Dar Les Cigognes cooking class, Marrakech

 

Dar Les Cigognes cooking class and the best terrace in Marrakech

There are several downsides to arriving to a new place after dark. However, this wasn’t the feeling when arriving at Dar Les Cigognes hotel in Marrakech well after 10pm.

Hotel lobbies are typically a place of calm, but the aura here is a whole other level. It’s around a 20-minute drive from Marrakech Menara airport, and the location’s within walking distance of many sights.

We walked through the front door of Dar Les Cigognes and straight into a Moroccan oasis. A far cry from the ambience of the busy street outside, stepping inside its 4 walls rejuvenates a weary soul. The night usually masks the beauty of a place, but here, it illuminates it.

Dar Les Cigognes welcome

Soft lighting shows off the stunning Moroccan architecture of the riad, proudly boasting its beauty for all to admire. In the middle of the courtyard is an Arabic style fountain, with water gently sprouting from its mouth.

It was a welcome sight, especially after a chaotic airport arrival. We sat in a lounge area filled with cushions and Moroccan style lanterns while sipping on some warm mint tea. Quietly soaking up the ambience, I couldn’t wait to see the rest of our boutique hotel.

 

 

Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera
Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera

“We walked through the front door of Dar Les Cigognes and straight into a Moroccan oasis.”

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera
Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera

“Made from scratch with incredible ingredients and spices, it was the best meal we had in Morocco.”

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera
Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera

“Instead, admire these grand birds sitting peacefully in their nests, with the best, and unspoiled, view in Marrakech.”

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

Luxury experience in Vienna - Burggarten
Luxury experience in Vienna - Burggarten
Luxury experience in Vienna - Burggarten
Luxury experience in Vienna - Burggarten

Dar Les Cigognes – the bedrooms

Before traveling to Morocco, I’d seen plenty of photos of spectacular riads; I just never thought I’d stay in one. However, there aren’t any photos that do justice to what you actually see in person.

Walking up the narrow staircase to the first floor, you’ll spot at least 5 unique elements of Moroccan design. It embraces classic Arabic/Islamic architecture, and is also pretty mind-blowing.

As with many boutique hotels, Dar Les Cigognes has a small number of rooms (11) available. There are 3 superior rooms, 7 deluxe and 1 suite, the Orientalist Suite. All rooms come with twin, or king-sized beds, and separate bathroom and shower. The deluxe versions are slightly larger, with the option to twin together with a superior if traveling in a group.

These rooms also have a cozy fireplace indoors. To go all out on your luxury experience, book the suite. Along with a mammoth-sized bed, the suite also has a separate lounge with a window onto the rampart of the building.

We stayed in a superior room, with a view onto the courtyard, and it was the perfect choice. The combination of creams, greens and red may sound unworkable, but the elegant result is evident.

I’m a huge sucker for comfy hotel slippers, and was delighted to find a pair by the bed! They were so comfortable that I also took them with me on our road trip around the country!  

In the bathroom, you’ll find everything you need, including bathrobes, hairdryer and their own brand toiletries.

The best terrace in Marrakech

By night, or during the day, make time to visit the terrace at Dar Les Cigognes. A generous space, with plenty of seating areas and pretty foliage, it’s the place to enjoy breakfast and start your day. ‘Cigognes’ means storks in English, and from the terrace, you’ll be able to spot a few across at El Badi Palace.

The story goes that the Berber consider storks to be holy animals. That said, if you attempt to disturb them, you could potentially face prison time! Instead, admire these grand birds sitting peacefully in their nests, with the best, and unspoiled, view in Marrakech.

Dar Les Cigognes cooking class

To sum up my experience after a Dar Les Cigognes hotel cooking class: I’ll never use packet couscous again.

The ‘class’ is an experience that lasts a few hours, as it also includes a tour of the local food market. Pierre, the hotel manager, showed us the sights and sounds of the Moroccan market, reinforcing the freshness of the ingredients. Word of warning — this market may not be suitable if you have a fragile stomach, or nose!

Back in the hotel’s kitchen, we had the pleasure of cooking with the head cook. A friendly and always smiling lady, she couldn’t speak much English, but we didn’t care — she was a master cook.

During the lesson, we made our own Moroccan feast. This included a selection of Moroccan salads, a chicken tagine and of course the homemade couscous. Made from scratch with incredible ingredients and spices, it was the best meal we had in Morocco.

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“To sum up my experience after a Dar Les Cigognes hotel cooking class: I’ll never use packet couscous again.”

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

The downside of this, was we struggled to find something as good as the benchmark was so high.

Rather than bore you with recipe details, head to their Facebook page to recreate the dishes at home. Pierre and his team showed us how to make tasty and easy local dishes, giving us the best culinary start to our trip.

The extras

As well as the excellent cooking class, I’d urge you to book yourself a private hammam and massage during your stay. It gives you a taste of the Moroccan cultural tradition, and will also leave your skin feeling super clean.

For an unforgettable stay in Marrakech, and with a cooking class that’ll leave you speechless yet full, book your next stay at Dar Les Cigognes.

Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by Dar Les Cigognes, all views are my own and based on my own experience. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.

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