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Marrakech: Manzil la Tortue

I spent my birthday just outside of Marrakech at Manzil la Tortue, a fabulous place to head to if you want to get out of the city and soak up some sunshine in peace. Manzil la Tortue, you see, has a pool day and lunch for 290 dirhams each, which gets you two delicious courses, use of the pool, your towels for the day, plus a late afternoon snack. Perfect!

The above photo doesn't do the pool area justice, but it's a really relaxing space and the staff there are just brilliant. One thing I didn't want was for us to be constantly hassled on my birthday, and we weren't. I had such a lovely day reading in the sun, swimming in the pool and eating yummy food with Olly - what more could I have asked for?
We visited Manzil La Tortue for their pool day and lunch, which is excellent value. For 290DH we got two delicious courses each, and use of the pool all day - this also included towels and a late afternoon snack.

The food was absolutely delicious - some of the best we had in Marrakech - and the service went above and beyond. We were there celebrating my birthday and my partner was able to arrange a bottle of champagne with the owner, which they didn't have on their wine list. Nothing was too much trouble and we had a fantastic day.

One thing to note, the pool isn't heated, but that actually makes for a welcome respite from the hot sunshine. It really is a tranquil environment and a fabulous place to have a relaxing day. If we had known about Manzil La Tortue when we were booking our accommodation, we would have definitely booked to stay there. Highly recommended.

Top tip: If you wish to do their pool and lunch day and you're staying in central Marrakech, call up and book their transfer service (costs 150DH each way) to avoid the inevitable haggling with the taxi driver once you arrive!
We visited Manzil La Tortue for their pool day and lunch, which is excellent value. For 290DH we got two delicious courses each, and use of the pool all day - this also included towels and a late afternoon snack.

The food was absolutely delicious - some of the best we had in Marrakech - and the service went above and beyond. We were there celebrating my birthday and my partner was able to arrange a bottle of champagne with the owner, which they didn't have on their wine list. Nothing was too much trouble and we had a fantastic day.

One thing to note, the pool isn't heated, but that actually makes for a welcome respite from the hot sunshine. It really is a tranquil environment and a fabulous place to have a relaxing day. If we had known about Manzil La Tortue when we were booking our accommodation, we would have definitely booked to stay there. Highly recommended.

Top tip: If you wish to do their pool and lunch day and you're staying in central Marrakech, call up and book their transfer service (costs 150DH each way) to avoid the inevitable haggling with the taxi driver once you arrive!
We visited Manzil La Tortue for their pool day and lunch, which is excellent value. For 290DH we got two delicious courses each, and use of the pool all day - this also included towels and a late afternoon snack.

The food was absolutely delicious - some of the best we had in Marrakech - and the service went above and beyond. We were there celebrating my birthday and my partner was able to arrange a bottle of champagne with the owner, which they didn't have on their wine list. Nothing was too much trouble and we had a fantastic day.

One thing to note, the pool isn't heated, but that actually makes for a welcome respite from the hot sunshine. It really is a tranquil environment and a fabulous place to have a relaxing day. If we had known about Manzil La Tortue when we were booking our accommodation, we would have definitely booked to stay there. Highly recommended.

Top tip: If you wish to do their pool and lunch day and you're staying in central Marrakech, call up and book their transfer service (costs 150DH each way) to avoid the inevitable haggling with the taxi driver once you arrive!
We visited Manzil La Tortue for their pool day and lunch, which is excellent value. For 290DH we got two delicious courses each, and use of the pool all day - this also included towels and a late afternoon snack.

The food was absolutely delicious - some of the best we had in Marrakech - and the service went above and beyond. We were there celebrating my birthday and my partner was able to arrange a bottle of champagne with the owner, which they didn't have on their wine list. Nothing was too much trouble and we had a fantastic day.

One thing to note, the pool isn't heated, but that actually makes for a welcome respite from the hot sunshine. It really is a tranquil environment and a fabulous place to have a relaxing day. If we had known about Manzil La Tortue when we were booking our accommodation, we would have definitely booked to stay there. Highly recommended.

Top tip: If you wish to do their pool and lunch day and you're staying in central Marrakech, call up and book their transfer service (costs 150DH each way) to avoid the inevitable haggling with the taxi driver once you arrive!

As for the lunch, it was absolutely yummy! Olly chose their Moroccan salad as his starter with a main course, whilst I opted for a main course and a dessert and chomped on the delicious bread rolls whilst he ate his starter. (For 350DH, you can have three courses.)

For my main course I chose the lemon chicken tagine, which came with Manzil la Tortue's very crispy and perfect home-made fries. The chicken was cooked beautifully, and the lemon flavour was intense but delicious.

Olly went for the mixed grill - yum! If you look behind his plate though, you'll spot a circle which is called a planchas. We loved our lunch choices, but we almost wish we had picked this option as you get a selection of meats to grill yourself with spices, veggies and fries - another table had this and the smell wafting across was incredible!  

For dessert I chose, what else, chocolate! The lovely owner of Manzil la Tortue also arranged for a bottle of champagne, at Olly's request, since it was my birthday - they don't usually have champagne on their wine list, but they were happy to sort this out for us. The service was spot-on all day, and we left with very happy smiles on our faces.

If we had known about Manzil la Tortue when we were booking our accommodation in Marrakech, we would have booked to stay there. If you are staying in central Marrakech and find that you want a break from the hustle and bustle, I implore that you visit Manzil la Tortue like we did.

Call them up and book their transfer service (costs 150DH each way) to avoid the inevitable haggling with a taxi driver, but to also make sure that they have room for you - they limit the amount of people to make sure that it remains a peaceful and relaxing environment. You won't regret going! x

Marrakech: Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle, Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech, Morocco
Entry costs 50 dirhams for the gardens, plus an extra 25 dirhams if you wish to visit the Berber Museum; open daily from 8am to 6pm.

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There's not much to do in Marrakech, in all honesty, and there aren't that many places where you can get out of the hustle and bustle, escape from all of the demands. But, the Jardin Majorelle - the Majorelle Gardens - is one of those little pockets of paradise in Marrakech where you can go and relax.

Situated on the outskirts of the Medina - the walled old town - Jardin Majorelle was built by artist Jacques Majorelle, a French painter who went to Marrakech in 1919 to recover from health problems.

After his death, the gardens fell into disrepair, but they were rescued by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980 to stop the site from being developed into a hotel resort.

 
Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, first discovered Jardin Majorelle back in the sixties.

Today the Majorelle Gardens are an explosion of colour - full of flora and fauna, towering palm trees and cacti.

The blue colour used throughout the gardens is called Majorelle blue, named after Jacques Majorelle. It's a distinctive blue that definitely catches your eyes!

Jacques Majorelle's workshop was also painted in that colour, and it now houses Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé's collection of Berber artefacts.

The Berber Museum is small, but it's worth popping inside. Tickets can be bought at either the main entrance of the gardens or at the museum entrance if you are already in the gardens. 
 
Definitely make sure that you visit Jardin Majorelle if you're ever in Marrakech - it's small, but it's a tranquil space that's worth exploring. Doesn't it look wonderful? x

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