Hidden behind frilly pink clumps of bougainvillea and granite walls, Club Med’s La Palmeraie resort isn’t easy to spot. But beyond the walls is a sunny paradise for children from the bustling city of Marrakech beyond. Marrakech was founded in 1062 and began life as a trading post deep in the middle of the Sahara desert and in many ways it’s changed little over the years.
It’s the central Medina, redolent with the mingled scents of saffron, sweat and leather, that’s at the heart of the old town, and for children, it’s a truly fascinating place.
In the Djemaa el-Fna, the bustling square on the edge of the Medina, there’s groups of cobra tamers and monkey men weaving through the crowds, each of whom trails a miserable ape wearing a child-sized red fez. Behind are the fruit sellers, their stalls piled high with golden grapefruits and spiky green pineapples.
La Palmeraie is a quiet haven from the city’s bustling lanes, with its sunny swimming pools, soothing spa and gargantuan squashy beds. There are activities galore, including circus training, tennis and a well-run kids’ club.
Food: The hotel is also good for getting a taste of Morocco’s food culture. El Kébir specialises in local fare, while the La Palmeraie restaurant offers buffets piled high, complete with child-friendly salads, soups and sausages. A lazy meal outside under a shady Jacaranda tree is the ideal way to eat at La Palmeraie.
The best part of the resort’s food offering though, is the breakfast. As Club Med is French, petit dejeuner at La Palmeraie has a distinctly Gallic flavour, with mountains of crusty bread, plenty of pain aux chocolats and Nutella galore.
Price: A week at Club Med La Palmeraie starts at £1,169 per person, including flights from London Heathrow, all meals and resort activities.