3 of the sellers original starting price. Do try not to get into a negotiating ritual with a shopkeeper if you do not intend to purchase the item. Quite often they will follow you around the souk with the goods until you have paid the agreed upon price.
TAKE A COOKING CLASS
Learning to cook the delectable cuisine you have tasted and seen in Marrakech is an fun and memorable experience. Not to mention that you'll be able to replicate your new found skills to impress friends and family once you get home.
One of the best place to experience a cooking class is within a few minutes walk of Riad Chayma at La Maison Arabe.
Another great venue is Faim d'Epices.
Food in Morocco plays an important part in traditional culture. A Moroccan friend once explained to us that families who eat together, stay together. Meal times are very traditional and involve the whole family sitting and eating from the one huge tagine. Family members will chat and laugh whilst eating the traditionally prepared mound of vegetables and cous cous before the elder female of the family distributes the meat at the bottom of the dish to ensure each family member gets an equal share. Whilst eating from a communal dish with your hands may not be for you, there are many gastronomic experiences to be had.
The best place to experience Moroccan cuisine is alongside the locals is in Djemaa El Fna.
Every evening at dusk over 100 food vendors set-up their restaurants in Djemaa El Fna, where tourists and Moroccans alike sit down to enjoy traditional culinary delights under a haze of delicious smells that descend over the square. This has to be the most atmospheric restaurant you can dine at in Marrakech. Everything is laid out and cooked in front of your eyes, be adventurous and try the whole sheeps head, a bowl of steaming snails in a broth flavoured with anise & hot pepper, whole fried fish, prawns, grilled brochettes (kebabs), hard bolied eggs pressed into khobz (Moroccan bread) with a variety of condiments or stick to the usual selection of Tagines, Cous Cous, harira (Moroccan Soup), grilled vegetables, fries, salads and olives on offer.
The focal point of Marrakech is Djemaa el-Fna, a colourful market square in the heart of the ancient walled Medina. By day it's a buzz with dozens of fresh orange juice sellers touting at tourists to visit there cart; snake charmers mesmerizing their serpents with a hypnotic tune, henna artists, diaper clad monkeys, herbalists with cures for everything and nothing and even men with tweezers sitting behind folded tables displaying hundreds of teeth.
Yet, this is nothing compared to the carnival of the weird & wonderful that fill the square at dusk every evening.
Spectators gravitate around the pounding drums of dancers , story tellers, singers, Gnawa musicians and transvestite belly dancers in whats been aptly describe as the greatest free show on earth'. Tourists are welcome to watch but nothing here is staged for their benefit. This may be the very best cultural expereince you will have in Morocco.