May 22, 2023
Fairmont La Marina Rabat-Salé Hotel and Residences – where memories are created
Travelling to a new country is one of my favourite things to do! I love submerging myself into new cultures, meeting interesting people, opening my eyes to new experiences, discovering new flavours, and catching beautiful sunsets.
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a trip to Rabat, Morocco; I stayed in the brand-new Fairmont la Marina rabat-salé Hotel; I can’t even begin to tell you how fantastic my time there was. We caught an early flight and saw the beautiful sunrise from the plane window. I had a good feeling from this moment; I knew this trip would be one to remember. I had seen a few sneak peeks of the Hotel via social media, and I’ve never been so excited to get into my room; I’ll get to that part shortly.
When we arrived at the Hotel, the scent of orange blossom hit us instantly; I later found out that this fresh, clean scent would be something I’d get used to in Morocco. Orange blossom water is a popular ingredient in middle eastern countries and signifies paradise and eternal love.
Secondly, we were introduced (to what is now my favourite drink ever); Moroccan tea! The first sip was quite something; I had it served with sugar; (I’d recommend you try it), and it was so sweet, warm and incredibly delicious. Also, how the staff pour the tea is very fancy; they hold the teapot extremely high up in the air and then pour it from there into your glass, which adds a special touch to the experience. I experienced these a good 20 times during my stay at Fairmont; I quickly became addicted to the traditional tea; in Morocco, this tea is a tradition of hospitality. The hospitality in Morocco is unlike anything I’ve experienced; the warmth from every Moroccan I met; made me feel so welcome.
As mentioned above, I had already seen a few snippets of the rooms; and they are 100% Instagram-worthy. There was an open corridor into my room, with an archway into the bedroom; the flooring had gorgeous mosaic tiles in black and white, and a checkerboard black and white carpet separated the bedroom from the living space. Every single corner in my room was worth a snapshot. They had heavy-weight floor-to-ceiling grey curtains at the window, a king-size bed with the fluffiest pillows and Egyptian cotton bedsheets. I also had a built-in flatscreen TV opposite the bed, a built-in tea station area and a cosy armchair with a marble table. The most exciting part of the room was the bathroom; it was bathroom goals in every sense of the phrase. The bathroom looked like something out of a James Bond film, super luxurious, super extravagant, and I practically screamed when I saw it! It had an archway, something unusual to other rooms I’d seen before; there was a bathtub to the left of the bathroom, a separate toilet, and a waterfall shower to the right.
Fairmont hotels are known for their luxury factor, and this hotel had that! When I arrived at my room, I had a generous gift of delicious nuts, traditional Moroccan cakes and pastries, fruits and chocolates, making me feel most welcome. When you first arrive somewhere new, those touches are greatly appreciated, especially when you’re alone in a new city; it makes you feel happy to be there!
What I enjoyed so much about the Moroccan culture is how they dine; they dine in a way that makes eating together feel extremely wholesome and connected. The dishes are designed to be shared, increasing the intimacy throughout the meal and creating interesting conversation and sparking connection. Something I took away from the trip; I enjoyed trying new foods, sharing opinions and bonding over which dishes were the favourite. Instead of catching up and eating your meal separately like we do most of the time in England, this felt way more special; it felt like a culinary experience rather than just eating because you’re hungry. I appreciated the Moroccan way of dining, and I want to implement this back home, ordering sharing dishes to bring you and your loved ones together rather than only eating your dish.
I loved the food in Morocco; I don’t think there was one dish I didn’t enjoy; the food had so many rich and innovative flavours, and I never left the table hungry. At the start of our trip, we were told, ‘Taste don’t eat’, meaning, taste all the flavourful foods on the table, but if you try to finish each dish to its entirety, you’ll not have any room for everything else. And trust me, there was always another dish ready and waiting to be put down on the table.
We had some beautiful meals when we were in Rabat; we went to a place called Rabat Riads, and it was in the most stunning setting. The restaurant was covered in gorgeous flowers and plants, a lot of natural lighting, and these cute wooden chairs with huge long tables. We indulged in a big Moroccan feast followed by gorgeous rooftop views whilst enjoying the sunshine – add this to your bucket list.
We enjoyed the most wholesome dinner with a live singer and a huge banquet, fit for a Queen. At the start of this meal, we washed our hands in orange blossom water, as we were sharing the dishes, it was a mark of respect, and I thought this was special.
Dinner and a show
This was one of my favourite evenings; after the Medina dinner, we arrived at a beautiful venue which looked like a jungle-esq bar; we assumed we were there for a few cocktails. All of a sudden, with the best seats in the house, a show started performing right in front of our eyes. There were dancers and singers putting on such a fantastic show, it really surprised us all. I wasn’t expecting it at all, and it really ended our week in the best possible way.
There were many things we experienced during our time in Rabat: I completed the Moroccan pastry class under the supervision of Pastry Chef Hicham Khabata, we had chef hats and gloves and were all in competition over who could make the best pastries.
I was taught to belly dance by the lovely Rime which was super fun and wholesome, I can’t say I was very good, I seem to lack coordination, however, I really enjoyed learning something new, even if I wasn’t very elegant at it!
I visited three Museums, Musee Des Oudayas and Museum, Mohammed VI of Modern and contemporary art, and Maison De La Photographie Rabat.
We visited the most famous patisserie shop, which had a queue down the road; the smell of freshly baked cakes and warm bread filled the streets.
At the Rabat markets, it was fun seeing all the different market stools; we all purchased items from them, including a famous Moroccan Fez hat.
If you’re looking for a trip of a lifetime; full of new experiences, delicious tasting food, and the best hospitality, Fairmont la Marina rabat-salé Hotel has to be on your bucket list!
W: Fairmont Rabat
A: La Marina, Avenue de Fès , Rabat Salé 11000, Morocco
Written by Danielle Tobin for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International