New Year 2015 in Marrakech at Les Borjs de la Kasbah

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Christmas and New Year celebrations are not generally marked in the Muslim world but special arrangements are always made at Les Borjs where we certainly know how to put on a good party!

At the end of December a large marquee is erected over the hotel’s main patio which is then dressed and colourfully decorated for the festive occasion.

New Year 2015 in Marrakech at Les Borjs de la Kasbah starts with drinks and canapes by the pool accompanied by local Berber entertainers with drummers and singers; this is often followed by an act featuring a fire eater and juggler.

New Year’s Eve dinner itself is a multi course, buffet style affair taken in the heated marquee, entertainment continuing throughout the meal in the form of a live traditional band and belly dancers as an excellent magician entertains diners at each table.

Later, a DJ plays music for dancing to continue through until the wee small hours.



Another prestigious award for Les Borjs de la Kasbah, Marrakech – Expedia’s Insiders Select Award

Les Borjs de la Kasbah has just collected another prestigious award from Expedia, the largest online booking platform in the world, for its achievement in being named not only one of the best small hotels in Marrakech but one of the best in the whole of Africa!

The “Insiders’ Select” award is given annually to a very small number of hotels which have achieved consistently excellent reviews on the Expedia website.

This year just two awards were given to hotels in Marrakech and only four elsewhere, in other words just six awards were made to hotels on the continent of Africa of which Les Borjs is one. So Les Borjs is in very good company.

Presenting the award to Les Borjs de la Kasbah’s Director, Tom Bruce-Mitford, at an informal dinner at Les Borjs last month is Expedia Market Manager, Nicolas Descate.

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Ras El Hanout – recipe for the finest of Moroccan spice blends

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Used mainly by Moroccans in elaborate, celebratory dishes, the aromatic, complex spice blend known as Rass, or Ras El Hanout (literally translated as ‘head, or top, of the shop’), is prepared by grinding together two dozen or more whole spices and dried leaves/roots .

Ingredients of Ras El Hanout recipe

Every shop and spice merchant has his own ‘secret’ recipe for this delightful blend but, as a rule, it will contain a mix of:

  • Cardamom, Clove and Cinnamon
  • Coriander, Cumin and Paprika (sweet and/or hot)
  • Mace and Nutmeg
  • Peppercorn and Turmeric

Other, more exotic ingredients often added by spice sellers include: Read the rest of this entry »

October festivals in Marrakech & elsewhere

Monday, September 7th, 2015

As late summer moves towards autumn October in Marrakech is arguably the best time of year, although with temperatures still in the high twenties it is hardly cool. One can expect around nine hours of sunshine per day. Rainfall, after the drought of summer, begins to be a feature of the weather once again but, at 23mm, there’s not much of it. If there are fewer festivals in Marrakech now than at other times in the season there are still a number of noteworthy events to draw the crowds.

Fatih Muharram

Fatih Muharram is celebrated by Muslims all over the world on the first day of the Islamic Calendar’s new year which, this year, falls on the 14th October. On this day, Muslims reflect on the journey made by the prophet Mohamed and his followers to Medina in 622 of the Muslim Current Era.

Erfoud Date Festival

This famous festival, celebrated in Erfoud, a small Saharan oasis some six hours to the east of the former garrison town of Ouarzazate, is set to commence at the end of the harvest, usually at the beginning of October. The festival involves traditional dance and music with processions, dromedary races, feasting and the crowning of this year’s ‘Date Queen’.

Tissa Horse Festival

The quiet country town of Tissa, some 30 miles north east of Fes, holds its Horse Festival at the beginning of October (exact date still to be confirmed). At this popular, unique festival hundreds of horsemen and their mounts, decked out in elaborate, colourful, traditional costumes, show off their skills. In addition to equestrian events and competitions, the festival involves a good deal of energetic music, dancing and singing, traditional food and plenty of mint tea.

Tip of the Month

If you’re looking for one of the lesser known places of interest in Marrakech look no further than the Mellah, the historic Jewish neighbourhood. Still in comparatively excellent shape (unlike many Jewish Quarters in Europe), this area offers a one-of-a-kind experience and notable synagogue.

M’rouzia recipe, a spicy-sweet Moroccan lamb tajine

Friday, August 21st, 2015

The M’rouzia is a delicious Moroccan tagine combining lamb, raisins, honey and almonds and a selection of herbs and spices, including Ras El Hanout, to make a deliciously sweet and spicy dish. Here is a M’rouzia recipe for serving six people:


  • About 3 lbs (1½ kg) lamb (neck, shanks or shoulder) cut into pieces of 3″ square
  • Ras El Hanout, 2 tsp (teaspoons)
  • Ground ginger, 2 tsp
  • Salt, 1 ½ tsp
  • Pepper, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric, ½ tsp
  • Crumbled saffron threads, ½ tsp

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September Events in Marrakech and elsewhere in Morocco

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Morocco hosts a variety of events in September, including:

Marrakech Art Fair - designed specifically for those interested in contemporary art, this event sees collectors and galleries showing off some of their most original modern creations. Most of the best galleries are to be found in Guéliz, the post war commercial quarter of the city.

