Best of Marrakech & More
an exclusive 12-day Retreat with Melanie Royals
April 25 – May 6, 2019
The ultimate Moroccan getaway! Enjoy an elegantly curated collection of exceptional experiences designed to relax, renew, and inspire you with a perfect balance of adventure and unwinding. Our journeys will take us from the Marrakech Medina to the refreshing coastal breezes of Essaouira, to the natural beauty and warmth of the Berber culture in the Atlas mountains, and so much more! Discover the very best that a thoughtfully planned retreat holiday in Morocco has to offer: slow down, spoil yourself, and find your bliss in Marrakech and beyond…
Some highlights of this exclusive retreat…
The heartbeat of the Medina, the famed souks of Marrakech will excite all your senses and natural shopping instincts. We’ll guide you through the maze to the best alleys, friendliest shopkeepers, and secret discoveries! And you’ll have plenty of time to step out on your own; the souks are just a short walk from Maison 28!
Hammams are traditional Moroccan cleansing rituals, and a spa-like hammam, scrub and massage is the ultimate way to prepare your body and mind for our retreat adventure together. Enjoy an hour-long indulgent experience that will leave you both relaxed and refreshed.
Passing argan tree groves along the way, we’ll come chill for a couple of days in the tranquil coastal “blue” town of Essaouira. Enjoy shopping with the laid back locals, feast on fresh seafood, and take a surfside camel ride. We’ll provide plenty of free time and ideas for how to use it. OR, just relax and enjoy the refreshing salt air!
Entering the uniquely creative & colorful Salut Maroc is an adventure unto itself! British designer Helen Howat channeled her passion for Moroccan architecture and artistic vision into a unique design experience. After a tour, enjoy a fresh fish lunch on the scenic terrace overlooking the ocean in the old Essaouira Medina.
In the hills east of Essaouira, gentle breezes & a warm sun caress the grapes of the vineyard/winery created by a French winemaker. Here, the soil is tended by camel, not tractors, and the wines are known throughout Morocco as some of the country’s finest. The perfect spot to enjoy an alfresco lunch & wine tasting!
A short drive from Marrakech, but truly a world apart! Spend a relaxing afternoon lounging by the pool and dining on a 3-course lunch. Beldi refers to “something done in the traditional way”, and the care that went into creating the rustic elegance of this magical place is everywhere as you stroll the 14 hectares of lush landscape surrounding guest cottages, boutiques, pools, and dining spaces.
Visit a beautifully restored Riad in Marrakech dedicated to the art and history of perfume in Morocco. After you enjoy the lovely displays on the distillation of floral waters and the extraction of essential oils, you’ll have a private session at the perfume bar to craft your own personal perfume!
Overnight in the Atlas Mountains to experience the warm hospitality & traditional culture of Berber markets, villages, and homes. Learn about the history, symbolism, and stories Berber women weave into Morocco’s famed carpets, visit the large Saturday market in Asni, & enjoy a home-cooked meal in a local home. Then on to Imlil, where our hotel sits just above the mountain river and looks up to its sister site, Kasbah du Toubkal. Enjoy a free afternoon hiking, shopping, or mule riding-or simply relax by the pool surrounded by the sound of the river and gentle breezes.
In the 1930’s French artist Jacques Majorelle purchased land in Marrakech to create the botanical gardens of Jardin Majorelle. The elusive shade of cobalt blue he specially mixed to grace the buildings has become a symbol of Marrakech. Restored by Yves St Laurent in the 1980’s, Majorelle is now a complex of colorful gardens, boutiques, Berber and Yves St Laurent museums.
Built “without a budget” and at the behest of Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, The Royal Mansour is a celebration of classic Moorish architecture and the exceptional skills of 1,500 Moroccan craftsman and craftswomen. Spend an afternoon enjoying the Royal ambiance with High Tea and a tour of the breathtaking spaces.
