After a rather wet fall and cold winter in Lisbon, we decided to head south in search of sun. We opted for Marrakech, to enjoy the hamans and spas, as well as, of course, explore the city itself. My earliest memories of Marrakesh come from the song Marrakesh Express by Crosby Stills & Nash. I listened to that album over and over again as a teenager, charmed by lyrics and the excitement of taking a train from Casablanca to Marrakech.
As we were landing we could see the old rampart walls of Marrakech. Above these little rose, with most buildings having only 3-4 stories, and nothing above that except for the many minarets that rise throughout the city for the calls to prayer. In Marrakech, everything is pained in a reddish-brown color, so much so that the color balance of your camera is thrown off. The only other dominant colors are the blue of the sky and the white of the Atlas mountains to the south, draped in snow.
We stayed at the Hotel Les Jardins des Koutoubia, located just a few minutes from the main plaza of Jamaa El Fna, the main attraction in the area, and quite close to the airport. The hotel is older but nice, well kept, with amazing wood ceilings, and thousands of framed historical photos of Marrakech throughout. There are three pools, one large one inside the spa, which offers numerous types of haman, scrubs and massages.