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Travel to Africa – Marrakesh’s Stylish Transformation


If you’re looking for cheap airfare to Africa this North African city of medieval souks and winding streets is undergoing a dramatic transformation. There are now several hundred riad hotels, each trying to out-design the next, and the big international brands—Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons—are building resorts beyond the medina.

Marrakesh is essentially two cities: the medina, as the ancient walled Arab metropolis is called, and Guéliz, the name given to the part of town created by the French in 1913. South of Guéliz lies the residential neighborhood of Hivernage. While Guéliz has been somewhat overshadowed in the past decade by the rise of the medina, it is currently enjoying a bit of a renaissance itself. With its aging Art Deco villas, broad streets, and roundabouts, Guéliz is Morocco at its most Western. A symbol of the area’s revival is the year-old Bab Hotel, a mini-Delanoesque homage to the Philippe Starck aesthetic: oversize flowerpots, billowy curtains, cool white public spaces. Its pebbled half-indoor/half-outdoor garden by the pool is a perfect spot for lunch, and the top-floor Skybab Bar, set with lounging mattresses, draws the cocktail crowd in the evenings.

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