We are toying with the idea of Marrakesh for a week this summer with our son who will be 6. I like the idea of taking him to the night markets and possibly a couple of desert type excursions. I've been looking at Labranda Aqua Park Hotel. Has anyone gone here or to this area with children? Any advice/thoughts? Thanks!
Yes and going again. Marrakech is GREAT with kids. The only thing is the chained monkeys in the medina are a little upsetting.
Marrakesh is wonderful, busy but fab. Bloody boiling in the summer, though.
Essaouira might be good too. Less manic, beautiful town and beach.
Thank you! We are hoping to do a couple of excursions but I'm very aware that the heat might be a bit much...
Oh yes the heat. I've been in September and Easter time. I think I'd find the heat a bit stressful mid summer in Marrakech. September it was very very hot. There are zillions of great places to stay not far from though or Essouira as PP suggested. If you stay nearby you can go in in the evening for the fabulous night market.
Also once you're deep into the market in the day it's obviously very nice and cool.
We took our then 7 year old in May 2 years ago & stayed in a Riad in the medina for 3 nights then an all inclusive on the outskirts for a week. To be straight up - I liked Marrakech, it's got wonderful colours & interesting sights and smells but it was really full on though and not very child friendly. The medina is a complete maze, a lot of it didn't seem to be on the map, the streets are really narrow and I was constantly having to pull my DD out of the way of donkeys and scooters. We got lost a number of times and then stalked by a couple of would be guides who we'd asked directions from. If you are going to go into the Old City, I'd recommend hiring a guide or being part of a tour but I know that can be a bit boring! Ask shopkeepers for directions. The monkeys (and snakes with sewn up mouths and the thin knackered horses pulling carriages) were upsetting but they are avoidable. The trip we took out to the mountains was lovely & my daughter had an absolutely fantastic time at the all inclusive. All in all, it's really interesting place but if you've a child in tow, maybe go Marrakech 'light' rather than Marrackech 'full on'!
The hotel lobby looks great I have been thinking about going but a lot of people telling me that Marrakesh is not very child friendly other than the all inc hotels.
@SJane45S how long did it take to get to the mountains?
I went last year with some friends and I was pleased that we didn't have our dc with us. We got quite a lot of unwanted attention from locals.
Essaouira might be good too. Less manic, beautiful town and beach.
I agree with this. I’d go back here in a heartbeat. Marrakesh with a child? No.
I've been twice, first time with my best friend (traditional riad, touring off the beaten track, floating about in henna and kaftans), second time with the family (all inclusive 4 star hotel, nice pool, family friendly excursions), so two very different holidays. Our two teens loved it although weren't keen on the souks and found them a bit intimidating, but the locals were lovely with them and the hotel was fab. Excursions can be quite strenuous as anywhere worth going (Atlas mountains, Ouarzazate, the waterfalls at Oud) can involve a fair bit of walking/hiking. Not sure I'd want to do Marrakech with young kids. Fantastic place though and very easy to get to from the UK.
I got a map app of the medina (I think it was a couple of quid) and I knew exactly where I was! So I wandered around, got totally lost then looked at the app to find my way back. It had walking tours on too, and all the 5ings you had to see so it was money well spent!
Hi noenergy - there were a number of stops on the way on our tour (the usual gift shop stop & a Berber village & argan oil place) - in a straight run it would have been about an hour and a half. It was good though - we passed old hilltop towns, Berber villages and great scenery. There was a waterfall hike we skipped (my Mum & DH both had mobility issues). It was cooler up there too & a nice change to the madness of Marrakech! I think if you stay in a good hotel with lots of facilities onsite and do some managed trips in you'll be fine with your 6 year old. After day one at the Riad & walking everywhere we just took taxi's to places - pretty cheap and a relief to be off the streets! The Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech (Yves St Laurents house) were really pretty and despite the high visitor numbers it felt very tranquil. Wish we'd had your app Mermaidbutmytailfell
Ooh seems to be mixed reviews. The excursions I was looking at were a camel ride with a quad bike tour afterwards and a waterfall/mountain one. I would also want to do the market obviously and then have a couple of pool days in our hotel. I'm conscious of not just doing an all inclusive resort year after year because while it's a break for us, I want DS to see other cultures and experiences too. Just not sure if he's too young for us to take the plunge.
I wouldn't take a 6 year old on camels or quad bikes. The concept of health and safety isn't quite the same in morocco as it is here... I'd say it was pretty risky. Would it not be too hot?
The mountain hikes/walks are beautiful, but there are bits where they lean a ladder against rocks to climb up, and other quote difficult parts. If he's into climbing and would enjoy that, without worrying, you'd be ok.
The camel and quad bike tour says its family friendly which is why I thought that might be fun? Obviously we would take hand sanitiser and the like. The heat is a sight worry but then I grew up in Australia so perhaps I have the attitude of 'suncream and hat, lots of water and you'll be fine' which may be wrong of course.
We did do a camel ride - I grew up in Africa & the Middle East (and have a pretty similar attitude to heat as you) & have seen lots of camels & felt really dubious about the camel ride experience as to be honest, they didn't look well cared for.. Camels are manky at the best of times I know but I wasn't particularly convinced the camel ride camels we saw at various points were having the best of lives. The Moroccan approach to animals in the tourist industry definetely wasn't very animal welfare centric & I wish we'd skipped it.
Thanks @SJane45S that's an interesting perspective. It's a shame they aren't very animal welfare conscious as what a fabulous bunch of animals to have 'access' too.
To be honest, the human suffering you see there puts it into perspective. There's extreme poverty. Severely disabled people and elderly men and women sit begging on the streets. One woman sat with her ill child, with an obvious fever, and a prescription for the medicine she couldn't afford, begging for help.
I went there in November. It was fab. There is no way I would consider taking my child there. It's an adults destination for the reason listed above.
Mid summer i would take kids to France, Spain, Switzerland etc.
Antalya in Turkey is great for kids, waterparks and funfairs in hotels also have kids clubs, water sports and kids evening entertainment and foam parties and gala nights.
Hurghada is the same.
Or if looking closer to home then Aqua show hotel in Portugal is great.
Or Lanzarote or Mallorca.
Just depends what sort of holiday ur looking for.
I’m probably a bit blasé as I grew up as a kid in Nairobi seeing lots of beggars & people with leprosy on the streets as well as having backpacked countries like India & while I’d agree the people didn’t look really affluent, I personally didn’t think poverty was extreme IMO. Just a different perspective I guess! Nor did it feel dangerous in the way places were poverty is really extreme do. The danger for my child came from the really narrow streets, no pavements & pulling her out of the way of mopeds & donkeys! If you do a Marrakech ‘light’ trip you would be fine - organised tours & tour guides & the like. Like no energy, I’d ask what are you looking for in a holiday - something not run of the mill?
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