Shopping in Marrakech with a top personal shopper
There’s no doubt that Marrakech is a shopaholic’s heaven. Miranda Challen spent the morning with a personal shopper who guided her to some of the best souks and boutiques
There’s no doubt that Marrakech is a shopaholic’s heaven. This vibrant metropolis is overflowing with buzzing souks, treasure-filled shops and secret boutiques to explore, selling everything from Berber rugs and leather goods to colourful slippers and exotic lamps.
We provide all our clients travelling to Morocco with a list of the best places to shop, but what we really recommend is spending a morning or an afternoon with one of our top personal shoppers. We know a handful of Marrakech-based insiders with whom we will match you, depending on what you are looking for – whether it is furniture, rugs, cushions, handbags or shoes – all at the best price. I had the opportunity to experience everything that this captivating city has to offer on my recent trip.
We started our day with breakfast on the roof terrace of our suite at La Villa des Orangers. The food there is excellent and was very much required to ensure that we didn’t drop before we shopped. The temperature at that hour was pleasant and the location of the hotel meant we had a great view across the busy Medina and could watch daily life go by.
Soon, we left our hotel and headed out with our driver and, most importantly, our shopping expert. We drove through the Gueliz district and pulled up outside the Galerie des Tanneurs, one of our favourite spots. Unlike the souks, the air-conditioning keeps this shop cool, without taking away the rich smell of leather. Immaculately laid out across two floors were all sorts of bags, shoes, coats and other accessories in up-to-date and sought-after styles, colours and designs. Giddy from our purchases, we left to find our driver waiting for us outside.
Next, we drove through the New Town towards the Jardin Majorelle and the new Musée Yves Saint Laurent. The Berber Museum is also close by, set within picturesque gardens and surrounded by lots of restaurants and cafés.
We stopped briefly to pop into another much smaller, but equally lovely, boutique to browse some handbags and then headed onwards, travelling through the outskirts of town on our way to the industrial zone. Our guide explained to us that many of the city’s designers and artists started their workshops in the Medina but later moved to this more spacious area. On the journey, the majestic Atlas Mountains came into view in the distance.
The Sidi Ghanem district has become particularly popular due to the increasing number of artisans that work there. Previously, they would make the daily trip back into the city centre to buy their lunch. However, recognising the demand, well-known chef, Damien Durand, has created a restaurant for them to eat close to their businesses: Le Zinc.
Before having lunch at this much-loved hub, we visited a designer called Florence in her amazing studio, which was full of all sorts of fabrics, rugs, kaftans and baskets – the list goes on. It was hard not to want it all. We really enjoyed meeting Florence in person and hearing her talk about the inspiration behind her prints and the various fabrics she uses.
We then headed to Le Zinc, just a two-minute drive from the studio. The restaurant was full of European expats who work in the area, out enjoying wine and oysters. It was amazing to walk off a dusty road and into a buzzy restaurant to eat with the locals.
We met with the chef, Pierre, who took us through the large blackboard filled with the day’s menu. Apparently, they often get in great bands to play European-Moroccan music and sometimes the chef turns into the DJ. In the afternoon, we went to numerous shops, selling everything from beautiful embroidered towels for children and babies and rugs to all sorts of accessories (made of the softest leather I have ever felt), candles and homeware.
Our last stop in the industrial zone was a vintage outlet, full of bright silks and patterns, a real treasure-trove that you just wouldn’t expect to discover on a quiet corner.
We left the industrial zone and drove back through Targa, a beautiful suburb, exhausted and very much in need of a refreshing mint tea.
While the souks are fun and part of the experience is hunting through the lanes in search of hidden treasures, it is a total treat to be armed with a friendly driver and an expert shopper who knows exactly where to go, the price to pay and, most importantly, where to go for a light lunch. For those looking for the city’s best shopping experience, this is the experience for you.