There are a lot of things to do in Marrakech, but sometimes the hot Moroccan sun can take its toll. It is in these moments that even the most hardened traveller requires a café to relax, drink a refreshing drink and maybe even grab something to eat. Situated in Kasbah district, close to the entrance of the Saadian Tombs and the Bab Agnaou and Bab er Robb Medina gates, lies the Kasbak Café. The central location of this café, just a few minutes walk from Dar Habiba, makes it the perfect place to grab a cool beverage or something to drink whilst ticking off that tourist checklist.

Spread across 3 floors including an ample terrace, Kasbah café has a large menu of hot and cold drinks, snacks and meals and, our particular favorite, a wide range of delicious milkshakes made form real ice cream and milk. Delicious.

All around the world Morocco is famous for it’s carpets and many travellers land in Marrakech in search of a quality piece of authentic craftwork. But it is rare to find a carpet seller who sells quality products, at fixed prices, without the tourist-spiel. However, the El Wifak Carpet Cooperative, located in the Ensemble Artisanal in Marrakech’s Medina, is one such place.

Located just a five minute walk from the Koutoubia Mosque and Jemaa el-Fna, the Ensemble Artisanal is the antithesis of the Souks: the atmosphere is relaxed and the prices are fixed, so no haggling!! Whilst looking through the many shops at the Ensemble Artisanal, we stumbled across the El Wifak Carpet Cooperative and were welcomed by Mustapha Alaoui; who happily spent over half an hour with us talking about carpets, the cooperative and his life.


Mustapha told us that he used to work in the government’s department for Artisanal craftwork, checking the quality of carpets and grading them based on various criteria. It quickly became clear that this man had a strong passion for and a large knowledge of traditional Moroccan carpets; a passion and knowledge he was enthusiastic to share. He explained that, the historic isolation of rural communities meant that peoples of different areas developed very individual styles. He continued to explain that El Wifak sold three kinds of carpet: Berber ‘Kilim’ carpets, used for throws, rugs or hung on walls, Tapestry carpets, made from wool and Arabic carpets, also made from wool, which tended to be bigger in size. Where the ‘Kilim’ carpets were made in the Atlas Mountains in Berber villages, both the Tapestry and Arabic carpets are made by the El Wifak Cooperative.


El Wifak, Arabic for sharing equally or a group of people in agreement, consists of around 70 women who make the carpets sold in the shop. (Traditionally, in Morocco, women make carpets and pottery whilst Men make jewelry and metal utensils.) The most important this about the cooperative is that everyone profits from all these sales are shared equally and everyone benefits. So, if you are looking for a quality product from a reputable source, if you are looking for an ethically sourced souvenir, or even if you are just put off by haggling in the Souks then this is the place for you.

The Ensemble Artisanal and the El Wifak Cooperative is located at the start (or the end, depending which way round you walk) of the ‘Needle and Thread’ Medina Walk available for free MarrakechRiad app. If you would like to find out more about the free MarrakechRiad app, the ‘Woodworking’ walk or any of our other Medina walks then our Riad staff would be happy to help.



Once you have followed the small sign off Rue Mouassine, worked your way through the alleyways and knocked on the almost anonymous door to be let in, you are greeted with a warm welcome and an amazing interior.

Dar Cherifa can be found in one of the oldest Riads in Marrakech, dating back to the Saadian times. It has recently been lovingly restored by Abdelatif Ben Abdellah, one of the key figures behind the rejuvenation of the Medina. One thing that firsts strikes you about Dar Cherifa is the incredible use of space: there is a mix of bare untouched walls and original craftsmanship, with a unique centerpiece that hangs above the Riad before the blue Moroccan sky. Alongside some of the best Arabic architecture in Marrakech, the art itself is equally unique and is of a very high standard. Yet, unlike the larger contemporary galleries around the world, the fact that Dar Cherifa focuses on local talent makes it all the more unique.

dar cherifa

Although the price of the artwork on display cost a fair bit more than your average postcard and probably won’t make it onto your souvenir list, the food and drink is very reasonably priced and we were given space, time and freedom to look round the gallery at our own leisure. Dar Cherifa is a space of culture that is accessible for everyone, well worth a visit.

Thousands of worshippers rose early today, Tuesday 29th of July, for the first day of Eid-el-Fitr to attend morning prayers. Eid, to use the shortened more common name, is a three-day festival that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. In Marrakech, the morning prayers on Eid happen all over the city in Mosques, communal spaces and, less frequently, at home. We were encouraged by local Marrakchis to come to watch the prayers that occurred in an area that runs alongside the Agdal garden, just beyond the Medina Ramparts, a short walk from Bab Agnaou and Bab er Rob. This required an early 6am start, but the experience was undoubtedly worth it. The Route d’Ourika – a wide, usually deserted road that leads to the expanse of land used for the morning prayers – was full of local Muslims, of all ages and backgrounds, a whole community coming together in celebration. The sight was truly heartwarming.

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Watching the morning prayers was a truly spectacular moment; the mid-prayer silence combined with the fresh morning air and low-lying sun to create an unforgettable sublime moment. Although all the locals warmly welcomed us, we decided to keep our distance from the actual event and observed the event from afar. Yet the whole event was truly magnificent, if you are luck enough to be in Marrakech during the next Eid celebrations, we strongly advise you to take this unique opportunity to observe Islam at such a significant time in the year. However, although we were told that everyone would be more than happy to take photos, it is important to be respectful and remember that this is a religious event.

