Opened in 1946 as a restaurant (where the famous regulars included Churchill and Hemingway), La Maison Arabe later expanded to a small hotel, then grew again under its current French-Italian owner. Today, it features 26 garden- or patio-view rooms and suites, individually designed in either a traditional or slightly more modern Moroccan style. All have air-conditioning and heating (a must for the varied desert temperatures) as well as Wi-Fi, satellite TVs, and marble-and-granite bathrooms stocked with aromatic toiletries. Also available to guests is an idyllic swimming pool, around which the hotel serves a home-cooked breakfast each morning, and the clubby, 1930s-inspired Piano Bar, where guests can enjoy live jazz and pre-dinner drinks by the fireplace. When it’s time to unwind, head to the cozy spa for an array of face, body, and hamman treatments, all performed with products made exclusively for the hotel.

Much like in the past, La Maison Arabe revolves around food. Guests can choose between Le Restaurant, where a gorgeous fountain and hand-painted ceiling set the stage for authentic Moroccan fare, and the intimate, lantern-lit Les Trois Saveurs, which serves a sophisticated menu of French, Moroccan, and Asian dishes. Additionally, the hotel offers some of the city’s best cooking classes, which are open to outside guests. Led by a dada (a traditional Moroccan cook), the lessons take place either at the main hotel or the Country Club—a satellite property located 15 minutes away by complimentary shuttle, where students can also find a larger pool, lush gardens, a restaurant, and a bit of calm away from the bustle of the medina.

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Famous cooking school

We did the well known cooking school at the Maison Arabe riad and loved it! The native chef has worked in New York and Chicago and speaks flawless English with a good sense of humor. Classes are small, around 10 students, and do fill up, so call the hotel in advance to reserve a spot. These beautiful lamps were in a hallway at the lovely Riad. They were very fine. You can find them in the medina, but rarely this intricate. The light they made was magic.

Famous cooking school.

The set up for my chicken tagine that I made in the well known cooking school at the Maison Arabe. It’s taught by a wonderful local chef, who used to cook in New York and Chicago, has a great sense of humor, and flawless English. Classes are small, around 10 people, lots of fun and lunch is served afterwards! We picked up lots of tricks with the tagine and spices.

Cook your way around a Moroccan kitchen

If you’re going to eat your way around Marrakesh, why not go one step further and learn to cook like a Moroccan? Many restaurants and riads offer great cookery classes, including Maison Arabe, Café Clock and Souk Cuisine. The best offer the chance to go shopping for ingredients with the chef and finish with you dining out on your creations. Learn the secrets of hand-rolled couscous, the special blend of spices and preserves that make a classic tajine, and maybe even take your own bread to be cooked in the community wood-fired ovens. Just make sure there’s enough space in your luggage for a tajine dish at the end of your trip.

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