A few weeks ago I shared with you some fun facts on what it took the Land Rover team to produce a Moroccan drive adventure. Over time, my passport has accumulated various press stamps and though I love to travel, as so often happens, life calls and I can not accept everything that comes my way. When the opportunity to test drive the new Range Rover on a fabulous trip to Morocco came up, it was one invitation I could not pass up. There was not a place I craved to go as much as Morocco, and the circumstance could not have been personally more gratifying.
I have been driving Land Rovers since I was 16. Since then, I have gone through 3 generations of them and now I went back to the roots with a 2008 model. I love these cars. Everything about them works with my lifestyle and in a way Land Rover is an extension of my personality. Every car lover has a brand that they identify with most, and Land Rover is mine.
So here I was on my way to Marrakech, where I spent 3 nights, each in a different hotel. My first night I met the Land Rover team at The Delano where we were treated to a 5-course molecular meal; not what you would expect from traditional Moroccan cuisine, but equally satisfying. Dinner was followed by a a dance session where we shared a dance floor with Morocco’s own Michael Jackson and Van Morrisson lookalikes and what a better way to end an evening than in the rooftop rotunda pool, overlooking the city.
The next morning we set out for our 8 hour driving adventure. We drove through a rocky river, gravel, dirt, mud, and ended with an intensive ravine drive. Needless to say that just the plunge into the ravine was one for the records. I felt like I was heading down a 90 degree ledge without pressing on the break. We tested every mode of the vehicle’s performance in what I would consider pretty extreme conditions. And to add to the intensity on the way down our muddy mountain drive, it even started to violently hail. It was surreal – as if it was all part of the adventure. Whatever the conditions and mode we drove, it was not your typical scenic drive. We were a group of 5 Range Rovers, and each driver was trying to lead, foot to pedal.
To relax from the adrenaline filled day, the LR team booked out Palais Namaskar (featured above), an opulent spa property, that recently opened, 30 minutes outside of Marrakech and we were treated to a divine spa service before meeting the team for dinner and a night of festivities.
While the rest of the press headed back to their respective countries the following morning, I decided to stay one additional night to have my own private adventure. After parting ways with the team I went into the Medina for a traditional hammam – my first one ever. It was an experience for the books. After my cleansing I went to check into La Mamounia (indoor pool featured above), a monument of Marrakech culture, both for its position and its history and tradition. There I was greeted by a gentleman who took me on a tour and told me the whole story about La Mamounia. I will share some of it with you in a review of the hotel.
But let’s not forget one of the most important things about Marrakech. If I’ve dreamt about Morocco in my dreams I saw the most beautiful architecture and details in its finishings and then getting lost in the souks. The latter is what I saved for last. I spent 8 hours turning into every little crevice of a street to see what I would find, and I came out in pitch dark with what turned out at the airport to be 150 lbs of “souvenirs”. In a nutshell, I would describe this as my dream vacation. What is yours?