Eid Mubarak everyone, hope you have a great few days!

There are a number of shops in the Marrakech Souks specialising in tassels. Our favourite is located in the Souk Cherifa, just five minutes from Riad Papillon and Riad Cinnamon.

Our luxury Riads are the perfect base from which to explore the ancient medina. Reserve accommodation today!

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Cafe France is a Marrakech institution, located at the north west corner of the Jemaa al Fnaa it has been a meeting place and watering hole for Europeans since the days of the French Protectorate in Morocco. It was redecorated at the end of 2009 and inconveniently for the new visitor the Cafe France sign was not repainted over the front. Despite this Cafe France can’t be classified as a well kept secret! This is an excellent place for people watching and provides a comfortable shady spot to while away summer afternoons.

The building is rumoured to have been sold recently with a scandalous suggestion that it may reopen as a McDonalds restaurant. Surely this would not be allowed in the historic Jemaa al Fnaa which is a UNESCO world heritage site?
What better base could you have to explore the historic medina of Marrakech than one of our boutique Riad Hotels? Marrakech Riad Cinnamon is located near to the Marrakech Museum, Marrakech Riad Papillon is near to the Palace at Dar El Bashah. Reserve accommodation today

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

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The aptly named Grande Cafe de la Poste is located in the very Grand ex colonial post office building in the new town of Guiliez, Marrakech. Fine European style food and superb service under the supervision of Maitre D. Eric make this a real favourite.

Try the stunning Calamari salad starter!  The Steak Frites is as good as any cafe on the the Grande Boulevards in Paris. A three course meal at La Poste will cost about 400 dirhams per person, one of the more expensive restaurants in Marrakech, but we feel well worth it.

Any taxi will take you to Grande Cafe de la Poste which is a five minute ride from the Medina. From Marrakech Riad Papillon or Marrakech Riad Cinnamon take a taxi from Dar el Bashah or walk to the west through Bab Doukala.

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We are very proud of our newly installed Moroccan tent on the Roof Terrace at Riad Papillon.  Hand made by local craftsmen it is a beautiful and romantic space especially in the evening when it can be lit by candles.

The tent will feature during the winter months and is an excellent place to eat, whether a wonderful breakfast or a delicious evening meal. Why not book a dinner in advance for the evening of your arrival?

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Four poster Suite Marrakech Riad

Just a three hour flight away and well served by the budget airlines Marrakech is an excellent location for a more sophisticated hen getaway. Several brides to be have now booked hen weekends at Riad Papillon.  The newly renovated Riad has 5 bedrooms and can accommodate a party of 11 (sleeping in four twin rooms and a triple).  The cuisine at the Riad is fantastic and a private dinner in the Riad for the whole group is an absolute must.

We have other Riads available and a great value ‘Girls weekend’ rate of just £149 per person. Hiring a Riad for the exclusive use of your party is an excellent way to enjoy Marrakech,  with the Riad staff at your disposal for the entirety of your stay. The old town of Marrakech, Morocco is an intimate and welcoming environment. There are shopping adventures to be had in the endless Souks, culture in the historic monuments and entertainment in the incomporable Jema al Fnaa square.

The ancient medina where local families live side by side with luxury boutique hotels is not the place for boozy late nights.  There are however world class night clubs in the new town of Guiliez and the Riad is your perfect retreat from the chaotic and cosmopolitan City. Contact us now to check availablility and make your reservation!

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Marrakech is always a fun town for people watching, even more so at the moment! Hollywood is in Marrakech and the heart of the Medina is buzzing with activity for the filming of Sex And the City 2.

A few hundred yards from Riad Papillon burly security guards left us in no doubt that amateur photographers were not welcome near the set. The Paparrazi had more success as reported in some of the European press including the Daily Mail

On friday 20th November several streets to the north of the Jema al Fnaa were being used as sets with the choas created by the resulting diversions only adding to the hustle and bustle of the Medina.

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Seven Saints, Marrakech

Many religious figures are buried in Marrakech but in the seventeenth century the Moulay Ismail assigned particular significance to seven such men (loosely translated as the seven saints) with diverse backgrounds each in their own way significant to the history of Marrakech and the Kingdom of Morocco. A traditional pilgrimage has been respected since the time of Moulay Ismail in which over the course of a day pilgrims visit the seven in a particular order starting with Sidi Youssef Ben Ali in the South East of the medina and proceeding anticlockwise.

City of the Seven Men

In the rest of Morocco Marrakech is still often known to as the City of the Seven Men and a trip to Marrakech could be referred to as a visit to the Seven Men.

Sidi Youssef Ben Ali. A twelfth century leper.

Caid Ayad. An eleventh century theologian.

Sidi Bel Abbes. A great patron of the poor and particularly the blind in the twelfth century, even today food is distributed regularly at his tomb or Zaouia. The most important of the Seven, sometimes referred to as the Patron Saint of Marrakech.

Sidi Ben Slimane. A descendant of the prophet Mohammed and renowned sixteenth century theologian.

Sidi Abd El Aziz. A fifteenth century theologian. His mausoleum is very near to Rue Baroudiyine a short walk from Marrakech Riad Cinnamon.

Sidi Moulay el Ksour. A follower of Sidi Abdel Aziz who led the resistance to the Portugese when they attacked Marrakech in the early sixteenth century.

Sidi Es Souheili. A twelfth century scholar of Islamic law.

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

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