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Morocco

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Central reservation office (United States)

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : BEHEREC

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BMW

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Pascal Behérec
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Owner and Maître de Maison of the Villa des Orangers
A getaway in Southern Morocco, from desert to Ocean

Pascal and Véronique Béherec have always seen their ideas through to the end. The hoteliers fell in love with Marrakech and, over one weekend, bought what would become the Villa des Orangers. A weekend that changed their lives. Our lives completely changed over one weekend in 1998. We had come to Marrakech to celebrate the acquisition of a hotel near Aix en Provence and discovered this riad in the heart of the city. My wife had spent some of her childhood in Northern Morocco, but I was just discovering Marrakech for the first time. Curiously and perhaps a little casually, we asked our guide to take us to a riad, and the rest is history: we sold both of the establishments we had in Paris and moved to Marrakech! Morocco is really so close to Europe, but a vacation of only a few days seems like a real voyage.

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a six-night stay from 1012€*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
1st leg : 1 day - 1 night

Villa des Orangers

A palace of pleasures
Villa des Orangers
At once inside the city and removed from it. When you pass through the doors of this riad you walk into another world. The crowd of the Medina gives way to silence and serenity. Neighbour to His Majesty Mohamed VI, our villa has an extensive garden and three pools, including one on the roof that faces the Koutoubia Mosque and the Atlas mountains. My wife Véronique and I have created a place that is intimate and luxurious, secluded and open. A hotel that we wanted to make feel like a home, ours and yours.

Close to the property...

Jemâa el-Fna square

A place of spectacle where you will see at least two performances. By day, Jemâa el-Fna square is home to dried fruit vendors, barbers and shoe shiners. The square attracts fortune-tellers, jugglers, snake charmers, water vendors and henna artists, who share the space with the ephemeral food stalls that appear at night. Savour cumin escargots or chicken kebabs while Gnawa music floats around the square. My favourite time is right in between the two performances, at dusk, when the square is transformed and Marrakchis and tourists flow into the centre of the city and into another world.

Mustapha Blaoui’s boutique

The type of place where you might poke your head in the door and end up coming out with armfuls of tableware, mirrors, lanterns and wool carpets. Antique dealer, second hand goods salesman and furniture importer, Mr. Blaoui is one of the most remarkable people in the city. Hidden away in the medina at 142-144 Rue Bab Doukkala, his boutique is a true Ali Baba’s cave with his own touch.

Au Fil d’Or

Home of the finest buckskin and leather babouches, this boutique also has gorgeous linen djellabas and beautiful traditional embroidery designed by Abdelali Chabi. Located at 10 Souk Semmarine, once the souk for branding irons.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : BEHEREC

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
2nd leg : 2 days - 2 nights

Dar Ahlam

This is where dreams become reality
Dar Ahlam
Owner Thierry Teyssier dreamt of a Garden of Eden at the gates of the desert, so he created this sublime hotel in the heart of the Skoura palm grove. Dar Ahlam means “house of dreams,” a place that local artisans crafted with fine pisé facades. The suites and villas are as much holiday resort as they are tranquil getaway. The establishment also offers overnight excursions in magnificent tents in the sand dunes.

On the route...

Kasbah Aït Ben Haddou

What do Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Gladiator (2000) have in common? These three Oscar-winning films are among those filmed in Aït-Ben-Haddou. This gorgeous ksar, located on the road linking the Sahara to the city of Marrakech, was once a haven for passing caravans. On UNESCO’s World Heritage List, it is one of the most beautiful Kasbahs in the Maghreb.

Film studios in Ouarzazate

More cinema: during the first half of the 1950s, Jacques Becker filmed Ali Baba et les 40 voleurs in the area around Ouarzazate. Since then, the city has hosted some of the world’s biggest filmmakers, providing exceptional light, rare landscapes and an energetic and available local workforce. The establishment of film studios enabled the development and organization of filmmaking. Located at the entrance to the city, Atlas Studios is open for visits when filming is not underway.

