The expanse of palm groves to the north of the medina is dubbed the “Beverley Hills” of Marrakesh, a place of manicured golf courses, private villas hidden behind high walls, upmarket resort hotels, and luxurious secret gardens. Though there are no real tourist attractions here, the area is well worth visiting for its handful of notable restaurants and dinner-cabaret venues and the recently opened Museum of the Palmery, showcasing contemporary Moroccan art.
POINTS OF INTEREST
MUSEUM OF THE PALMERY
Signposted on the Route de Fes as you head out to the Palmery, this cultural oasis is well worth a detour. Marrakesh-born Abderrazzak Benchaabane—ethnobotanist, perfume maker, garden designer, and local legend—has created an enchanting walled garden and, within it, a contemporary art museum. The garden adjoins his home and exhibits his own collection of contemporary Moroccan art, paintings, and sculptures. Benchaabane was responsible for the restoration of the Majorelle Gardens at the request of Yves Saint Laurent in 1998, and the garden designs here clearly reflect his passion for creating beautiful natural spaces. The indoor gallery and arcades open out to a water garden with pergolas and pavilions, an Andalusian garden, rose beds, and cactus gardens.