"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine," Bogie's Rick lamented in Casablanca, arguably the most romantic movie ever made. Unfortunately, the modern-day Moroccan city of Casablanca is littered with high-rises, hookers, and hardly anyplace that Rick could've set up shop.
Maryam Montague, an American writer and style maven who moved to Morocco seven years ago with her family, recommends basing your visit in Fez or Marrakech instead, which "still have much of the Casablanca flavor. Walking through the medina, you feel like you've stepped back in time. Men and women in long hooded robes, souk sellers hawking their wares, and the smells of cumin, saffron and thyme wafting about it's magic!"
To up the romance quotient even higher, Montague recommends visiting Chefchaouen, a small town tucked away in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. "The entire town is painted in trance-inducing shades of lavender and pale blue," she says. "We love to explore the labyrinth-like streets hand-in-hand and then idle the afternoon away in the city square, sharing pots of hot mint tea. The light is dreamy."
If you start your journey in Marrakech, you can stay at the luxurious Riad Farnatchi hotel, or shack up with the Montague family at their recently opened boutique hotel, Peacock Pavillions. When you head up to Chefchaouen, you'll find a raft of pensions and small hotels, each more charming than the next.
Riad Farnatchi: Derb el Farnatchi, Rue Souk el Fassis, Qua'at Ben Ahid, Marrakech Medina; +212-(0)24-38-49-10 or +212-(0)24-38-49-12
Peacock Pavillions: Kilometer 13, Route de Ourzazate, Marrakech; firstname.lastname@example.org; no phone
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