A walk around Telouet

Telouet is a small village, the old fief of the Glaoui of Marrakech. Caravans passing by were required to give up rights of passage on the road to Marrakech. In ruins today, his old Kasbah reminds us of the rich history of the locale. Inside, the giant Bahia Palace, with its patios and gardens, remains a peaceful haven and a masterpiece of local architecture.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : BEHEREC

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
3rd leg : 2 days - 2 nights

L’Heure Bleue Palais

A masterpiece of the Essaouria medina
L’Heure Bleue Palais
Built at the end of the 19th century on an ancient fondouk, this gorgeous palace was once the residence of caïd Mbark Saïdi. L’Heure Bleue Palais opened its doors in 2004 and is one of the most beautiful establishments on the Moroccan coast. Each of the rooms and the common rooms naturally flow to wind-sheltered patio, where maître de maison François Laustriat welcomes you to sip on mint tea or taste a pure Irish malt before enjoying the cuisine of young chef Ahmed Handour.

Close to the property...

The Port and the daily catch

Established by the Carthaginians in 500 BC, Essaouira was conquered by the Romans and for a long time thereafter served as a consistent location for the extraction of purple pigment. The port is one of the last remaining shipbuilding yards, producing wooden fishing trawlers. I encourage you to go and see the daily catch, which come in at approximately 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., depending on the weather. Taste fish fresh from the nets and cooked over fire baskets at the end of the pier.

Kite surfing

Kite surfers are passionate when they speak about Essaouira, an annual stop on the World Tour. The bay is protected from offshore swells and has a long coastline to the north and good waves to the south for jumps and surf. The wind is stronger than force 4 almost twenty-three days per month, and the water temperature is consistently between 19 and 22 °C. The best company for kite surfing is UCPA, whose headquarters are located on the beach.

Argan oil cooperatives

There are several argan oil cooperatives between Essaouira and Tamanar, on the road to Agadir. Benefitting from an exceptional microclimate, the region is the only one on the planet where argania trees can be grown. Argan oil has a hazelnut aroma and is renowned for its nutritional benefits and its cosmetic properties, and is increasingly in demand around the world. Kaouiki and ASSAISS are two women-run cooperatives where you can learn about the oil and taste it at each step of production.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : BEHEREC

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
4th leg: 1 day - 1 night

Ksar Char-Bagh

An oasis of tranquillity...
Ksar Char-Bagh
Located in the Palmeraie, this marvellous palace is an oasis just outside the bustle of the city. Admire the Moorish-inspired architecture on the lush compound while walking among palm, fig and olive trees. A place like no other, transformed into a little piece of paradise by Nicole and Patrick Levillair.

Close to the property...

Yahya Création

More artist than artisan, Yahya is one of Morocco’s most important copperware producers. His showroom on Rue de Yugoslavie is full of mirrors, light fixtures and various decorative objects that combine elements of Middle Eastern tradition with modern creation. Reinventing steel, bronze and copper, Yahya is master metalworker with an international reputation.

Fabrics and embroidery

A creation of Caroline and Laurence Hamille, Chez Zoé is primarily a linen workshop that also produces embroidered tablecloths and bed and spa linens. Their creations are carefully crafted, with half of the workers embroidering in the workshop by hand. Chez Zoé has also recently opened a small boutique in the heart of Mamounia. Not far from the workshop, in Sidi Ghanem, you will find the showroom of prolific designer Florence Teillet, who creates beautiful fabrics using silk, hemp and the finest cotton.

33 rue Majorelle

Rue Majorelle, running along the famous Jardin Majorelle, was renamed Rue Yves Saint Laurent in late 2010. Whether by design or not, fashion boutiques sprung up one after the next. 33 Rue Majorelle was established as a premiere locale on the street, a kind of marrakchie Colette that brings together approximately thirty truly creative designers. Today, the boutique is one of the hippest in the city.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : BEHEREC

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard