Morocco's third-largest city, Marrakesh is a beautifully chaotic city where glimpses of medievalism can still be glimpsed amid its modern buildings of business. There still is a Marrakesh Express train, and the city, which sits on the edge of the Atlas Mountains, can trace its founding almost 1,000 years, to AD 1062. A famed tourism destination since hippies, hipsters and The Rolling Stones discovered it in the late 1960s, Marrakesh's ancient city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. More than two million visit here every year. With more than 12 miles of walls edging parts of its interior, its souks (or markets) are the biggest draw, but as an Imperial city there are numerous and gorgeous squares – especially Djamaa El Fna, and mosques and other architecturally important buildings. Marrakesh event venues are among the most atmospheric and cosmopolitan of the country.
The city's principal airport is the Marrakesh-Menara International Airport (RAK), which is only two miles southwest of the city center. Flights come here from all over Europe, but the main entry point for North Americans is Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport (CMN).
Chief among meeting venues in Marrakesh is the Palais des Congres Conference Center, which has space for up to 5,500 persons, in such areas as its Moroccan Exhibition Hall, but also in the Salle des Ministries and Royal Room.
There are some fantastic hotel venues in Marrakesh, as well as numerous, stunning riads (boutique hotels in old palace-style houses) with interior courtyards. Probably the most famous hotel in the city is the spectacular, 310-room Hotel La Mamounia, which has meeting space for 300 persons, but also perfect for groups are the 441-room Mansour Eddahbi Hotel, which is part of the Palais des Congres Conference Center; the 252-room Pullman Marrakesh Palmeraie Resort & Spa, which opened in March 2012 and has 10 function rooms, the largest able to host up to 400 persons; the 141-room Four Seasons Marrakesh, which has 22,765 square feet of meeting space for up to 700 persons; and the 18-room Les Borjs de la Kasbah, which has one meeting room for 33 persons.
The whole city is unique, so finding that perfect space for your function is not a problem. Five choices out of the many include the Dar Ayniwen, which has amazing details, five acres of pristine gardens and eight suites, including two pavilions with private gardens and the Mucha Suite, which is perfect for small dinners and gatherings; Le Musee de Marrakesh, which is in the 19th-century Dar Menebhi Palace and has a garden and large, beautiful atrium; another stunning museum also with typical but exquisite Moorish architecture, the Dar Si Said Museum; and Jad Mahal, a modern facility with a restaurant, lounge bar and live bands. Approximately seven miles outside of the city is Les Jardins d'Issil, which might be everyone's picture-perfect image of Moroccan charm and hospitality, which sits beneath the Atlas Mountains and has 15 luxurious guest tents and lots of event spaces around its pool and amid its wonderful grounds.
There is absolutely no reason not to have a truly memorable meal here. Superb restaurants able to host groups include the Ksar el Hamra, Dar Moha, Al Fassia, Borj Bladi and Le Foundouk. All are dripping with Moroccan splendor, service and serenity, and all have delicious cuisine, with Dar Moha having the most modern.