Frequently asked questions about Marrakech

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Set against its backdrop of the Atlas mountains, Marrakech is a North African destination like few others, its souks, squares, historic buildings and displays of Islamic art accounting for much of its fascination and charm, as does the medina’s maze of narrow passageways concealing ‘hole-in-the-wall’ businesses of all kinds, artisanal workshops and, secreted away behind anonymous facades, some beautifully atmospheric riads.

To get the most out of a visit to Morocco’s tourism capital one should be aware of certain customs and basic facts of local life so, listed below, are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Marrakech. What is the currency in Marrakech? The currency in Morocco is the Dirham. £1 sterling is approximately 13 Moroccan Dirhams (MAD) and €1 euro is approximately 11 Moroccan Dirhams. As tipping is widely practised it is as well to have a supply of change. Read the rest of this entry »

A simple Pastilla recipe – Traditional Moroccan Pastilla Made Easy

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

You may have heard of it but what is it? As our article ‘What is Pastilla?’ explains, a Pastilla is a sweet and savoury Moroccan pie, most commonly filled with pigeon meat, dusted with icing sugar.

If you can’t get hold off pigeon you can substitute with chicken. There are also dessert versions. Here’s a simple Pastilla recipe for the most popular version of this traditional Moroccan dish, for the perfect pastilla. Ingredients

•             2 tbsp vegetable oil

•             6 onions, chopped Read the rest of this entry »

What is Pastilla?

Monday, May 14th, 2012

What is Pastilla? A sweet and savoury meat pie made with crisp filo pastry, a Pastilla is a traditional Moroccan dish, usually made with squab (young pigeon).

As squabs can sometimes be hard to come by there are several variations on the Pastilla theme, most commonly shredded chicken and, occasionally, fish or offal. The filling also contains onions, hard boiled eggs and almonds spiced with cinnamon.

Pastilla (pronounced ‘bastiyya’ or, in Berber, ‘bastela’), is generally served as an entrée at the beginning of a special meal. The filling is prepared a day ahead and is made by browning the meat pieces in oil.

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Marrakech Events in May 2012

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Marrakech really does have it all at this time of year with some wonderful activities and events taking place in May. Here is a brief run-down of Marrakech events in May 2012.

Caftan at the Palais des Congrès. Caftan brings together Moroccan and Eastern haute couture, an event at which experienced fashion designers and newcomers showcase their latest collections.

All proceeds go to the CSSF, an organisation sponsoring the education of young girls in rural Morocco through scholarships. To find out more see mansoureddahbi.com.

Marrakech Poker Open (24th – 27th May 2012). The Marrakech casinos take centre stage with this annual professional poker tournament, this year being the 26th. The Marrakech Poker Open will be attracting some of the world’s best poker players, due in no small measure to the million dirham prize pot on offer!

Marrakech Luxury Hotel Special Offers

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

At Les Borjs de la Kasbah we strive to offer the highest standard of accommodation and cuisine but we aim also to offer excellent value for money. To underline this here’s a summary of some very special offers valid until the end of May 2012.

Four nights for the price of three – Stay for four nights or more at Les Borjs de la Kasbah and only pay for three nights, saving 25%. Half board guests can dine for free on the forth night at our fine dining restaurant, Le Jasmin.

This offer is valid until 31st May 2012.

Seven nights for the price of five – even better value. Stay for seven nights before 31st May 2012 and you pay for only five nights, saving just short of 30% in total. Half board guests staying seven nights will dine for free on the last two nights of their stay.

This offer is valid until 31st May 2012.

Marrakech Luxury Hotel Special Offers

In conjunction with the above offers we have another deal at the moment for residents to take advantage of, just to tempt you a little more:

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Why you should take a short break in Marrakech

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Set against the backdrop of the High Atlas, snow-capped until late April, historic Marrakech is the gateway to Morocco’s desert region and the Sahara, only a few hours’ drive further south.

Just a three hour flight from northern Europe, Marrakech is an ideal winter sun and short break destination. Here, African, Berber and Arab cultures come together in one exotic, bubbling melting pot.

Enclosed by the high rampart walls of its ancient medina, Marrakech has a rich historical heritage, major landmarks including beautiful ancient buildings and palaces, mosques and squares, well displayed by a number of fascinating museums.

The pulsating heart of traditional Marrakech, the Djemaa el Fna, comes to life at sunset when story tellers, musicians, snake charmers, fire-eaters and acrobats and, not least, scores of street food sellers, compete for the attention of hundreds of tourists and locals alike.

The souks are another unmissable Marrakech experience. Here, one can find just about every product imaginable – from spices and local delicacies (olives, dates and patisseries) to pottery, metal ornaments, jewellery, rugs and leather goods.

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10 things you need to know about Marrakech

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The wonderfully exotic Moroccan city of Marrakech offers so much as a short holiday destination, from reliable year-round temperatures (ideal from mid February to end April) and mouth-watering local cuisine to fascinating historic sites and other landmarks, from golf on six courses to treks in the Atlas.

Not least, Marrakech is also renowned for the limitless varieties of locally hand-crafted products and souvenirs on sale in its vast network of souks.

Here is a short list of important facts you should know about Marrakech.

1. Widely referred to as the ‘Red City’, Marrakech lies in Morocco’s south western region, within sight of the High Atlas.

2. As with most North African cities, Marrakech has two distinct parts: the old city, or medina, and the modern city which, here, comprises the commercial quarter, Guéliz, and leafy residential district of boulevards known as l’Hivernage.

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Les Borjs de la Kasbah wins ‘Travellers’ Choice’ Award

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

For the third time in as many years, les Borjs de la Kasbah, the 4 star boutique hotel in Marrakech close to the royal palace, has received a “Travellers’ Choice Award” from Trip Advisor based on the reviews of its visitors.

From a report issued in February 2012, Les Borjs (BK) appeared in a listing of the best 25 hotels in Africa and was also rated 4th best in Morocco.

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Marrakech Grand Prix

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Fans of motor racing will be interested to learn that a major event will be taking place in Marrakech in March to mark the opening of the FIA 2012 season.

Initially planned for Monza, the event will now be held in Morocco’s ‘pink city’, Marrakech, between 9th and 11th March 2012.

Motor sport enthusiasts will be aware that the Marrakech Grand Prix circuit is the only FIA World Championship track in Africa.

marrakech grand prix

Its location, a short distance from the red city’s legendary rampart walls and with the snow-capped Atlas Mountains as a backdrop, promises to make this into one of the most attractive circuits (taking in the Mohammed VI and Ourika avenues) in the world.

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What is a hammam?

Friday, January 20th, 2012

What is a hammam? A hammam is a steam bath, a feature of north African societies since Roman times and later refined by the Ottomans into the Turkish bath that is so common today.

The aim, of course, is to wash away dust and grime but, as importantly, to achieve a state of pure relaxation, especially when followed by a soothing massage. A hammam session consists of several stages.

1)     The steam bath itself, often in several rooms, each warmer than the one before. After a while absorbing the full beneficial effect of the steam comes a hot water wash down, followed, eventually, by an envigorating dousing of cold water poured from a wooden bucket!

The Arganier Spa at Les Borjs de la Kasbah

2)     After the bathing comes the gommage when the body is subjected to a vigorous scrub down with black beldi soap made from olives and eucalyptus leaves which is left on the body for around 15 minutes.

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