If you're thinking the words “luxury Morocco experiences” and “expensive” are synonymous, then think again! Morocco is the perfect place for affordable luxury travel lovers like myself.
I visited Morocco in November on a girl’s trip organized by Travel Girls Getaways and we had an absolutely fabulous time. The trip was planned as an affordable luxury all-female getaway and we spent 10 wonderful days exploring Marrakech, Chefchaouen (the Blue Pearl) and the Sahara Desert. Our Morocco Itinerary included some of the most luxurious activities, dining and staying at beautiful Riad hotels.
If you're looking to experience luxury travel on a budget, then I would lightly recommend Morocco as the perfect travel destination. You're guaranteed to experience a holiday full of good food, culture and adventure and the perfect amount of luxury travel to have you depart the country on a natural high.
Here is my pick of the best luxury Morocco experiences that will have you wanting to book a trip there ASAP!
Pro Tip: If you’re a solo lady looking for a luxurious trip with other travel-loving women, or perhaps you’re looking to travel with a friend or sister and join a small group of women, then I highly recommend you check out Travel Girls Getaways. Founders Becky Van Dijk and Vanessa Rivers will take you on a highly curated itinerary that is well thought out and includes luxurious experiences at an affordable price. Get on the list to be notified of future trips to Morocco, Turkey and other exotic destinations!
Stay in a Luxury Moroccan Riad
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You simply can’t experience a luxury vacation to Morocco without staying in one of the many beautifully designed Riad hotels. A Riad hotel is one of the best places to stay in Morocco because it offers visitors a taste of Moroccan-style luxury.
Moroccan Riads were traditionally the estates of Morocco’s wealthier citizens. A Riad is a multi-story home that centers around an open-air courtyard. Most Riads contain a simple fountain in the courtyard, but the statelier homes may also feature intricately tiled rooms, a hammam spa, and an opulent pool area. Most Riads are located in the traditional medinas and have now been converted into boutique hotels.
Luxury Riads in Marrakech
Here is a list of our favourite luxury riads in Marrakech:
Luxury Riads in Fez
Here is a list of our favourite luxury riads in Fez:
Luxury Riads in Casablanca
There is not a lot of Riads available in Casablanca, so here are our favourite luxury hotels in Casablanca:
- Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca
- Mövenpick Hotel Casablanca
- Riad Hamdani
- Radisson Blu Hotel Casablanca City Center
Luxury Riads in Chefchaouen
Here is a list of our favourite luxury riads in Chefchaouen:
Luxury Riads in Essaouira
Here is a list of our favourite luxury riads and hotels in Essaouira:
Go Glamping in the Sahara Desert
No Morocco itinerary is complete without a visit to the Sahara Desert. And what better way to experience the Sahara is there than glamping! Honestly, I wasn't really sure what to expect from our luxury desert glamping experience before arriving, but I certainly got a lot more than I bargained for.
The 9-hour drive to get to the Sahara Desert was made all the more worthwhile when we arrived to find a beautiful little desert camp nestled in the middle of two large sand dunes. There was a small village of white canvas tents arranged around a common area that was ornately decorated with colourful Moroccan rugs and throw cushions, a large outdoor fireplace, and shisha pipes. The Moroccans definitely know how to deliver a great desert glamping experience!
Each tent was also decorated beautifully, with full king-size beds, lockable doors, fully functional shower facilities, and a flushable toilet! My only regret with my glamping experience was not staying an extra night. A Sahara Desert glamping experience is definitely one of the best things to do in Morocco and I would have loved to enjoy the experience for longer.
How to Book a Luxury Desert Glamping Experience
For a luxury desert glamping experience in the Sahara, check out the list of luxury camps below. Most of these camps can arrange private transfers from Marrakech as well as activities such as dune bashing, quad biking, and camel trekking.
Pro Tip: If the 9-hour long drive to the Sahara Desert doesn't sound appealing to you, there are a handful of desert glamping experiences located closer to Marrakech. Check out Agafay Luxury Camp or Scarabeo Luxury Camp.
Take a Balloon Ride Over the Atlas Mountains
There’s something serene about floating in the air at sunrise without a sound, other than the occasional roar of the torch as gas is pumped into the sails to take you further into the sky. Honestly, this was possibly my favourite of all the luxury Morocco experiences during our trip. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to experience a sunrise balloon ride, then you’ll know the exact feeling of serenity and exhilaration that I'm referring to.
We booked our experience with Ciel d’Afrique, located near Marrakech. A sunrise balloon ride required us to be up before the crack of dawn. A 45-minute drive outside the city into the dark, and barren desert and we arrived at the launch site just before the sun appeared from the horizon.
As we lifted off, the Atlas Mountains came into view in the distance, blurred by the early morning haze lifting over the city. We floated peacefully for around 45-minutes, admiring the sunrise and spectacular views, before coming to land on the flat desert plains.
Spoiler Alert: If you only choose one luxury experience to splash out on in Morocco, then this one is absolutely worth it! I would highly recommend adding it to any Morocco itinerary!
Enjoy Dinner and a Show at Palais Dar Soukkar
One evening we were picked up in a minivan and whisked away to an Arabian Palace that looked like it was straight out of the Aladdin movie.
