When it comes to must-visit destinations, Marrakech is generally high up on the average person’s travel bucket list. David Beckham was there for his 40th birthday, and Katy Perry for her 30th. It’s where Poppy Delevingne said her “I dos”, and the likes of Kate Moss and Madonna are rumored to have houses there.
From its bazaars bursting with handmade leather goods, silver trinkets, and colorful crafts and kaftans to its famous hammams and fragrant culinary creations, there wasn’t much more the city could offer to convince me to book a flight – and that was before I found out that my all-time favorite skincare brand, Nuxe, has a dedicated spa located in the luxurious La Villa des Orangers hotel. Done deal.
Located just a stone’s throw away from the famous Koutoubia Mosque, the hidden world of La Villa des Orangers awaits behind an ornate wooden door. The five-star luxury riad is part of leading hotel chain Relais & Châteaux, and Nuxe couldn’t have picked a more perfect place to house its spa.
Originally built in the 1930s, the hotel oozes old-school glamour and you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time. Here, modern touches perfectly complement the original features, furnishings, and accents of precious dark wood and intricately carved white marble. With exquisite archways overhead, the floral walkways – scented with exotic rose petals and alluring orange blossom – lead you through to the gorgeous gardens, stunning swimming pool, and 27 bedrooms and suites.
Tucked away beneath the labyrinth of suites and down a dimly lit marble stairway is where you’ll discover the Nuxe Spa. So quiet and peaceful yet so close to the city’s heart, it’s hard to believe that you’re in bustling Marrakech. With only five treatment rooms, the spa is small but wonderfully warm and cozy. There’s an air of mystery that is both intriguing and unique, quite unlike any other spa I’ve ever seen.
In a style reminiscent of Arabian Nights, mosaics of light dance on the walls through patterned lamps, flickering candles reflect in large mirrors, and dark walls of wood and fabric cocoon you in. It’s akin to being in your own (very beautiful) cave, leaving you feeling ever so relaxed even before you’ve made your way to the massage bed that is scattered with rose petals.
The best part of it all, however, is the amazing range of pampering Nuxe products available. Harnessing the power of nature with cutting-edge technology, these products – everything from face creams to body lotions – work from the inside out to transform you. Whatever your beauty needs, they’ll be met here. The ‘Jet Lag Flash Massage’, for example, is 30 minutes of back-kneading bliss and perfect after a long-haul flight. There’s also a massage dedicated just to your legs to help you last longer while exploring those chaotic Marrakech markets.
Facials can transform your skin in as little as 45 minutes, or you can book in for a truly indulgent ‘Sensory Escape’, which features a combination of different treatments to provide the ultimate pampering experience. The only danger here is never leaving, so be prepared to skip some of your shopping plans in order to spend as much time as you can in the Nuxe Spa.
There is one treatment that is not to be missed, and that’s the hammam. Housed in a large underground chamber with mosaic tiles, marble pillars and walls, and soft candle lighting, it’s both traditional and luxurious in true Nuxe style. You’ll be scrubbed and buffed to perfection with a kessa glove and Moroccan black soap by your therapist before washing it off under a huge shower and lying down on a heated marble slab to be covered in a rhassoul mask made with seven different plant extracts. The treatment ends with a blissful ‘Relaxing Nuxe Massage’, after which you’ll be left feeling lighter than ever. With baby-soft, smooth skin, you’ll be sure to leave Marrakech feeling like a completely new person.
I remember arriving at La Villa des Orangers exhausted and frazzled, but after just a few days, I left feeling as rested as if I had been away for weeks. And I had the bonus of beautiful, glowing skin, of course. So if Marrakech is on your must-visit list or you’re simply seeking another excuse to go back, here’s your answer: The Nuxe Spa at La Villa des Orangers. It’s the reason Marrakech has officially become my holiday heaven.
5 Top Spots in Marrakech to Make Your Trip Even More Special
Bô & Zin
Beats meet eats at cool-kids hot spot Bô & Zin. Serving incredible Asian-fusion cuisine in a trendy space with one of the best dinner soundtracks I’ve ever heard, this restaurant ticks all the right boxes.
Take a cultural trip around the city and check out Marrakech’s famous spots, like the bewildering souks and the stunning Jardin Majorelle.
Le Grand Café de la Poste
For the perfect people-watching lunch spot, head to Le Grand Café de la Poste and enjoy the vibrant buzz, dreamy interiors, and delicious fresh food.
Le Petit Hotel du Flouka
If you have time to spend a day outside of the city, try your hand at quad biking in the breathtaking Atlas Mountains and visit a traditional Berber family for a cup of mint tea. Tuck into a lakeside lunch by Lake Lalla Takerkoust at the picturesque Le Petit Hotel du Flouka, where you can also spend the night in one of its beautiful boutique rooms.
Le Marocain Restaurant
For a truly spectacular and traditional Moroccan feast, it has to be the Le Marocain restaurant at the decadent Mamounia Palace Hotel. The tagines are out of this world, as are the pastillas.
For more information or to book in at La Villa des Orangers or the Nuxe Spa, click here.