Tee- off on most diverse golf courses across Morocco, from exclusive neighborhoods around chic Marrakech to ones nestled on the lush Atlantic coast. Between games, discover century old medinas and Arab architecture, indulge in some of the best shopping in the world in the markets of Marrakech, sample Michelin star dining and spend a night in a 1001- nights tent in the dunes of the Sahara.
In the last 10 years Marrakech has grown from a town offering little more than a culture shock and Berber hospitality to a cosmopolitan city where the well-heeled visitors have created a demand for state-of-the-art golf courses, best French food this side of Nice and luxury hotel brands. Four Seasons, Taj, Rocco Forte, Oetker, Beachcomber, Ritz- Carlton or Mandarin Oriental are some of those that succumbed to the charms of the red city. Just an 8 hour flight away from New York or Montreal, Morocco offers golf courses designed by Niall Cameron, Cabell B Robinson, Gary Player or Jack Nicklaus.
Though Algarve and Costa del Sol have dominated the Mediterranean golf scene, Marrakech is rapidly becoming the new golfer’s destination with courses designed by experts like Niall Cameron, Cabell B Robinson, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus. With winter temperatures over 20°C/ 68° F and sunshine 300 days a year, it is no surprise that Morocco has caught the eye of avid golfers from all over the world.
GOLF COURSES IN MARRAKECH
Unrivalled beauty is sure to inspire you at the 18-hole Assoufid Golf Club, one of the finest golf courses in Morocco. Designed by Niall Cameron, the Assoufid is unlike any other golf course in Marrakech. The eco-friendly layout, flanked by date palms, cacti and olive trees, winds its way through the desert and uses the unique undulating terrain to great effect. The course tempts golfers to literally stop in their tracks to admire the incredible view of the snowcapped Atlas Mountains. Assoufid’s imaginative design has resulted in a course that is sure to provide all levels of golfers with an experience that is as rewarding as it is challenging. In addition, the Assoufid Golf Club features not only its incredible testing 72-par championship golf course with breathtaking views, but a driving range, practice putting & chipping green, as well as golfer-dedicated services including bag-drop, caddies, and equipment hire.
If you are looking to dive into the natural beauty of Morocco, look to The Royal Palm Golf Club. Lined with bougainvillea, laurel roses and hibiscus shrubs, this course is lit up with vibrant colors set off by the silver shades of centuries old olive trees. The golf course showcases a spectacular array of native flora that changes colors with the seasons and offers a luxurious oasis that is as sustainable as it is lovely. Environmentally friendly as well as indulgent, the course is irrigated by a sustainable and sophisticated irrigation system that was designed with utmost care for both water resources and local vegetation. Fairways and greens are planted with a quality of turf unique to Morocco and are taken care of by the qualified staff, as one would only expect from the Royal Palm brand.
To find something out of the ordinary look to Atlas Golf Club’s 9-hole course, landscaped to resemble a Japanese garden. The course is perfect for shortened arrival and departure days or as a nice “break” in the middle of your golf holiday. With the soothing sounds of waterfalls and streams harmonizing with birdsong, the golf course provides an overall feeling of relaxation. The atmosphere offers the opportunity to reflect, which is ideal for strategists and patient putters aiming to place the ball perfectly on the green. With an interesting mix of testing par threes, including delightful water features, your accuracy and precision will be put to the test. The course was designed by Alan Prait and has well-contoured fairways with some split-level greens presenting a challenge to even the best putters!
Samanah Golf offers golfers a true challenge in typical Niklaus style. Key characteristics of this course include large bunkers requiring accuracy from the tee. This course provides a terrific test of skill against a breathtaking backdrop, provided by the snowy Atlas Mountains. The desert-style course has become a favorite with those who visit Marrakech for the ultimate golfing experience.
LUXURY MARRAKECH VILLAS
It is fascinating to roam through the treasure-filled souks that fill the medina (old town), past koranic medersas, Ali Baba caves and stunning boutique riads. It may not, however, offer the best location for accommodation. Narrow alleyways, blazing motorbikes, and difficult access to taxi pick-up make staying in the old town rather complicated. Besides, in Marrakech more than Fes, Rabat or Agadir, you would be missing out on a whole range of fully staffed private villas. Their ample bedrooms, state-of-the-art kitchens, heated pools and exclusive locations make these villas a luxurious accommodation option. The Marrakech luxury villas described below can arrange a cook for meals and a housekeeper to serve you, if it suits and a service company regularly maintains the gardens and pools, allowing you to fully enjoy your escape.
VILLA FAIRWAY ( on golf course; 2- 3 rooms/ 4 to 6 persons).
This magnificent villa sits at the forefront of Golf Samanah and only 600 m from the clubhouse. The villa and its gardens integrate beautifully into the landscape and offer stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. Villa Fairway offers three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, a living room with fireplace and TV and a dining room. Inspired by contemporary Moroccan decoration, the home’s design offers a warm and cozy feeling that invites you to embrace the charming landscapes that surround. It makes you wish that the long summer evenings in the garden could last forever.
VILLA RE ( on golf course – 3 to 6 bedrooms/ 6 to 12 persons)
This beautiful contemporary villa with 6 suites and private baths sits near first-line Golf Samanah and close to its clubhouse. Guests here enjoy the heated piscine and a shaded terrace with sun mist that protects the garden and dining area. The villa has many options for relaxation, including a living room fireplace, large TV and home cinema. To allow for maximum comfort all year, the entire villa is air-conditioned.