My home is your home in Marrakech! Discover spaces to relax, read, raise a glass, just chill, or have lovely, lively conversations with your retreat-mates. Our staff and chef will make sure you are cared for and well fed-from our deliciously nutritious breakfasts, catered dinners & sunset “terrace tapas” on the rooftop.
Our 7 guest rooms, named from Moroccan women, each has its own unique personality with special touches, hand painted finishes, traditional architecture, and unexpected accents collected from many trips to the Marrakech souks. Designed with love and care to be chic and comfortable, all feature colorful ensuite tadelakt plaster baths.
• Accommodations at Maison 28 throughout
• 3 days/2 nights private Riad in Essaouira
• 2 days/1 night Dar Imlil, Atlas Mountains
• Spa Experience with Hammam/Massage
• Special celebrations to start and end your adventure
• Make and take your own private scent at Musee de Parfum
• Surfside Camel Ride
• Wine tasting at Val d’argon
• Pool pass and lounging at Beldi Country Club
• High Tea and tour at the Royal Mansour
• Marrakech Gastronomy Cooking Class
• Breakfast daily
• 8 delicious lunches
• 9 dinner experiences
• Gift of Maison 28 Babouches (slippers)
• Guided tours and shopping
• One-time laundry service
• Planning assistance for your free time
• New friendships & cultural experiences
• SO many amazing memories
• Airfare (book the most convenient flight from your location to arrive late morning/early afternoon in Marrakech on April 27, 2019)
• Travel Insurance (required)
• Lunches, dinners, tours taken during your “free” time
• All shopping and cost of shipping if applicable
• Alcohol outside of planned dinners
• Staff gratuities
Payment and Terms
$3995 private queen room/per person
$3395 shared twin room/per person
(all rooms have ensuite private baths)
Early Bird Savings!!!
Register by November 1, 2018 for $195 off retreat cost.
Use code: ULTIMATE
A non-refundable deposit of $895 is required to reserve your space.
The remaining balance will be due over 2 additional equal payments approximately 5 months and 2 months before the retreat day. You will be emailed an invoice for each payment prior to the due date.
Your deposit and subsequent payments are a commitment and each payment becomes non-refundable at the time it is received.
IF you are forced to cancel prior to 3 months before the start of the retreat and your reserved spot can be transferred to another person, we will refund any previous payments less the $895 deposit. No refunds or transfers off any kind will be possible after your final payment.
*By registering for this trip with your deposit, you agree to the above Cancellation Policy and to purchase your own trip insurance.
Physical Limitations/Please Note:
This retreat, and Marrakech in general, requires a fair amount of walking to participate in tours, shopping etc. Additionally, classic Moroccan architecture is designed on 3-4 levels, so there will always be the need for climbing stairs in Riads and restaurants. Please take any personal physical limitations or medical issues into account before considering booking this retreat.
“Marrakech was on my bucket list… Now returning to Marrakech is on my bucket list! Melanie Royals put together a “retreat experience” that exceeded my wildest expectations… thank you so much for sharing your love of Morocco with us.” ~ Patti Halstead
“This adventure was outstanding in every way! I feel privileged to have been able to step out of my ordinary life to travel and experience one of the most inspirational and fascinating places you could ever wish to see… I believe you change lives, as I will never be the quite same again!” ~ Rose Alexander
“I felt drawn to this adventure as soon as I learned about it, and I’m glad I trusted my instincts. It is a life-altering trip and I’m just starting to figure out what that means. So grateful to be part of this with an awesome group of like-minded souls.” ~ Karen Barnes
“Marrakech is a magical place that fed my appetite for adventure and creativity. A new home away from home!” ~ Ellie McIntosh
“I’ve been on two trips to Morocco with Melanie. Both were an amazing experience that will stay in my soul for a lifetime. Being immersed in the culture, meeting beautiful people, eating exotic food… I will always have the urge to return.” ~ Barb Skivington
“I wish that I was better with words. Looking back on this trip I feel… soulful, exotic, sensuous, enlightened, and peaceful, to say the least.” ~ Gwen Ware
“The trip to Morocco was akin to a ‘magical, mystery tour’… it became a rich life experience that moved and inspired us all beyond what we anticipated. The art and architecture was so exotic, rich and layered with character and timelessness.” ~ Heather Bruno Sears
Day 1 Thursday April 25
Please plan for a midday arrival time at Marrakech Menara Airport. We’ll great you at Maison 28 with mint tea and pastries. Afternoon group lunch at a local restaurant and Medina orientation walk. Evening celebration at Maison 28 with cocktails and dinner.
