From the medina to the palm grove via the new town of Guéliz, Marrakech has seen the flowering of high-perched terraces with more or less unobstructed views of the Atlas Mountains and the emblematic monuments of the red city. Our good addresses.
Originally a low city with riads without floors, Marrakech is now yielding to the fashion for perches. On the new town side but also increasingly in the medina, climbing onto a roof terrace in the sun or in the warm evening wind has become a new art of living. Vegetated lounges echoing the fragrant gardens, rooftops carved out for a drink at sunset and electro evenings facing the Atlas, terraces to feast on local specialties after eating art and history… Here is our top 10 rooftops in Marrakech.
Views of the Koutoubia
EL FENN, COOL CHIC & ANTHOLOGY SUNSET
A stone’s throw from Jemaa El Fna, the breathtaking view of the Koutoubia mosque against a backdrop of the rosy Atlas attracts a cosmopolitan clientele in search of a drink at sunset. Intimate spaces with beds and sofas, creative cocktails to accompany tapas and an eclectic soundtrack: by candlelight, the cool chic attitude is de rigueur on this vast 1,300 m2 roof terrace. We gladly offer ourselves a before in the sun to enjoy the heated pool combo (13m) with light lunch or a after at the restaurant and its tasty locavore menu.
The price : from €15 for a signature cocktail, €6.50 for a glass of wine, €52 for day pass€85 with a 45-minute massage.
Advice : no reservation possible for the bar, we go there early if we want to be in the front row at the sunset. On the way, we take a look at the shop, a superb showcase of Moroccan designers
El Fenn, derb Moulay Abdellah Ben Hezzian, Bab El Ksour, Marrakech. Such. : + 212 524 44 12 20.
KABANA, A TRENDY OASIS FOR MIX PARTY
A bar with an African hut look with its straw roof, greens that come from the tiles with the jungle print of the cushions: opposite the Koutoubia mosque, the Kabana is the most vibrant of the perched oases of Marrakech. On weekends or special evenings, the sound is turned up to the rhythm of D’J sets or live orchestras: dancing is anything but an option. To complement the long drinks menu, including house cocktails and a good selection of world wines, a (short) menu of dishes, tapas and sushi. Also open at lunchtime.
The price : cocktails from €10, Kabana XL (1 litre) to share (€35). Good selection of beers.
Advice : reservation required, especially on weekends for evenings with orchestras.
Kabana, Rue Lalla Fatima Zahra, Marrakech. Such. : +212 664 46 44 50.
Flight over the medina
EL MIDA: MOROCCO REVISITED ON THE PLATE, THE ATLAS IN SIGHT
Here the semolina is green, flavored with herbs and pistachios. Like the large terrace which stretches out overhanging cascades of roofs punctuated by square minarets. Height obliges, the panorama on the mountains of the Atlas is imposing. In the heart of the medina, a stone’s throw from the spice square (Rahba Kdima), we do not practice sunset aperitif, the house not serving alcohol, but rather the art of meeting around a tea and good Moroccan dishes revisited.
The price : Count around 25 € for a full meal without drinks.
Advice : for a better chance of seeing the snow-capped mountains, prefer the months of November to April.
L’mida, 78 derb Nkhel Rahba Kdima, Marrakech. Such. : +212 524 44 36 and +212 673 82 31 85.
HOUSE OF PHOTOGRAPHY: EXHIBITIONS AND HIGH-LEVEL PERCHOR
To access the roof of the Maison de la Photographie and its views of the skyline of the medina on the bottom of the Atlas, you have to pay the entrance ticket to the museum. We will not complain as the visit to this place dedicated to the memory of Morocco is fascinating. Scenes of life and portraits in black and white or autochromes exhibited in a darkroom, the very rich archive collection invites you to explore the diversity of the Cherifian kingdom. We end the trip with a mint tea accompanied by sweets or a 100% traditional lunch on the terrace.
The price : €5/person entry to the museum, €10 menu.
Advice : don’t forget to visit the shop that sells prints made from the original glass plates.
House of Photography of Marrakech, Rue Ahl Fes, 46 rue Bin Lafnadek, Marrakech. Such. : +212 524 38 57 21.
MANDALA SOCIETY: A TERRACE HEALTHY TO THE TASTE OF THE WORLD
This is the latest rooftop in a medina that is constantly updating and mixing cultures like this address created by a Moroccan-Icelandic duo. Neither very high nor oversized, the terrace plays the card of studied simplicity, with a beautiful view of the crenellated facade of the Moulay Idriss palace. Lulled by an excellent jazzy soundtrack, we warm up in the sun while crunching fresh delicacies, salads, bowls or a gargantuan brunch to be washed down with 100% Arabica coffees, flavored teas or minute smoothies.
The price : €22 for brunch for 2 people, count €3 and €4 for a juice.
Advice : crack for the desserts, as gentle as the staff, attentive and efficient, with special mention for the carrot cake with dried fruits and orange peel.
