In addition to office buildings, contemporary shops, and malls—none of which may exceed the nearest mosque’s height—Guéliz has plenty of sidewalk cafés, international restaurants, art galleries, upscale boutiques, and antique stores. Connecting the two sectors, between avenues Mohammed VI and Hassan II, are the delightful public Harti Gardens. Hivernage is a leafy suburb by comparison, with olive trees, roses, and orange trees lining its boulevards. It’s the most expensive urban residential district in the city, with gated private residences interspersed with smart hotels, casinos, nightclubs, restaurants, and chic cafés.
POINTS OF INTEREST
MUSÉE YVES SAIN LAURENT MARRAKECH
Opened in late 2017, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum is next to the Jardin Majorelle and the Villa Oasis where the designer lived. It houses a vast collection of fashion and haute-couture accessories as well as a reference library of botany, fashion, and Berber culture.
EL HARTI GARDENS
This delightfully mature and beautifully maintained public garden does not receive the attention it deserves. Paved pathways wind through cactus plantations, rose gardens, and exotic flowerbeds, past ornamental fountains, and through striking cascades of bougainvillea. For those in search of a moment’s peace under the lofty eucalyptus trees, it’s the perfect escape from the city mayhem. There’s also a rather neglected children’s play area with a sandpit and concrete dinosaur.
The Jardin Majorelle was created by the French painter Louis Majorelle, who lived in Marrakesh between 1922 and 1962. It then passed into the hands of another Marrakesh lover, the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. If you’ve just come from the desert, it’s a sight for sore eyes, with green bamboo thickets, lily ponds, and an electric-blue gazebo. There’s also a villa housing a fascinating Berber Museum with regular exhibitions, a museum shop, and a delightful café. Try to visit in the early morning before the tour groups—you’ll hear the chirruping of sparrows rather than the chatter of humans.