As a travel consultant, for me personally there’s not really a line between a business trip and a leisure trip. I always mix the two. And encourage my business clients to do the same. Whether in the form of luxurious accommodation, or flying in early / staying after the business bit to explore. A recent business trip took me to Marrakech, a city I’d long wanted to see. So I took the opportunity to fly in several days before my meetings kicked off. I hired a private guide to get the lay of the land my first day, visited the sights then indulged in a traditional hammam (ok, 2 traditional hammams..), took a cooking class, mastered the souks, bought a rug, sat in the corner of the old square for half a day just to take photographs, and ate my weight in tagine. I’m sure the week of work would have been productive without my mini-vacation on the front end, but I sure was more inspired, relaxed, with not a bit of jetlag to speak of. So if you have the ability, definitely mix some leisure into your next business trip.
Below are my best recommendations when visiting the sexy city of Marrakech, and I do recommend visiting the sexy city of Marrakech at least once! One thing worth noting is that there are 3 distinct areas to Marrakech – the traditional medina, the more cosmo new town, and then the outskirts. I recommend mixing your stay – spend a few nights in the medina, then head out to one of the opulent hotels on the fringes of town. This will give you a complete flavor for the place.
Riad Tamila + Selman
Tamila is a traditional riad tucked deep within the medina. I love it because it’s quiet, and as authentic as it gets. Plus the food served there is the best I’d eaten in all of Marrakech.
Selman’s horse stables and villas with private pools sold me.
My Top 5 Must-Do List
- Arrange for a private guide, You do not want to tackle the souks without insider knowledge to the best vendors/where & what to eat.
- It’s touristy as all get-out, but ride a camel.
- Take an organic cooking class with a local tribe in the Atlas Mountains.
- Throw modesty to the wind and indulge in a traditional hammam.
- If you buy only one thing, make it a rug.
When it comes to dressing for a day in the medina, comfortable shoes and sunglasses are musts. Opt for maxi dresses with a little covering the shoulder or linen pants with a comfortable tissue tee. Go low on the jewelry, and definitely bring a great cross-body bag. Marrakech is a casual city, you’ll stand-out if you’re decked-out. You’ll have more flexibility with your modern wardrobe at the newer resorts on the outskirts of town, but out of respect for the culture, go for more conservative choices when in the traditional medina.
*This is me & Aziz, the owner of the rug shop where I found the absolute perfect rug for my home.
Lila Fox is owner of New Orleans-based Constant Tourist Travel, a travel consultancy catering to the discerning traveler worldwide. For more information about planning your trip to Morocco contact Lila at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Home is where the heart is” and while my home is Nashville (Tennessee) there will always be a special place in my heart for Round Hill (Jamaica, W.I.).
After more than 40 visits to Round Hill since 1983, I am going back for the first time in 7 years. I am going back in time, literally and figuratively (as WIFI and Verizon are sketchy there, at best).
I am already dreaming about “Chubby’s” banana pancakes, and the smell of the bonfire that roars on the beach each Monday night; and I can’t wait to go to sleep to music by Harry Bellafonte or Bob Marley or the local tree frogs. I am hoping that the afternoon games of Outburst or Taboo with new friends and fellow “bar flies” at the beach bar still take place. And I know that the sunset will still be the best on earth!
Round Hill is where I frequently saw Ralph and Rikki Lauren, tanned and toned, he, always dressed in a black speedo and “wife-beater” and she, in a black one piece. I remember watching Sigourney Weaver come out of the ocean on the small beach, looking as beautiful as ever, after a rigorous swim. And it feels like yesterday that I was sitting next to Meredith Vieira just after she learned that she had been chosen as the co-anchor of the TODAY show on NBC!!! I wonder WHO will be there next week?
So, as I pack (or more typically, over-pack) my bags, I know that my Taigan favorites will be just “what the doctor ordered” for the perfect holiday, along with Stewart’s Round Hill Special, made with Appleton rum, of course!!!
See more of what’s in Elizabeth’s Bag.
Two years ago I discovered Parasol and it totally changed my summer! I have always stayed out of the sun. Which means that doing things outside becomes very limited and can be, well, a little boring at times. A friend of mine used to say frequently “no sun, no fun” I think as a reminder of how un fun I was to be with during the warmer months. A day at the beach was usually a short day, quick swims and elaborate cover up for beach walks and just hanging out. I used lots of sunblock, a hat, and an umbrella but never really felt I had enough protection. Two friends of mine started Parasol and I bought one of their cute blue and white stripe shirts, at first just to be supportive. My sister also bought a few things as she was chasing after her 2 year old son all day long. He had discovered the beach and the water that summer and could not be pulled away.
I loved the way it looked on my sister and thought how fantastic, fashion and function. That same summer was to be my “try paddle boarding” summer. How to avoid being burnt to a crisp? I had no idea how to protect myself from both sun AND reflection, a double whammy. Deciding to try it anyway, I brought my Parasol shirt along on my first voyage out at sea, to cover up and try it out. It was such a success that I ended up wearing it all summer. Suddenly I could be active with just a simple shirt and wore it on bike rides, walks and long swims. Never burning or feeling over sunned I could do things as long as I liked, things I was never really able to do before. It was a a whole new world for me and a very fun summer. That September I became a partner and creative director for the brand. I still wear my shirts (and hat and umbrella and sunblock) every day and love how easy it is to be safe in the sun. My sister and her son wear theirs every day as well…we added boys shirts for my partner’s children and my nephew!
So while you prepare for the warm summer days coming up, be sure to try out Parasol!
Until next time, have a great week,
The April 2014 issue of House Beautiful is out on newsstands everywhere and guess who is featured?? Taigan CEO Elizabeth Nichols herself! In this month’s issue, Nichols shows the world her bathroom vanity and it is quite a gorgeous view (no pun intended).
See below her favorite products and collectibles – among these are a combination of gorgeous heirlooms and also fun Bobbi Brown lip glosses. But the beauty of all this is that everything can be purchased in one place, online, on Taigan. And that is precisely what is so special about our site.
So be sure to get your copy now and read all about why she loves the things she does. And while you’re at it, shop now for all her fun beauty products and vanity accessories!