Morocco is back at the top of our travel wish-list with a flurry of new openings including Jacquetta Wheeler’s beautifully renovated house in the Bay of Tangier. Along with the age-old reasons to visit Marrakech from the maze of the souk to the mesmerising Jamaa el Fna square, there are now two fresh hotspots to explore; Jasper Conran’s romantic and elegant Riad hotel, and the newly-opened Musée Yves Saint Laurent.
Jacquetta Wheeler’s Dar Sinclair Villa for Rent
A charming blend of English country house style and traditional Moroccan architecture, Dar Sinclair in Tangier is yours to rent for the first time this summer. London model Jacquetta Wheeler inherited the house from her mother early last year. It had been in the family since 1926 and was then in the midst of a major renovation, which ground to a halt at her untimely death. Jacquetta and her sister then set about continuing the works themselves, bringing in fresh colours, cushions collected over years of travels, and fabrics from the Portobello Road. The spacious and airy house sleeps 12-14 with a private swimming pool and spectacular sea views out over the Bay of Tangier Old Town.
Catering options available, housekeeper included. From £748 per night homeaway.co.uk
Jasper Conran’s L’Hôtel Marrakech
Despite its proximity, the hustle and bustle of the souk is a distant memory at L’hotel Marrakech, a privately-owned Riad in the heart of the Medina. What a dream to swim in the pool set within a fragrant courtyard garden full of orange blossom and fig trees, or to wake up to a view of the Atlas mountains beyond the Red City. Owned by Jasper Conran, Moroccan style is combined with pieces of furniture from his collection; think whitewashed walls and high zouak ceilings with restful voile curtains and four-poster beds. With old-school glamour and just five suites, this hotel is very much on our wish-list.
Rooms from £261 per night. l-hotelmarrakech.com
Musée Yves Saint Laurent
“Marrakech taught me colour. Before Marrakech everything was black.” So said Yves Saint Laurent whose famous cobalt blue villa and Jardins Marjorelle have been on the well-trodden tourist path for decades. Just steps away from his home now lies a new museum that opened its doors in October 2017. The space has been designed to look like the weft and warp of fabric, with an interior to evoke ‘the lining of a couture jacket – velvety, smooth and radiant’. How fitting for a museum that houses a vast collection of clothing from the famous smoking suit to the silky, rainbow fabrics inspired by Saint Laurent’s beloved Marrakech. Also on display are hundreds of drawings and photos that chart the journey of the Parisian fashion house. A must-see, make sure you allow time to visit the excellent bookshop and to stop for lunch at Le Studio, its contemporary cool cafe.
Open daily 10am – 6pm, except Wednesday’s. Tickets 100 DH. museeyslmarrakech.com/en