Hotels and alternatives
Ali (t. 044 444979)
Chellah (t. 044 442977)
Essaouira (t. 044 443805)
Afriquia (t. 044 442403)
Central Palace (t. 044 440235)
CTM (t. 044 442325)
Souria (t. 044 427545)
de Foucauld (t. 044 445499)
Gallia (t. 044 444853)
Jnane Mogador (t. 044 426323)
Riad Badra (t. 044 382713)
Sherazade (t. 044 429305)
Dar Soukaina (t. 044 376055)
Riad Villa El Arsa (t. 044 426326)
Riad Magi (t. 044 426688)
Dar Doukkala (t. 044 3833444)
La Maison Arabe (t. 044 )
Maison Mnabha (t. 044 381325)
Riad Kaiss (t. 044 440141)
Riad Mabrouka (t. 044 377579)
Youth hostel (t. 044 447713)
Toulousain (t. 044 430033)
des Voyageurs (t. 044 447218)
Hotel du Pacha (t. 044 431327)
Akabar (t. 044 437799)
Diwane (t. 044 432216)
Le Grand Imilchil (t. 044 447653)
Ibis Mousaffir (t. 044 435929)
Oudaya (t. 044 448512)
Imperial Holiday (t. 044 434545)
Mamounia (t. 044 444409) (closed for renovation)
es-Saadi (t. 044 448811)
Marrakech has got a couple of the lousiest and cheapest hotels in the whole country, and one of the most beautiful and exclusive hotels in the world. And everything in between.
While the actual number of hotels and hotel rooms is high, do not take anything for granted. You do well in booking your hotel room in advance, even if it is no more than the day before. But normally you will find hotel rooms if you look around in the middle of the afternoon.
Prices are quite OK for all classes. While you might hear recommendations saying that you should avoid staying in one of the hotels near Jemaa l-Fna, because of dangers of theft, this is still the most interesting area in Marrakech, and not as bad as its reputation.
Some of the luxury options of Marrakech are not as charming as they were just a decade or two ago. But in terms of luxury and elegance they still do their job!
Restaurants and alternatives
Eating can be everything from rock-bottom cheap to very, very expensive. The rule applies for Marrakech as everywhere else in Morocco: Cheap places with lots of Moroccan customers offer the best food. Only to be challenged by the top restaurants in town.
Mid-price restaurants can easily be boring and not worth the extra you pay from one of the simple places.
When night falls, the Jemaa l-Fna turns into a fair of great food stalls, serving fried food of all sorts. This is a spectacle not to be missed, and the food is great, even if it is more expensive than elsewhere in Morocco.
Marrakech has some reputation for its nightlife in Morocco, with a large number of nightclubs and discotheques. You should, however, note that only very few of these have a local female clientele that is not at work!
Some very few places are popular with young people of Marrakech of both sexes, and sometimes it is not expected that a foreigner will be interested in visiting such a place.
Marrakech has many sophisticated night clubs with live music, entertainment, food and expensive drinks. These can be most interesting at times, as they offer the best work conditions for professional musicians. But also such places have a certain presence of prostitutes.
Marrakech has all facilities for changing money, with ATMs or normal bank facilities. But Marrakech can offer a surprise sometimes: In 1998 I used 3 hours running around for a bank that did not claim that my new 100 kroner bank notes from Norway were outdated (they only accepted bank notes that disappeared in 1994).
But for larger currencies and the big credit cards, Marrakech has no problem for changing your money.
Marrekech connects to all imaginable places. There are numerous connections going by bus or shared taxis, and they leave frequently. With very few exeptions, these will not ask for higher prices because you're a foreigner.
The only problem of Marrakech to be noted, is that there are several stations spread all around the city. A taxi driver will normally know which station applies for what destination. But if you are heading in direction of a smaller destination, even well-informed taxi drivers can know less than they claim to know, so asking around can be of great help.
Marrakech has also got train as a possible transportation form, but there is only one line, which heads directly north to Casablanca.
Not bad if you're going to Ouarzazate, is going by air. This is far more expensive than bus or taxi, but it will save you from more than 10 hours of travelling (which is not so bad, after all, considering the scenery). Flights even connect you to Casablanca, but is more an option for people in a rush.
Marrakech is much more pleasant for tourists than it used to be. The introduction of a tourist brigade, involves that not only your health is protected, but also everything else. The tourist brigade will even walk you back to the shop if you have been tricked into paying too much for a souvenir.
Marrakech should be avoided in the middle of summer, unless heat is no problem for you. July and August can be dangerous for visitors who are used to colder climate.