Marrakech is one of those mythical places that you hear and read so much about prior to arrival that those initial impressions can seem a bit distorted. Is this actually what is looks like or did I see this in a photograph? It is a place that lives up to all if they hype and is yet some how just more everything. On first blush it is a chaotic, dirty maze of a place that seems absolutely determined to take advantage of tourists in any way possible. Once you get past the initial impressions of whizzing motorbikes, donkey carts, the endlessly confusing streets, the pungent diesel fumes and getting hassled from every single possible direction it is a place with so many different layers to explore. From the brightly colored souks, to the stunning historical sites, to the chic and calm riads, and the flavorful local cuisine it is a place that is worth enduring the surface chaos to discover.
There are lots of places to stay in Marrakech, from uber luxurious places like La Mamounia and The Royal Mansour which sit on garden compounds just outside of the medina (the old walled city) to charming little riads (guesthouses) tucked behind unassuming entrances amid the chaos of the medina. We stayed at the budget-friendly Riad Yasmine which was incredibly tranquil and had just a handful of rooms. They had a great roof terrace for relaxing and the plunge pool in the central courtyard was lovely. Breakfast was included and they did offer dinner though you have to book in advance. I would recommend reserving a room upstairs as we had one right beside the pool and it was a bit loud. Other great options include the design-forward El Fenn which is worth a visit for the stunning interiors alone and Villa des Orangers which is just outside the medina and a great place for dinner if you don't stay there.