With a background in interior design and fashion and an eye trained to look for beauty, Enrico Costantini describes himself as a nomadic photographer. He’s from Venice but always on the move, traveling the world with his camera in hand to capture the true essence of the destinations he visits.
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What’s special about Marrakech?
A trip to Marrakech is always special, as it allows you to combine culture and enriching places with the peace and quiet of beautiful riads and gardens. Marrakech is a city of contrasts, between the chaos of its vibrant streets and souqs and the riads where you can find excellent service and have some time to yourself in your own little oasis, surrounded by greenery and fountains.
Since your eyes are trained to look for beauty, which are your hidden gems to photograph in the city?
A beautiful place that struck me the last time I was in Marrakech is El Bacha Coffee. You should go there for an afternoon coffee; they offer a selection of coffees from all over the world - from Africa, Yemen, Colombia. It’s a stunning place, very traditional, where you can blend in with local people. Built in 1910 as a palace, “house of the Pasha”, and after hosting famous guests such as Charlie Chaplin, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, it was closed after the Second World War and only in 2017 was brought back to life as the Museum of Cultural Confluences. Dar El Bacha truly is a lively place, which is always nice to capture on camera.
The best boutique hotels?
L’hotel by Jasper Cornan, a British designer passionate about interiors. The hotel is Cornan’s firs hotellerie project and combines Moroccan craftsmanship with Jasper’s antique furniture, lighting and art. Another favorite is Dar Darma, that now feels like home to me. A true hidden gem, Dar Darma develops almost downwards and features dark tones with a very welcoming atmosphere. Each room has a different theme - my favorites are the red and blue room. Also at El Fenn each room is unique but the hotel has a slightly different concept: it’s a social hotel where people gather, boasting a terrace with music events and boutiques showcasing emerging designers. Fun fact: Madonna held some birthday parties there. Last but not least the iconic Mamounia, surrounded by wonderful gardens. Here, you’ll also find a stunning spa and the most beautiful Moroccan restaurant.
Which are the shops one should absolutely visit?
Moro Marrakech, a concept store where you can find unique items, that also offers rooms to stay and a restaurant.
Beni Rugs, the best place for tailor made rugs hand woven in the Atlas mountains.
Soufiane Zarib, a showroom where you’ll find any kind of authentic rugs from the berber culture (including Beni’s)
Another beautiful concept store is 33 Rue Majorelle, with a curated selection of up and coming Moroccan brands.
A Moroccan brand I truly like is called Marrakshi Life. Marrakshi Life takes key style elements from the traditional Moroccan wardrobe and creates original and contemporary design pieces.
It goes without saying that you should also get lost in the bazaars.
Where to go for great food day and night?
For lunch and dinner with a view choose respectively the terraces of the Cafe des Epices and Nomad.
For an unforgettable dinner, head over to Dar Yacout and have the 8-courses-set-menu in an old riad with live music in the courtyard; it’s an institution in Marrakech. Another truly entertaining place with live music and shows, is Comptoir Darna. Should you want to switch things up and try another cuisine, Plus61 is the perfect place: here food reflects the vast cultural diversity of Australia, blending the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and South Asia.
Tell us you secret escape from the city!
A few hours drive from Marrakech, I suggest Dar Ahlam, the first nomadic hotel. You can either stay at the fourteen room Kasbah overlooking the Atlas Mountains, with a swimming pool and hammam, or experience the nomad camps in the desert. Everything at Dar Ahlam is tailored to your needs and desires, offering personalized adventures with your dedicated guide.
Your fav peaceful oasis to recover from he hustle and bustle of the city?
Villa K, built at the end of a traditional village facing the Atlas and designed by Studio KO. The villa, a minimalist construction of clay and earth with large windows facing the bucolic countryside and a beautiful infinity pool, is up for rent and available for private events, dinners and experiences.
What suggestions would you give to someone who’s about to go there for the first time?
To be ready for anything and for the unexpected, to get lost in the Medina in order to explore it to the fullest, without going crazy trying to follow a map. To always be careful. To have a luxury Moroccan spa experience at Royal Mansour and check out the Yves Saint Laurent Museum and the Jardin Majorelle.
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