We must confess, we came to Marrakech with a single goal in mind — to experience exotic Morocco, the version that included a sweeping desert oasis with locals riding camels, colorful markets and food delicacies that our palates had yet to encounter. Yes, we know it sounds naïve and silly but, hey, we all have versions and expectations of places we visit. However, as we got out of our van, smack in the center of the medina aka “chaos central”, we were slapped by the realization that my mysterious Moroccan fantasy may be just a tad off the mark.
As we made our way through the masses of colorfully dressed locals, insane drivers and the generally amped up noise level around us, somewhere on the corner of culture shock and Jemaa el Fna, our dream and current reality were colliding. That’s until we reached the tiny, almost hidden, alleyway which ultimately led to our salvation – La Sultana.
The hotel staff waiting for us at the corner took our bags and walked us into what felt like a completely different plane of existence! The contrast of pseudo-chaos we just escaped from, to this exotic and serene world, now brought my Moroccan vision to fruition.
As we were escorted to our suite, the thought that this is a one-thousand-year-old riad (yes, I said thousand), but looks and feels like a modernized version of a Moroccan palace astonished us at every turn. Authentic Moroccan designs mix with modern amenities down to the smallest detail, but the uniqueness of La Sultana lies in its different sections, each more elegant than the last, no matter what order you visit them.
Though the hotel was sold out, we felt as if we were the only people there… it’s that peaceful. At the end of our stay, we were quite sad, not because we didn’t have my camel riding through the desert experience, but because we had to leave this incredible experience behind. La Sultana gave me something better than a preconceived notion, it gave me a newfound version of what my Morocco is – and it’s exceptional!
Tel – +212 5 24 38 80 09
Route tips – La Sultana is just a 15-minute drive from the Marrakech airport (15 km south). Pick up service is 380 MAD each way.