As we walked down the fire torch-lined garden walkway, past the massive minaret-crowned archways and through the intricately carved doors, we felt like we were royalty, visiting Jasmine’s opulent palace. The only better entrance would have been on a magic carpet.
Palais Dar Soukkar is Marrakech’s premier entertainment venue, attracting locals and international visitors looking to experience dinner and a spectacular show. Presented in a lavish Arabic setting, the show commences around 9:30 pm and features an eclectic performance of belly dancers, oriental musicians and contemporary dramatizations.
Enjoy the Ultimate in Luxury Morocco Experiences: a Relaxing Hammam Spa Treatment
Okay, I have to admit, I was a little nervous going into the Hammam for the first time, having heard an interesting story of my friend’s first experience. She described it as ‘being stripped naked by a big, strong Moroccan lady and laid down on a bare concrete slab and getting ‘slapped around and scrubbed raw’ for 30 minutes or so’.
But I can honestly say after the treatment, it was one of the most liberating and relaxing spa experiences I’ve ever had. My skin and hair were feeling and smelling absolutely divine for days afterward.
Unfortunately, I can’t describe the experience any better than my friend did because, to be honest, her description was pretty accurate. But don’t let that put you off. It's an absolutely incredible, and rather exhilarating experience. Add a relaxation massage and a glass of champagne after your hammam for the ultimate in blissful Moroccan spa day experiences.
Have a Fancy Lunch at La Mamounia
La Mamounia is the absolute crème-de-la-crème of hotels in Morocco. It’s one of the best places to stay in Morocco, or even the world, having won several prestigious awards – including the Number 1 Hotel in the World!
If you’ve got the funds to spend a night or two at La Mamounia Palace Hotel (rooms start at US$360 per night), then definitely do it! Unfortunately, our Morocco itinerary didn't include a stay at La Mamounia, but we were lucky enough to enjoy a sumptuous three-course lunch in their beautiful gardens. Imagine sipping French Champagne and watching guests swan around flashing their Chloe handbags and Jimmy Choo heels. Or perhaps you could check out their famous Sunday Brunch!
La Mamounia is also one of the most famous hotels on Instagram. And it’s not hard to see why. After lunch, take a wander and explore the grounds. Check out the beautiful orange tree grove out back and see if you can locate that Insta-famous hallway with intricate black and white tiling surrounded by a lagoon (hint: it’s off to the left after walking in the main entrance).
Note that only in-house guests are allowed to access the equally stunning pool area…. So, as I said earlier if you’ve got the funds to spend the night…. Do!
Visit the Yves Saint Laurent Museum & Majorelle Gardens
The late, great, Yves Saint Laurent was arguably one of the most stylish fashion icons of the 20thCentury. It wasn’t until I visited Morocco that I learned that he spent a fair portion of his life living in Marrakech.
The Yves Saint Laurent museum in Marrakech showcases many of his iconic and most well-known haute couture designs – from the ‘smoking’ pantsuit to his extravagant evening dresses.
The nearby Majorelle Gardens are equally spectacular. A 9,000 square metre Art Deco-inspired space, featuring desert climate succulents, cacti and other exotic species, that took 40 years to create. Be sure to allow a couple of hours to wander around the museum and gardens.
Go Shopping for Homewares in the Design District
After being in Morocco less than a day, I had decided that I was going to completely change the theme of my home décor and have everything shipped over from Morocco (it’s nice to dream). But seriously, Moroccan homewares are extremely unique and luxurious, and the price tag is pretty attractive also.
If you’re in the market for some new home furnishings, I seriously believe that the cost of buying everything from Morocco and having it shipped home in a shipping container, would possibly be cheaper than buying it all in your home country (depending on where you live, of course).
It’s even possible to hire a local personal shopper to show you all the best shopping spots and do the negotiating on your behalf. Now that’s my idea of a luxurious shopping expedition!
Can you think of any other luxury Morocco experiences that one should include in their itinerary? Let our readers know about them in the comments below.
Best Tours from Marrakech
Marrakech is a great place to base yourself during your visit to Morocco. It's very central to majority of the tourist sites. Here's our pick of the best day tours available from Marrakech:
- Day Trip to Essaouira
- Private Tour of Ait Ben Haddou & Ouarzazate
- Colourful Marrakech Souks Tour
- Marrakech Private Food Tour
- Marrakech Highlights and Hidden Gems Private Tour
Planning a trip soon? Here is a list of the websites and resources we use for booking everything from flights, to accommodation, tours, and more:
- Skyscanner for booking the best flight deals
- Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com for booking the best hotel deals
- Airbnb | Stayz | VRBO for home rentals
- Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals
- Luxury Escapes for luxury package holiday deals and tours
- Get Your Guide for a great range of day tours
- Tourradar | Intrepid for multi-day experiential and adventure tours
- Priority Pass for airport lounge access in hundreds of locations around the world
- Skyroam to stay connected to WiFi everywhere I go
- iVisa for processing entry visas for many countries around the world
- Covermore for the best worldwide travel insurance coverage (Australians & New Zealanders only)
About the Author:
Amanda Twine is the founder and creator of Fly Stay Luxe – a luxury travel blog sharing informative travel guides, food guides, hotel reviews, itineraries and tips about how to make luxury travel more affordable.