[As posted on Handbag.com, July 2012]
Rediscover the romance in your relationship with a holiday in Rabat and Casablanca, Morocco
Stunning scenery, mouth-watering food and ancient ruins– it’s the perfect setting for a long weekend away…
In actual fact, Casablanca and Rabat is full of real passion and we learned that both cities are full of beauty and history. Casablanca (although famous for its name-check in Humphrey Bogart’s hit film in 1942) hasn’t yet got the romantic recognition it deserves.
The capital city, Rabat, is the third most popular place for tourists to visit in Morocco, but we think it should rocket to the top of the list!
Places to stay
Casablanca’s central boutique hotel Le Doge is set in a 1930s mansion block and offers 16 rooms with their own unique art deco design (something Casa is famous for). Downstairs, you’ll find a French-Moroccan restaurant and a stunning spa.
In Rabat, you’ll find the L’Alcazar Hotel- the perfect base for a city visit. Each room is traditional and unique. There’s also a decadent roof terrace where you can contemplate your day with a view of the city.
Food and drink
Drop in at the infamous Rick’s Café in Casablanca for a mint tea. Recreated just as it looks in the classic film, Rick’s is full of old war photographs, posters and a grand piano.
Identified by a lonely doorway down the Rabat backstreets, Restaurant Le Ziryab is the perfect dinner setting. Escape into a traditional Moroccan room with dimmed lights and live music, as feel your mouth water as the staff lift tagine lids to unveil delicious lamb, chicken or fish dishes. Make sure you sample the cous-cous, we’ve never tasted anything so light!
Visit the Turkish bath or Hammam at Casablanca’s prestigous Hassan II Mosque. Men and women have separate quarters (and modesty must be left at home) but it’s an unforgettable experience.
If you’re looking for something more luxurious, hit L’Amphitrite Palace in Rabat. They offer a full spa, including couple’s massages, which is open to guests and locals and the pool and sea are outside if you fancy a dip.
Whether it’s shoes, scarves or spices you’re after, be sure to barter through the Casa and Rabat souks (markets). Both are centrally located and there are great bargains to be had.
Places to visit
Casablanca: Built partly on the sea, the 210-metre high Hassan II Mosque is the highest religious monument in the world. It took 13,000 people six years to build!
Rabat: The ancient Oudayas Kasbah – a place where Ancient Rome meets with Africa. While climbing the ruins, look up to catch the nesting storks above your head. Then spend hours getting lost in the medina. Follow the blue and white walls until you reach the sea, where local families go to swim.
Flights from London Heathrow to Casablanca take three hours. Prices currently start from £217 on Royal Air Maroc.
Room prices at Le Doge, Casablanca start at 320 Euros per night.
Room prices at the L’Alcazar Luxury Riad start at 225 Euros per night.
Spa treatments at L’Amphitrite Palace can be booked online here.