Laura recently experienced Marrakech courtesy of Movenpick Hotels – here is her blog…
I met with Roel from Movenpick Hotels, Mercedes from Global Marketing Connections, Tom from British Airways and a group of Agents, freelancers and journalists at Gatwick Airport ready to take the flight to Marrakech. British Airways sponsored our flights so we were lucky enough to have access to the newly refurbished lounge and Club seats on the plane. The four course meal and complimentary drinks went down a treat on the 3hr flight.
On arrival in Marrakech, we were greeted by the lovely Essaid from Exclusively Morocco who created this wonderful itinerary for us and was our host for the weekend.
We were transferred to our hotel; the Movenpick Mansour Eddahbi. This hotel is truly stunning throughout, from the water displays and chandeliers in the reception to the 4 beautiful pools outside through to the 503 bedrooms.
After a quick freshen up, we enjoyed a delicious Mediterranean meal in the Medi Terra, one of the hotels 6 restaurants. Each restaurant is themed differently and offers an alternative culinary experience, perhaps a traditional Moroccan tagine in the Dahbi one night and a BBQ feast in the Jamra Grill the next.
The next day, we had a show round of the hotel, the place is just vast (5 hectares to be precise). The congress centre truly has a meeting space to fit every requirement from small boardrooms and breakouts up to the two large auditoriums (one seating 432, the other 1489) up to the light and airy Royal Ballroom which can host up to 2000 guests.
In the afternoon, in true ‘The Apprentice’ style, we were split into teams and picked up by black minibuses and escorted to the Medina. We followed our guide through the windy Souks stopping at a tile makers, a kitchen and a traditional pharmacy along the way to fully embrace the sights, tastes and smells of Morocco.
Next was the bartering challenge; we were given a sum of cash and a list of items we had to purchase. The team that collected the most items and spent the lowest amount of money were the winners (that was us of course)! It was great fun and a real chance to interact with the locals and learn a few phrases, we even had a little dance and a play on some instruments in the Medina Square (this came as great entertainment to the public).
In the evening, we visited Palm Grove where a marquee with lounge areas, dining space, a bar and even bedrooms had been set up to show us what can be offered for events. Here we enjoyed a drink, canapes but most importantly the surroundings, it was a truly magical experience and something so different from home.
We then headed to the Suleiman Palace for a 3 course Moroccan banquet, explored the palace, met the owner and even brushed shoulders with a Moroccan celeb!