Valley of the Roses & The Red City: Morocco 2020
Itinerary & Registration
Culture & Connection Fitness retreat in colorful and exhilarating Morocco.
Valley of Roses & The Red City - April 29- May 9, 2020.
11 days / 10 nights.
Spaces very limited!
For itinerary and registration of The Red City, Magical Marrakech, visit this page.
brief description of first day
Marhaba! Welcome to Morocco! For this first part of our journey, we will have a maximum of 8 guests. It will be a fantastic adventure, with a few wonderful people.
Upon arrival, a driver will collect you at Marrakech airport and bring you to our riad in the Medina, Marrakech’s walled, historic city center. We’ll have mint tea for refreshment, and a relaxing afternoon with time for a shower and a nap. Most flights to Marrakech from the US are over night flights (see travel info and guidelines). We will be glad for a quiet respite.
A riad is a traditional Moroccan home or palace with an interior courtyard. This riad boasts two courtyards and has been fashioned into a beautiful boutique hotel. Our riad’s host, Muriel, is one of the most friendly people you will ever meet. She is a French ex-pat and is sure to happily answer any questions you have in French or English. This first night is designed to be an easy transition after your flight.
Once refreshed, we will have the option to enjoy a 20 minute walk to the quintessential Marrakech experience of J’maa el F’na Square. Upon return we may choose to have dinner at our Riad. After dinner we can head to bed early, or enjoy a glass of wine on the rooftop terrace, or in the courtyard of our riad, while dipping our toes in the plunge pool.
The Valley of the Roses
Overview of Valley of the Roses
A full traditional Moroccan breakfast will start our day in the Marrakech riad, as we await our drivers to take us to the Atlas Mountains. On our Valley of the Roses itinerary, we will have our own English speaking guide. Our drive there will be a beautiful tour in and of itself, as we will have a few stops in the 5 hour trip. One stop will be in the town of Terlouet for lunch. We will also get out and stretch our legs for a walkabout World Heritage site Ait Ben Haddou.
After we arrive in Kelaat M’Gouna, we will have dinner in our traditional Berber (Amazigh) kasbah, and enjoy a good night’s sleep. You will delight in our traditional accommodations accompanied by Moroccan Amazigh hospitality and charm.
We are arriving when roses are expected to be in full bloom. This part of our trip will be focused on beautiful light hikes in the Dades Valley, and being immersed in an incredible culture. Amazigh means “free people,” and the Amazigh traditions predate Roman times. The Maghreb region in northwestern Africa is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers from at least 10,000 BC. We will enjoy three nights in the Atlas Mountains, near Kelaat M’Gouna. Full details in itinerary below.
Day 1 : – Two airport transport opportunities are arranged for you, bringing you to the Medina, the walled city center of Marrakech. Arrive. Tea and introductions with Muriel, our riad host.
– Relax and settle in to your rooms. You may want a nap. The courtyard, several salons, and rooftop terrace are also available for socializing or relaxing.
– Optional- Stretch your legs after the long flight! We will lead a walk to J’maa el F’na Square, so you can see the chaos! If you want extra rest, enjoy the salons, courtyards and terraces of our riad.
– Dinner. In the early evening, we can order dinner in our Riad.* (denotes meal not part of inclusions). Everything is fresh and home cooked. Vegetarian and vegan options available. This 3 course meal is optional, as some people are not hungry after travel. It is $25US, if you choose the option.
Day 2 : – Traditional Moroccan homemade breakfast in the courtyard of our riad
— Drivers and guide arrive to take us to Kelaat M’Gouna. This Valley of the Roses part of our trip includes all meals. Vegetarian and vegan options available. See Inclusions and Exclusions list below.
— Lunch stop in Terlouet
— Walk around Ait Benhaddou. Located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, Ait Benhaddou features stunning scenery, history from caravan times, and is a famous movie location
— Dinner and night in Kasbah Agzouli
Day 3 : – Breakfast in our kasbah
– A guided easy hike in the valley of the roses
- Drive to Dades Valley for lunch
- Return to Kasbah Agoulzi for dinner and night
Day 4 : – Breakfast in our kasbah
– Drive up to Boutarar. Small hike through the beautiful valley of Ait Ahmed.
