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25 Nov 2016

Les 5 Djellabas, Morocco

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco

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LES 5 DJELLABAS 

A luxury boutique hotel set in the Marrakech 
Palmeraie, only a 25 minute drive from the medina.

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I felt in need of a break. I know, it sounds ridiculous, all we seem to do is travel, we're always off somewhere, each trip is just another holiday in a new paradise, right? We're always on 'breaks'. Though I don't dispute the fact that there is nothing to complain about, the thing is this: the act of travelling across so many different time zones on a regular basis is a little exhausting. Not for Jarv, no, Jarv is a robot. He can run on 4 hours sleep no problem, he's non-stop. Me on the other hand - my body doesn't handle flying or jetlag very well. I feel nauseated, my stomach hurts, I get reflux, I'm often fighting to keep my eyes open by 6pm or wide awake at 5am. Not to mention the fact that we tend to keep our days packed from the moment we wake until bedtime.

So, yes, I was looking forward to a break - a chance to visit a new city and not be constantly on the move. An opportunity to just enjoy the hotel, to have nothing on the agenda but to just ... be. And boy, did we find the perfect place for that.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco

Les 5 Djellabas is sprawled out over a beautiful one hectare garden; ten African eco-lodges, a mixture of contemporary and traditional design, sat amongst cacti, palms, olive and banana trees. The suite interiors feel charmingly rustic and keep surprisingly cool inside. Don't worry - there's heating should you need it. From the moment of arrival, it felt like we were being welcomed to a friend's luxurious home. In fact, should you want to rent the entire place out for a wedding/party/large group stay, this is an option. 

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco

Having arrived at noon, we decided to have lunch at the little table outside our room shortly afterwards. The meal was terrific. Pan-seared squid, slow-cooked lamb shank, fresh salad with generously large chunks of tuna. We devoured every last bite and made a beeline for the pool.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco

Inside the poolside lounge sits a phone and a menu. Pick up the phone, order drinks, snacks, whatever you like, and have it appear within mere minutes. Drinks are very reasonably priced and pack a decent punch!

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco

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LE FOUNDOUK

Located deep in the medina, serving 
traditional Moroccan dishes alongside 
a modern international menu.

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We had dinner plans in the medina that evening. Although not my first time in Africa (I used to live in Nigeria), this was the first time in my adult life that I was visiting and I was looking forward to experiencing the heart of Marrakech, where all the action takes place. Our driver dropped us off just within the walls of the old city. An elderly gentleman wearing a fez and traditional robes stood patiently waiting. He nodded, smiled and wordlessly began leading us towards the restaurant.

The medina at night is fascinating - all manner of smells, sights, sounds. Butchers lean out their windows, serving raw meat to customers on the streets, entire animals sometimes hanging in the doorway. Stray kittens sit in every corner; motorbikes whizz past when you least expect them, appearing out of nowhere; people shout out to one another in the streets. I spent the entire walk grinning to myself - it reminded me of China. Except maybe even a little crazier. About halfway through our walk, our 'guide' picked up a lantern that sat against a wall and used it to lead us through the dark, narrow and uneven streets. We arrived at an inconspicuous door.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Le Foundouk Marrakech, Morocco

Le Foundouk is a well established restaurant nestled amongst the souks of Marrakech. It was a tad too cold to sit outside on the terrace, instead we were seated on the first floor looking down at the ground level. Our dinner began with a small ritual of hand washing; fragrant orange flower water poured from a teapot into open palms.

Service was astoundingly fast, our food served in ample portions. Jarv started with cold aubergine paupiettes, me with Moroccan Harira soup (a tasty concoction consisting of lentils, lamb, tomato, chickpeas and various spices). Jarv feasted on berber lamb tagine for his main and I dug into a pigeon pastilla - be warned, those things are tasty but heavy. A mixture of sweet and savoury, the pastry is very sweet, flaky and thick. I couldn't finish it (not even close, I'm ashamed to say). 

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Le Foundouk Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Le Foundouk Marrakech, Morocco

Fruit for dessert hit the spot - light, refreshing and not overly sweet. For Jarv, a cold, spicy, poached pear and for me, fresh sliced oranges in an orange blossom sauce. 

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Le Foundouk Marrakech, Morocco

The owner, Frederic, made a brief appearance to introduce himself and ensure we were enjoying our meal (side note: he is also the man behind Les 5 Djellabas). Left to our own devices, we finished the meal with mint tea and basked in the relaxed yet sophisticated ambience. We'd arrived at around 8.30pm when it was surprisingly quite empty - by the time we left, at around 10pm, just about every table spread over two floors was occupied. I guess people eat a lot later than I expected in Marrakech, almost as late as the Spanish do.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Le Foundouk Marrakech, Morocco

I awoke fairly early the next morning, eager to soak in as much of Les 5 Djellabas before we made our way to the next riad at noon. We decided to take breakfast in the restaurant. Only one other guest was present, though I'd caught glimpses of others dining outside their rooms. Yet instead of a cold and empty atmosphere, I felt so comfortably at home; almost as though I could have wandered over in a dressing gown and slippers and nobody would have batted an eye.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Les 5 Djellabas, Marrakech, Morocco

I was loathe to leave. Throughout the duration of our short stay, service had been attentive, polite and well-meaning. The grounds had been utterly peaceful the entire time, and whilst we did occasionally cross paths with various other guests, it felt as though we had free run of the place. Wifi is available in rooms and at the pool, though is it rather spotty. But when you're in the middle of the desert in surroundings like these, who needs to be on their laptop anyway? Leave the work for when you get home and make the most of it. Come here to immerse yourself in a truly relaxing experience, from sweet beginning to  reluctant end.

Thanks to Les 5 Djellabas for sponsoring the stay and for dinner at Le Foundouk. All words and opinions are my own.

8 comments :

  1. Sounds amazing! Great shots! Thanks for sharing xoxo

    http://www.myinfinitystyle.com/

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    1. It really was. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. everything about this place is beautiful! i would love to be able to travel here one day

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  3. This looks beautiful! I'm looking to visit in the spring and I'll definitely keep this place in mind!

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    1. You'll love it if you go! Such a tranquil retreat.

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  4. This looks like a paradise!!! And I just love that bikini on you hahaha
    Kira xxxx

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    Replies
    1. It was such a fantastic holiday! Hahah thanks my love ;)

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