Lucy's Trip Of A Lifetime In Marrakech!

If you’d told me a year ago I’d be spending eight days on a guided trip to Marrakech, hosted by stylists Jono Fleming and Julia Green, I simply wouldn’t have believed you.

Why? Well, firstly, I feel a little guilty holidaying without my family — I don’t usually do things that feel overly self-indulgent. And whilst I’ve always been intrigued by Morocco, I guess I imagined it might be a slightly difficult holiday destination, that would require a lot of pre-planning to ensure a seamless and enjoyable trip.

But that’s exactly where Julia and Jono come in! With a carefully crafted itinerary designed for maximum visual inspiration, eyeball-exploding beauty and yes — shopping — this really is the ultimate trip for design lovers!

So, earlier this month I did it! I swallowed my Mum-guilt and joined this trip of a lifetime. Here are my top highlights!

Lucy Feagins

Lucy Feagins + Jono Fleming

Riad Jardin Secret. Photo – Lucy Feagins.

Riad Jardin Secret. Photo – Lucy Feagins.

Riad Jardin Secret. Photo – Lucy Feagins.

Hanging with the locals at Le Riad Yasmine. Photo – Jono Fleming.

THAT pool at Le Riad Yasmine! Photo – Lucy Feagins.

My room at Rosemary Marrakech – so beautiful! Photo – Lucy Feagins.

Rosemary Marrakech Photo – Lucy Feagins.

Lucy Feagins

Lucy Feagins + Jono Fleming

30th of May 2024

Without a doubt, the highlight of this trip for me was the Riads.

The old part of Marrakech is filled with these beautifully appointed small guest-houses, which usually have no more than around 10-12 guest rooms, each overlooking a lush central courtyard. I stayed in three different Riads on this trip, and I honesty can’t choose a favourite — each was so special and visually stunning in its own way!

Rosemary Marrakech is a relatively new boutique guest house, and is the creation of cult Belgian/Moroccan lifestyle brand Lrnce. It captures the striking aesthetic of the Lrnce brand so perfectly — balancing both traditional and contemporary Moroccan craftsmanship, with stunning handcrafted Lrnce artwork, tiling, textiles, ceramics and furniture everywhere you look. This is a smaller Riad so it wasn’t officially part of the ‘Style Morocco’ tour (as it’s too small to accomodate more than 12 people), but I stayed here for two nights before the group tour started, and I’m so glad I did!

Le Riad Yasmine was another stunning place to stay, and a magical oasis to retreat to after long day of sight seeing all over Marrakech. The centrepiece here is the jewel-toned pool in the central courtyard — so very instagrammable! The rooftop was also a stunning spot for morning breakfasts and sunset dinners, looking out over the rooftops of the old city.

Finally, we spent one magical night at Riad Jardin Secret (Secret Garden Riad) and it was also a beauty! With stunning ornate mosaics and textured detailing on every surface, deep colour and pattern everywhere, and a lush garden in the central courtyard, this Riad had more of an old world aesthetic.

Julia Green rug shopping in the souks.  Photo – Lucy Feagins.

The souks. Photo – Lucy Feagins.

Moroccan tagines for sales in the souk. Photo – Lucy Feagins.

A pottery where tagines and other ceramics are made locally. Photo – Jono Fleming.

Lrnce Studio shop. Photo – Lucy Feagins.

Handglazed ceramics in the Lrnce Studio shop. Photo – Lucy Feagins.

Shopping was a key theme of this trip – and I must say, it was nice to be travelling with a group of women who were all equally keen to indulge!

We spent a good few days exploring the souks — the local markets and smaller shops that are dotted all over the cobbled laneways of the old town. Here, Moroccan craftsmanship is on full show, from handmade textiles and rugs, to handwoven baskets, lighting, ceramics, jewellery, leatherwork and so much more! This is where Jono and Julia bring a wealth of knowledge, having each visited Marrakech countless times, they know where all the treasures are to be found. And, if you go a little overboard, no worries, their local guide, Moh, can organise for anything that won’t fit in your suitcase to be shipped home for you.

In addition to exploring traditional Moroccan handcrafts, Jono and Julia took us to some of their favourite contemporary concept stores too. A highlight was the Lrnce Studio shop, which was especially inspiring after staying at Rosemary Marrakech.

The Islamic garden at The Jardin Secret Marrakech.

The Islamic garden at The Jardin Secret Marrakech.

The exotic garden at The Jardin Secret Marrakech.

The exotic garden at The Jardin Secret Marrakech.

The garden surrounding the exterior of Musee Yves Saint Laurent .

Our hosts with the most! Julia and Jono outside Musee Yves Saint Laurent.

The gardens caught me by surprise on this trip! I had no idea that these spectacular outdoor spaces would be a key feature of the trip, or indeed, how beautiful the gardens of Morocco would be.

One of the most memorable gardens we visited was The Jardin Secret Marrakech (no connection to the riad of the same name!). Housed within a palace-like complex that was built more than four hundred years ago, Le Jardin Secret sits behind tall walls in the centre of the old town, and as the name suggests, it feels like a secret oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of Marrakech.

The gardens are divided into an exotic garden and an Islamic garden. The exotic garden has a jungle like feel, and is filled with plants and trees from all over the world, including incredible tall cactuses and spiky trees that feel almost prehistoric!

The Islamic garden is more spacious and structured, full of textural, tall grass-like plantings, lilac flowers and shady trees. This garden is said to be a metaphor for heaven — a sacred place, laid out according to rigid geometrical rules.

We also visited the Jardin Majorelle, a one-hectare botanical garden with vibrant blue pathways and brightly coloured architectural details, originally created by the French artist Jacques Majorelle over almost forty years, starting in 1923.

In 1980, famed fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent (who had first arrived in Morocco in 1966) purchased the Jardin Majorelle, saving it from redevelopment. Alongside his partner Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent decided to live here, and to maintain the stunning gardens.

Today, the Jardin Majorelle sits adjacent to the Musee Yves Saint Laurent — as part of the ‘Style Morocco’ tour, you visit both the YSL museum and the Majorelle gardens in the same day.

We also visited the Agafay desert for an overnight side trip, which was surreal to say the least!

Just over an hour from Central Marrakech, we stayed at Agafay Desert Luxury Camp, where tent-like hotel rooms are clustered around a stunning infinity pool, overlooking the desert landscape. At sunset, the whole landscape glowed orange — the most incredible golden hour!

We ended our trip with three nights at Beldi — a serene country club and hotel complex, set on 14 hectares of jaw-droppingly beautiful  gardens that feel like a green oasis, just 10 minutes from central Marrakech.

Beldi is set out like a Moroccan village, with guest suites grouped around shaded courtyards, linked by outdoor pathways and surrounded by amazing gardens. The complex also has several stunning swimming pools and a spa, plus a very cute selection of shops, and a couple of restaurants. Here, our whole tour group indulged in a massage and ‘hammam’ — a traditional moroccan steam room/scrub down experience. After the sensory overload of staying within the bustling old town centre, finishing the trip at Beldi was the perfect way to wind down!

Jono and Julia were the ultimate hosts on this incredible adventure, and I honestly can’t imagine a more perfectly curated trip.

Their next ‘Style Morocco‘ trip is slated for April 22nd to 29th 2025 — and tickets have been released just this week! Jump on it here.

Lucy joined the Style Morocco May 2024 tour courtesy of Julia and Jono.

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