Latin Dance Festival – open to all, this exciting event, taking place at the Palmaraie Palace resort between 2nd and 8th September, is an exuberant tribute to latin dance and salsa. Pool partys will be held at the Hotel du Golf.

Moonfest Takerkoust – this three-day festival takes place beside the lake of Lalla Takerkoust, in a beautiful part of the Atlas just 35 km (22 miles) from Marrakech. The festival comprises musical gigs (including local and international rock bands) as well as cultural and tourist themed attractions, many of the attendees being housed in a tented village by the lakeside.

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Notable Occasions in August in Marrakech

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Marrakech, like all other cities and regions in Morocco, celebrates three major public holidays during August. The first of these events, Allegiance Day, takes place on Friday, the 14th.

Allegiance Day

Zikra Oued Ed-Dahab, as this national holiday is locally known, is celebrated to mark the return, by Mauritania to Morocco, of the disputed region of Oued Eddahab.

Thaourat al-malik wa shâab

On August 20th the country celebrates ‘Thaourat al-Malik wa Shâab’, or ‘The King & the People’s Revolution’, an event commemorating King Mohammed V’s return to Morocco after exile in Madagascar. Mohammed V’s return set in motion the negotiations which eventually led to Morocco becoming an independent nation.

Eid Al Milad

Introduced mainly for the youth of Morocco (Eid Al Milad is often referred to as ‘Youth Day’), this public holiday, on 21st August, marks the official birthday of Mohammed VI. Ascending to Morocco’s throne following the death of his father, King Hassan II, in July 1999, King Mohammed is the Alaouite dynasty’s 18th monarch. Intended to reflect the harmonious relationship between the king and his citizens, Eid Al Milad sets the tone for a joyful, festive atmosphere throughout the country.

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Visiting Marrakech – Top Tips for Maximum Enjoyment

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Intriguing, atmospheric and filled with a seemingly endless variety of sightseeing options, the city of Marrakech is one of the most tourist friendly destinations in North Africa and, unlike most of its neighbours in the Maghreb, it suffers from none of the political unrest seen in the Middle East, Egypt and Tunisia. There are, however, a few things you should know in order to get the most out of your visit.

Bringing Cash

It is difficult to find ATMs in most parts of the city’s ancient medina although they are numerous in and around the Jemma El-Fna, the city’s main square. They are also widely available in Gueliz, the modern commercial quarter. Many shops and restaurants accept credit cards, although by no means as many as would be the case in Europe or America. Shopping in the souks invariably requires cash, i.e. Moroccan dirhams, although quite a few traders are happy to accept euros. There are several bureaux de change at Marrakech Menara airport but you will be able to draw cash without much difficulty in many parts of town.

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What’s Happening in Marrakech in July 2015

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

July 17th this year marks Eid ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, a month of daytime fasting for all devout Muslims. Eid is celebrated by a day of feasting on a scale similar to the Christian Christmas although, unlike Christmas, the date of the festival of Eid changes every year.

Popular Arts Festival

This is also the first day of one of the major cultural events in the Marrakech calendar – the Popular Arts Festival. Scheduled to take place from 17th to 21st of July, this popular event is one of the city’s biggest and most colourful festivals. Performers, including seductive belly dancers, Berber musicians and international artists, magicians, snake-charmers and others will transform the city (and, in particular, the Djemma el Fna square and El Badi Palace) into a riot of colour and sounds. If you were able to experience only one Moroccan festival in your life this would be the one to go for.

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Les Borjs de la Kasbah enters Trip Advisor Hall of Fame

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Having won the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence five years in a row, Les Borjs de la Kasbah has just been awarded a further accolade – entry into the TripAdvisor ‘Hall of Fame’.

The Certificate of Excellence

This is awarded annually to hotels and riads having received consistently great reviews on TripAdvisor, the largest travel site in the world; the ‘Hall of Fame’, by contrast, is comprised only of those which have won the certificate five times in succession.

Here are some of the many reviews that have contributed to this significant achievement:

“An enchanting, unforgettable experience. We had not expected the excellence we found at this delightful Riad. Staying at Les Borjs was a truly wonderful experience”

“I have just had the most amazing 4-day stay (with 23 other ladies). Staff were awesome, the Hamman was amazing. We thoroughly recommend.”

“An absolute marvel. A beautiful home away from home in Morocco. Attention to detail found everywhere: in the design and concept of the hotel, the genuine care, attentiveness and attention of every member of the wonderful staff and the exquisite cuisine… Les Borjs definitely made my first visit to Marrakech magical. Merci!”

“Best holiday ever! After a week-long stay at Les Borjs, we were genuinely saddened by having to leave: the people, the place and the overall experience were everything you could dream of for a perfect holiday.”

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