— Lunch in a berber family home in the village of El Hot. Walk back to our van, drive back to Boutarar, and then our Kasbah. Note on the home visit. We’re not sure what we’re in for. On our last trip, seating was cushions on the floor, and there was a squatty potty. Consider this part of your leg workout as a fitness component of the trip! ;)
– Dinner in Kasbah Agoulzi and sleep
Day 5 : – Breakfast in our kasbah
– Visit Kelaat M’goun. See Azlag Dagger Collective and maybe rose distillery. We wave goodbye to the roses and travel back to Marrakech.
— Lunch on the way
— Tea upon arrival at Peacock Pavilion
– See continued day 5 below
– First, learn more about Peacock Pavilions! More guests will meet us there.
Accommodations in The Red City
Located in a secluded olive grove on the outskirts of the colorful chaos that is Marrakech, Peacock Pavilions is an indulgent alternative to a traditional riad. Morocco is delightfully exciting and exhilarating. The care and quiet of Peacock Pavilions will nourish your needs for relaxation amidst our activities.
Peacock Pavilions is a hand built, artisanal give-back property. Featured in dozens of magazines and television shows, the hotel is a favorite location for travelers in the know, fashion shoots, yoga and creative retreats, and celebrations of all kinds. Designed by architect Chris Montague, and exquisitely decorated by Maryam Montegue, Peacock Pavilions will enchant all your senses. Space is limited to a maximum of 14 guests.
The lush estate is comprised of three pavilions: the Main Pavilion, the Atlas Pavilion, the Medina Pavilion, plus the Sahara Bungalow, and outdoor areas.
The Main Pavilion, surrounded by hundreds of rose bushes, is home to several of the facilities shared spaces: the grand reception area, with domed ceiling and fireplace, a small library (for your quiet comfort), the Souk (shop) with a hand curated collection available for purchase, an indoor dining space, and a covered terrace, where most breakfasts and lunches are served.
The Atlas Pavilion includes two guest bedrooms, each with glamorous bathroom, a spacious salon, exquisitely decorated with comfortable couches and dining area, as well as patios and rooftop terraces. A mini bar is available with wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks for purchase.
The Medina Pavilion has three guest bedrooms, each with their own stunning bathroom, a grand salon with soaring ceilings and fireplace, and a fully equipped kitchen stocked with wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks for purchase. On the 1,000 square foot rooftop terrace we can enjoy the magical Moroccan starry sky, or catch a few rays.
The Sahara Bungalow, a unique structure that looks like a tent. The sweet bungalow has two gorgeous rooms featuring Arabic script art, and stunning carved doors. These are perfect for guests who want a little more seclusion.
Nestled in an old olive grove with a magnificent view of the Atlas Mountains, Peacock Pavilons is an 8.5 acre private estate. Sunset brings the intoxicating scent of night blooming jasmine, and early mornings are announced by joyous birds if you choose to soak in the sunrise from the terraces.
Our boutique hotel features a pool, outdoor gym, outdoor cinema, yoga/activities pavilion, and a painted dining tent. Peacock Pavilions was designed to promote wellbeing and fun, and Samira wants you to enjoy every bit of life here.
Cuisine on site: The cuisine on site is from scratch, delicious and Moroccan, using fresh ingredients from the hotel’s organic gardens and local markets. Selection is seasonal, and each meal is made with care, just for us.
Breakfasts (all included) – daily made bread from the village’s communal bread oven (rebuilt as part of the Peacock Pavilions' charity, Project Soar), homemade jams, eggs, or muffins, yoghurt, fruit, just squeezed juice, coffee and tea.
Lunches – light and fresh (soups, salads, quiches, etc.) served with cookies or fruit for dessert.
Dinners – three delicious courses, served by candle light, ending in an herbal infusion from the garden to help you sleep.
