Warmth, water parks and mini adventures… Morocco's Red City of souks and gardens has plenty to offer little ones, too
Mini slippers and bathrobes for young fans
Marrakech conjures exotic images of a dusty medieval medina, chattering street hawkers and sweltering heat – for many, this is half the charm. There is another side to this Moroccan city, however; one that is calm, tranquil and gentle – a side heavy with the scent of orange, fig and pomegranate, fruit that bulges from delicate garden trees. And that makes it an unexpectedly good place to bring children.
The resident pet donkey at Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech
If you have a large brood, the villas or suites at Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech are highly recommended for their space and amenities, with private pools, inner courtyards, and views of the surrounding Atlas Mountains. During the school holidays, organised programmes are put on for little ones, and the concierge can supply children's games, consoles, books and DVDs, but they will be equally happy splashing around in the resort's central pool (pictured). If you are travelling with a baby, call ahead and the hotel will arrange everything from cots to bathtubs and bath products to bottle sterilisers and warmers. A babysitting service is available should you want to linger over supper at any of the restaurants within the hotel.
Water park Oasiria's wave pool
In the desert, a few miles south of the Medina, Oasiria water park is perfect for keeping kids cool in the Moroccan heat, filled as it is with slides and pools. There are restaurants serving kiddie favourites such as pizza and crêpes. You can't bring in your own food for the day, but if you have babies and toddlers, anything they may need is allowed in.
The activity park Terres d'Amanar is also an excellent option, complete with obstacle courses, zip wires and climbing lessons. Around a 40-minute drive from the city, the park sits in the mountains and forest. It features a swimming pool, playground, trampolines, archery, horse riding, and a restaurant serving delicious, authentic Moroccan cuisine.
Ski resort Oukaïmeden
If you travel in winter, when the Atlas Mountains have a good covering of snow, enjoy a day trip to the ski resort of Oukaïmeden. Should you need further family inspiration, the concierge at Mandarin Oriental will happily offer his recommendations and arrange Marrakech-based activities for you.