Day 2 Friday April 26
Late Maison 28 breakfast and relaxing morning followed by lunch at the lovely restaurant, La Famille. After, enjoy a tour of the medina souks and visit 2 historical palaces, Palais Bahia and Palais Badia. Dinner under the stars on the rooftop at Le Fondouk.
Day 3 Saturday April 27
After a Maison 28 breakfast it’s a day for rejuvenating hammer/massage experiences and visits to the Musee de Parfum where you will design your own perfume to keep. Dinner at a local Riad restaurant, I Limoni.
Day 4 Sunday April 28
Travel to Essaouira today with breakfast and Argan Oil Cooperative stop on the way. Tour and roof terrace lunch at Salut Maroc followed by a private guided “history” tour of Essaouira.Dinner is on your own tonight in Essaouira.
Day 5 Monday April 29
Riad breakfast followed by a late morning camel ride on abea utiful beach. Enjoy a free afternoon for lunch, shopping, sightseeing or possible bookings of: Gnaoua city tour, cooking class, collage craft class, and more. We’ll dine together at the delightful La Table by Madada.
Day 6 Tuesday April 30
After our Riad breakfast you’ll have a free morning for beach walking, shopping, or sightseeing before our midday return to Marrakech. We will stop along the way for and alfresco lunch and wine tasting at Val d’argan. Enjoy some free time after arrival back in Marrakech. In the evening we’ll serve wine and “Terrace Tapas” in the rooftop lounge at Maison 28.
Day 7 Wednesday May 1
Maison 28 breakfast followed by a relaxing day poolside at the Beldi Country Club including a delightful 3-course lunch.
Back at Maison 28 you get to play chef! We have planned a special “Modern Moroccan” cooking class/dinner with Marrakech Gastronomy.
Day 8 Thursday May 2
Atlas Mountains Overnight! After a Maison 28 breakfast we’ll depart Marrakech, stopping for a visit at the Berber Ecomuseum in Ourika. We’ll enjoy lunch in the lush landscape at Chez Larbi before continuing on the scenic road to Imlil. After checkin at our riverside hotel, you will have the afternoon free for shopping in the picturesque Berber village of Imlil or try some hiking, or mule riding up to the surrounding smaller villages. We’ll share dinner at Dar Imlil and marvel at the stars from the terrace.
Day 9 Friday May 3
After breakfast we’ll have a late morning departure from Imlil, taking a different scenic route back to Marrakech. We’ll stop in Tahahaout for lunch and a tour of Al Maqaam, the artist retreat brought to life by the revered Moroccan artist Mohammed Mourabiti. Enjoy a free afternoon and evening in Marrakech upon our return.
Day 10 Saturday May 4
Maison 28 breakfast followed by a late morning departure for boutique shopping in Gueliz. We’ll wish on a delicious wood-fired pizza lunch at Catanzaros before visiting the iconic Majorelle Garden and new Yves St. Laurent Museum. From there, we head to the amazing artisanal beauty of the Royal Mansour for High Tea! Enjoy a free evening for dinner in the Medina.
Day 11 Sunday May 5
Maison 28 breakfast, then a free Day to sleep, souk shop, or indulge one more spa treatment (or all 3 if you wish!)
We will see you off in style with a farewell dinner/musical celebration at Maison 28.
Day 12 Monday May 6
Mid morning departure after your final Maison 28 breakfast.
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