VILLA JACARANDA ( 3 to 5 bedrooms/ 6 to 10 persons)
Though it appears secluded in the middle of lush nature, this villa is only 5 minutes drive from Marrakech. Here, comfort is omnipresent and the materials used throughout feel luxurious and extravagant. All five suites include their own private bathrooms and terraces looking out on the beautiful natural landscape. Each house includes a living room with a fireplace, a Moroccan lounge with TV and dining area. The contemporary design plunges you into the peace of the area surrounding Marrakech. You can enjoy summer days by the pool or evenings in the beautiful gardens at this lovely villa.
If you are looking for an unforgettable stay at a majestic villa, look no further than Villa Asmadati, which offers spectacular 360° views of the Atlas mountains, Marrakech, and the desert Agafay. This villa offers a large lounge, a dining room with a fireplace, and 5 suites with private bathrooms. Relax on the beautiful terraces and take in the awe- inspiring views or sit beside the beautiful infinity pool, just below the villa, amidst the garden full of olive trees and bougainvillea.
HAUTE CUISINE IN MARRAKECH
You do not have to look hard to find a good meal in Marrakech. Nowadays, the fine dining scene in Morocco includes a number of establishments offering mouth-watering dishes. For instance, La Grande Table Francaise at the Royal Mansour hotel serves delicate molecular gourmet dishes unrivaled in artistry beside traditional French classics, which utilize local ingredients to great effect. Their Michelin-star chef Yannick Alleno offers signature dishes like Dakhla oysters with cucumber jelly, Butternut courget with vanilla and coffee and Blue lobster with black garlic.
Diving further into the Moroccan food scene, you can look to the restaurants housed in Morocco’s iconic La Mamounia hotel, Le Francais and L’italien. The latter, run by the 2 Michelin-starred chef, Alfonso, is the premier place in town for refined Italian cuisine. Meals like Linguine di Graziano with lobster and zucchini, Milanese style breaded lamb chop, Spinach Involtino stuffed with “ragout” or Spring chicken stuffed with herbs, sautéed asparagus and poached quail egg present a cuisine that is both light and gourmet. Of course, you can always make up for the absent calories with the sumptuous tiramisu for dessert.
All of the atmosphere and luxury of the brasserie Fouquet’s Paris has been brought to Morocco by the opening of Fouquet’s Marrakech. The restaurant does not simply allowlocal Moroccan cuisine to sit beside the typical Parisian dishes; it focuses, above all, on the pleasure of mixing flavors with playful curiosity. In addition to a fine dining experience, on selected dates Fouquet’s organizes ‘Culinary Escapades’ where international chefs showcase their talents to the delight of restaurant guests.
MARRAKECH’S BEST SPAS
If you are looking for something more than the traditional hammam-and-body-scrub street sauna, you may want to try Le Spa by Henri Chenot at Palais Selman. Here, Chinese medicinal principles are combined with the latest Western discoveries to bring you a tranquil and healing experience. Other options include the Dior Institute at Hotel Es Saadi or the Feng Shui inspired spa at Palais Namaskar.
LUXURY DESERT CAMPS IN THE SAHARA
Two campsites currently allow travelers to step into the desert lifestyle, but they offer very different experiences. The camps among the dunes at Erg Chebbi are not very remote and are frequented by many tourists, taking away from the feeling of immense emptiness that usually comes with being in the desert. Erg Chigaga dunes allow for a luxurious stay in the desert, without taking away from the natural atmosphere. If you journey one hour from M’hamid, south of the Draa Valley, and among the dunes of Erg Chigaga, you will find one of those sites that a traveler only dreams of discovering. The Azalai Desert Lodge camp seeks to allow travelers to experience the reality of the desert, in its withdrawal and its surreal serenity. They take on the challenge of providing all necessary facilities, without taking away from the vast emptiness of the desert.
Azalai provides four canopy tents were made for those who are ready to fall in love with the immensity of the dessert and its towering dunes. In 20 sqm each, the smaller tents provide everything you could possibly desire –mosquito nets, a comfortable bed, soft cotton sheets and even a real private bathroom. If you peek behind the linen veil insulation of the room, you will find an old marble sink from Fes atop beautiful wood furniture, calling to mind the novels of centuries past.
The white canvas tents are covered in white linens while the white wrought-iron beds utilize romantic canopies dressed with white nets. The fabrics and bright whites of each site add to the calm peace of the desert and welcome you to stay. Though in many ways luxurious, the simplicity of these sites bring back a certain ‘Out of Africa’ ambiance that allows you to rest in harmony with the stunning landscape.
The campsite also provides many amenities, like a lounge in which to enjoy fine dining and a library room where you may curl up and surrender to the pleasure of a good book or gather with others to play board games. In a style suitable to the peculiar spirit of the destination, the passage of time is punctuated by a chic picnic beside the oasis, camel rides, and even hypothetical rounds of golf on a green mini posed in the sand. The campsite also offers a fifth tent, which is spacious enough for families and small groups of friends looking to stay together.
To get to the campsite’s secluded location, you may wish to take a 4×4 tour from Marrakech through the Draa valley where Jewish, Christian, and Muslim cultures span more than 2000 years and lush palm groves give way to Biblical villages and secluded Berber tribes. If the road seems a little too long, why not go all Saint-Exupery and fly into the Sahara desert over the snowy peaks of the High Atlas Mountains in a 4-seat plane? Spend the night or simply enjoy a romantic lunch out in the middle of the dunes.
Whether in search of tranquility, culture, food, or the perfect game of golf, come to Marrakech for a luxury stay. You will wish your holiday could last forever.
To enquire about availability and rates of a Morocco luxury holiday please send us an enquiry here.
© Mauresque Travel. With assistance from Emily Kluver. All rights reserved. No part of this interview may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.