Mandala Society, 159 Zitoun Jdid Street, Marrakech. Such. : + 212 808 53 47 12.
LA SULTANA: MARKET TABLE FACING THE SAADIAN TOMBS
It’s the history of Marrakech that we savor at lunchtime on this XXL roof terrace of 2000 m2 adjoining the Saadian tombs: it offers an incredible view overlooking the sumptuous royal necropolis rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century. Tables in green zelliges, walls in ocher briquettes and foliage, the “Table of the souk” echoes the shades of the roofs which are embedded in the sky between two palm trees. On the plate, tasty locavore cuisine, flavored with saffron from Taliouine or argan oil from Souss and specialties from the street foodlike the famous snail soup!
The price : around €30 for a dish, €50 for a menu, €55 for a seafood menu.
Advice : at sunset, last happiness of the day at the Odette Rooftop Bar & Mezze for an aperitif and small dishes. On Sundays, we reserve a special seafood platter menu for lunch.
La Sultana Marrakech, 403 rue de la Kasbah, Marrakech. Such. : + 212 524 38 80 08 and + 212 524 38 77 77.
In the sky of M’Avenue, the new lifestyle district
LE DOUAR: BLED CUISINE IN GLAM MODE
Her name (douar means village) denotes in this new chic district linking Hivernage to La Menara. A bias for this restaurant which showcases real local cuisine on its roof terrace with a view of M’Avenue, the avenue Montaigne in Marrakech. Lamb in hay crust or ch’hiwates (delicacies) drawn from families, the menu designed by chef Issam Rhachi using ancestral recipes and techniques gives pride of place to local products and everything is homemade, from bread to semolina. On the way, we take a cooking lesson over the five stands where the women roll semolina, prepare olive oil or concoct cakes.
The price : surprisingly soft in this bling district: €12 for 12 ch’hiwates (small dishes), €16 on average for the dish, €7 for the dessert.
Advice : stock up on fine groceries at the shop on the ground floor, which also sells pretty crockery made by local potters and blown glass beldi.
The Douar M Avenue, Meydene Avenue of Menara, Marrakech. Such. : +212 626 62 16 16.
In the heart of the new town
ROOFTOP GARDEN OF THE PEARL MARRAKECH, THE ROUND AROUND THE RAMPARTS
On the top floor of this chic hotel decorated by Jacques Garcia, everything is round: the ring-shaped swimming pool and the circular bar follow the shapes of the building. An ideal configuration to enjoy the panorama, the Atlas Mountains of course, but also the thousand-year-old ramparts below, behind which the gardens of La Mamounia and the Royal Mansour can be guessed. To be contemplated at sunset by drawing from a heterogeneous menu, Asian, Italian or Moroccan, embellished with a wide choice of wines and spirits.
The price : €12 for a cocktail, €14 for an average pizza, €16 for a Japanese dish.
Advice : in winter in the evening or in summer when it’s very hot, settle down in the glass-enclosed restaurant.
Pearl Marrakech, corner avenue Echouada and rue du Temple, Marrakech. Such. : + 212 524 42 42 42.
LOLA SKY LOUNGE: THE LEGACY OF GUELIZ SKYLINE
From the top of the Lola Sky Lounge, on the top floor of the 2 Ciels Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa, spotlight on the genesis of the Guéliz district built from 1912. The whole saga of the 1930s is embedded in the skyline, from the bell tower of the Saints-Martyrs church (1928) to the Jnane El Harti garden (1930) passing by the stadium of the same name. Black and white checkerboard tiling, tangy colors echoing the cocktails and a good tapas menu, the clientele is rather young, hence the menu based on pizzas, salads and pasta, and attracted by the swimming pool and its butterfly-print deckchairs .
The price : around €6 for a salad, €2.50 for a draft beer (25 cl). Pool day pass: €25 including a non-alcoholic drink.
Advice : find out beforehand about the opening hours in the evening which vary according to the climate and the season.
2 Ciels Boutique Hotel, Rue Oued El Makhazine, Marrakech. Such. : + 212 524 35 95 50.
Perched in the Palmeraie
NOMAD BAR NAMASKAR: EVENING PALMS
Sparkling domes and palms swaying in the evening wind… On the terrace of the Nomad Bar, exoticism is limitless: the rooftop is perched above the Balinese gardens of Palais Namaskar, whose architecture is inspired by Feng Shui, the Moorish tradition and the palaces of Rajasthan. Cocktails signed by the house mixologist, tapas from here and elsewhere (briouates with cheese, Thai tapas or foie gras toast…), we row to the rhythm of the music, watching for the decisive moment when the palm trees stand out in Chinese shadows against a background of orange sky.
The price : €16 for a signature cocktail, €11 for a glass of wine, €9 for a plate of tapas.
Advice : choose an evening when the view promises to be clear and book in advance. Located outside the urban perimeter (20 mins from the centre) access by grand taxi (approximately €50 return).
Namaskar Palace, Bab Atlas Road, No.88/69, Syba Province. Such. : + 212 524 29 98 00.