I’ve never been on a trip with such a large group and what a crazy experience it was.
Two of Tommaso’s high school friends were hosting their 30th birthday bash in Marrakech, Morocco where they invited over 50 people. They actually rented out an entire hotel, Dar Sabra, for the festivities but since Tommaso and I decided to join the trip last minute, there weren’t any rooms left unfortunately. Luckily I found a charming hotel within walking distance called Lex Deux Tours which we loved. The hotel grounds and our room were beautiful and serene.
Once dropping off our bags at our hotel, we walked to Dar Sabra to meet everyone else for lunch. Their hotel had a very different vibe from ours, still beautiful but not as quaint.
The food served at lunch was absolutely delicious! Lots of fresh vegetables, grains, and grilled meats. So yummy.
We relaxed for a bit after lunch before heading to the Medina, also known as the old part of town. We went to the main square, Jemaa el-Fna, where you’ll find all sorts of vendors but be aware as they love to heckle you. Whether they’re trying to sell you food or goods, they were very persistent to the point of annoyance (I was definitely targeted more compared to Tommaso).
After exploring the Medina for a bit we walked over to Comptoir Darna to meet up with everyone else for dinner. This was a dazzling Moroccan restaurant where they served food family style and had belly dancers throughout the night. I didn’t get any decent photos of the food due to the dark lighting but the chicken tagine with green olives and preserved lemon was my favorite tagine of the trip (we pretty much ate tagine everyday).
While everyone else continued to party back at their hotel until 4 AM, we went home around midnight from the restaurant as we were both exhausted from a day of traveling.
The following day was quite the ambitious itinerary as we were spending the entire day in the desert. We had a quick complimentary breakfast at our hotel before meeting everyone else at their hotel.
The hosts actually arranged multiple buses for the weekend excursions. The ride to Agafay Desert was around an hour or so and when we arrived we hung out for a bit before lunch was served.
Another scrumptious meal with tasty salads, grilled meats, and couscous. Very satisfying.
For the afternoon, everyone had different options for their activity: buggy ride, quad ride, or camel ride. Pretty much everyone picked the buggies or quads to my surprise! Only five people picked the camel ride which included Tommaso and I. It was my first time riding a camel and it was quite the experience as it felt very wobbly. After an hour riding through the desert I was ready to relax.
After everyone got back from their activities we enjoyed happy hour before and during sunset. Spectacular views!
After happy hour, we were escorted down the mountain for the group dinner. This was probably my least favorite dinner in terms of food (still good but not the strongest). I wasn’t very hungry to be honest as I was still full from lunch.
Everyone had to stay until 11 PM before our buses came back and then we made the trek back into Marrakech.
The next day we visited Ourika Valley which took about an hour to get to. Once we arrived, we did an hour hike through the valley where you can see the mountains covered in red clay.
After our hike we had a stunning lunch at Kasbah Bab, a hotel with gorgeous grounds and amazing views of the valley.
This was my absolute favorite meal during the trip. While they served similar dishes to what I had been eating all week (various vegetable dishes, salads, grilled meats, tagine), it was more refined. The desserts were also stellar! Both Tommaso and I got seconds of everything.
After lunch we headed back into Marrakech before the nighttime festivities aka the big birthday party back at Dar Sabra. The night started off with dinner before the live DJ and partying into the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked.
I headed back to my hotel around 3:30 AM or so but Tommaso stayed out until 7 AM! The next day was a complete waste as we were both exhausted. I did use our hotel’s hamman (traditional bath house) in the afternoon where I got a wonderful body and head massage.
While our time in Morocco was short, Tommaso’s friends made a pretty comprehensive itinerary for the few days we were there. Within those days we saw a handful of attractions and got a taste of what Morocco had to offer.