Business and Leisure in Morocco: Part 2

Hilton Smith visited Marrakech in late 2019.
Body: 
After several days in Fez, Morocco, the new Air Arabia flight from Fez to Marrakech cut travel time down from seven hours down to one hour. The PURE Travel Conference began the next day, so I had an evening free at the centrally located Pearl Resort with a fine roof deck and bar.  
 
The next day, I moved into the Es Saadi Hotel and Spa in a vast complex with two wings, large pool, and villas. The service and facilities were very good; it just needs a bit of an update to its classic design. 
 
The next three days were full of 20-minute private face-to-face sessions in the large Marrakech Congress Hall with suppliers from all over the world. Bhutan, Tunisia, a tented camp in Ubud, a mountain resort in Greece, a luxury Indian train, the Arctic for a long weekend, and innovative ways to do Antarctica were just some of the offers. It was all travel all the time and a deep, significant learning experience. I made many new connections to use for our clients’ benefit.
 
The best way to experience Marrakech was to stay after the conference, which I did by two nights. The Royal Monceau has all private ryads. La Sultana is right in the medina and is very authentic. They are both good choices. My choice was the iconic, welcoming La Mamounia, which has been open as a hotel for almost 100 years. The private grounds alone are huge. It was closed several years ago for a massive updating. I felt right at home there but I could easily walk back to the medina with its convenience.  
  
I used a private guide for a half-day tour of the medina, which was similar to Fez but with wider alleys and more touristy and less distinctive goods. Morocco is a larger country, and it deserves at least a week with both Fez and Marrakech included. 
 
The perfect combination of authentic and welcoming Morocco and the professional contacts of PURE made this an especially productive week. Morocco can be a rewarding place for a world traveler. 
 
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