For AERIN LAUDER, Founder & Creative Director of the beauty and lifestyle brand AERIN, MOROCCO is a magical destination that inspires her in many ways – a melting pot of cultures and colors, with café-lined streets of Art Nouveau and Deco architecture, and a labyrinthine Moorish medina, its long mesmerized artists, writers, and bohemians. Today she tells us a little bit more about her favorite spots.
Your favourite city?
MARRAKECH – from the palaces and gardens to the legendary bazaars, there’s always something new to explore – it’s full of mystery and splendor. This became the inspiration for my most recent AERIN fragrance, Tangier Vanille.
The beautiful Tangier Vanille collection.
Scent is always tied to a memory and all of the ingredients we have chosen for Tangier Vanille, remind me of my travels to Morocco. The scents of spices from everywhere – like vanilla, cinnamon and saffron – fill the air.
Your favourite hotel?
We stayed at the incredibly beautiful FOUR SEASONS RESORT MARRAKECH. It is the perfect balance of familiar and exotic. If you are looking for a little taste of home, you can order American comfort food like fried eggs and bacon, but if you want a traditional Moroccan meal, they offer delicious local dishes. I loved the artfully arranged plates of dates, figs, and nuts.
Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, Avenue de la Ménara, Marrakech
Phone: +212 5243-59200
I’d also love to stay at the PEACOCK PAVILIONS on the outskirts of Marrakech and the chic riad hotel EL FENN.
Peacock Pavilions, km 18 route N9 Marrakech, Marrakech, Douar Ladaam
Phone: +212 5244-84617
El Fenn Hotel, Derb Moulay Abdullah Ben Hezzian, 2, Marrakesh 40000
Phone: +212 5244-41210
Your favourite restaurant?
LE MAROCAIN restaurant in the La Mamounia. One of the most stunning hotels in the world is La Mamounia, designed by the very talented Jacques Garcia. The hotel is a dazzling example of Moroccan style. To get to their wonderful restaurant Le Marocain, you have to walk through their gardens. The setting is magical, lots of rich colors, low lights, and red velvet. They have the most amazing lamb couscous. The night we were there, local musicians came in and played. My father requested an Arabic lullaby that my grandfather used to love called “Moustafa“.
La Mamounia, Avenue Prince Moulay Rachid, Marrakech
Phone: +212 5243-88600
Your perfect escape?
My dream is to stay next at THE ROYAL MANSOUR. King Mohammed VI built it an exquisite example of Moroccan style. The spaces are very decadent, gold leaf ceilings, intricate carved floral motifs, beautiful tiles. The level of detail is extraordinary. Last time I was there, I had lunch there with my father in their garden restaurant La Table. It was lovely, the air smelled like jasmine and orange blossom.
The Royal Mansour, Rue Abou Abbas el sebti،, Marrakesh 40000
Telefon: +212 52980-8080
Your favourite sightseeing spot?
FREDERICK VREELAND, the son of Diana Vreeland and the former American Ambassador to Morocco, has a fantastic house in Marrakech. The riad boasts 5 acres of gardens and features a wonderful mix of Morroccan, European, and Asian design. The house was the backdrop for a photo shoot I did – it was a very memorable trip.
The cover shoot was shot by Jonathan Becker for Town & Country Magazine. I love those photographs, they really capture a sense of place—I wore an amazing brown and blue Rochas dress that echoed the backdrop of the Moroccan desert and sky.
Your favourite park?
I was blown away and inspired by JARDIN MAJORELLE. I love places with so much history and creativity. The color combinations in this must-see twelve-acre botanical garden are absolutely magical.
Jardin Majorelle, Rue Yves Saint Laurent، Marrakesh 40090
Phone: +212 5243-13047
Your favourite shop?
The SOUKS in Marrakech. They are famous for the incredible array of Moroccan treasures like embroidered tunics, colored glass, jewelry, spices, and ceramics. I found a striking terracotta tagine serving platter that I still wish I had taken home with me. It is on my wishlist for when I return (hopefully soon!).
Your must-have accessory?
The AERIN Brown Rose Weekender – I don’t travel anywhere without it. It fits all of my essentials, while still feeling feminine and stylish. Some of my travel essentials include my iPhone which goes everywhere with me, my travel size gold AERIN brush and comb and my pink AERIN batik makeup bag.
Your go-to style?
I pack white pants, great tunics, a great pair of flat sandals for all of the walking and a big tote bag.
The best book to read while being on vacation there?
Local magazines – I like to pick up local magazines upon arrival and read through for inspiration.
Your best travel tips?
Visit the market, go for a hike in the dessert, go on a camel ride and have an authentic dinner in a tented room drinking mint tea after a day of shopping.
Thank you, Aerin, for sharing your insider scoop on Morocco with us!
Photos: Courtesy of the Locations, © Aerin Lauder, via Town & Country and Vogue, © Frederic Ducout