Vegetarian diets are welcome, and food allergies are accommodated to the best of their abilities. Please inform us on your guest questionnaire, provided to you in the early winter of 2020.
Classes - In order to accommodate true multi level classes, we will have an optional 15 minute ab and back "pre class" workout, for those who want a little more. When class time states 8am, this means the “extra” starts at 7:45am!
We have done all the research and planning for you! You just register, and enjoy a trip of a lifetime!
Amidst the colorful chaos of Marrakech, learn with knowledgable guides, and retreat back to the restful and sumptuous Peacock Pavilions!
Day 5 : – Continued from above.
– Relax and settle in to your rooms.
- Half hour gentle stretch to work out our travel stiffness.
- Cocktails and canapés before dinner.
– Dinner in the Arabian dining tent.
Day 6 : – Energizing morning Pilates at 8am.
– Breakfast on the terrace at 9.
– Tour the pavilions together and get to know each other activity.
– Lunch at the hotel.
– Exciting 4 hour tour of the Medina of Marrakech. This tour is conducted in English, by an Arab scholar. It's a little whirlwind event that helps you learn your bearings around the Medina and souks. This will come in handy later when you get to explore on your own! Wear comfortable shoes!
– Dinner* will be in the Medina, before we return “home.”
Day 7 : – Energizing morning Pilates at 8am.
– Breakfast at 9am.
– All morning at the breathtaking Jardin Majorelle and Berber Museum.
– Lunch* at Kaowa Cafe, or nearby. This is your choice.
– Time at an antique store in the new city.
– Poolside henna party with cocktails and canapés.
– Dinner in the glorious tent
Day 8 : – Stretch class at 7:30am
– Breakfast on the terrace at 8:30am
– Day tour in the Atlas mountains. This will include a guided hike, and a break for lunch*. You'll have a view of Mount Toubkal, elevation over 14,000 feet.
– Light dinner in the Medina Pavilion
Day 9 : – myofascial release and nerve gliding class at 8am
– Breakfast at 9am
– Cooking class in Marrakech
– Afternoon relaxation! Lounge about poolside, workout in the outdoor gym (or not). Enjoy your friends new and old. Walk the gardens. Read a book. Take photos. Show and tell of your fabulous artisan purchases. Pet a kitty. We’ve been busy, and you’ll be glad for this break.
– Dinner in the Peacock Pavilions Arabian tent.
– Outdoor cinema under the stars! Hot beverages and popcorn will be served. We'll choose a movie filmed in Morocco!
Day 10 : – Morning Pilates workout at 8am
– Breakfast at 9am.
– A trip to one of Marrakech’s beautiful Hammams (bath houses). A little time to shop!
– Lunch* in Marrakech. Walking time in the souks.
– Dinner with cocktail included in Peacock Pavilions.
Day 11 : – Breakfast 9am
– Check out 11 am.
Included in your rate:
Airport transportation to and from first night Riad and Peacock Pavilions. Two different times on each date (start and finish date).
Hotel accommodation fees, taxes and tips.
All (10) breakfasts.
Onsite and Roses tour dinners (8) and lunches (5).
Transportation to and from Kelaat M’Gouna, and all transportation while in the Atlas Mountains.
English speaking guide for our time in the Valley of the Roses.
Red City Peacock Pavilions welcome reception with cocktails (2 each) and canapes.
Movie night with hot beverages and popcorn.
Henna party with cocktails (2 each).
Guided tour of the Medina - Historic and Souk tour (old city, Marakech).
Cooking class in Marrakech, which includes lunch.
Hammam - Moroccan bath plus massage.
Transportation to and from all day trips.
NOT included in your rate:
Air transportation and travel insurance.
Airport transport outside of the two on 4/29 and 5/9, such as if you arrive on a different date etc.
Five offsite meals (3 lunches and 2 dinner).
Entrance fee for Jardin Majorelle (95 Dh/ $10 US).
Entrance fee for museums and historic sites on tour (approx 200Dh/$20 US total)
Two hour hike/tour in the Atlas Mountains. (approx 50 Dh / $5 US for walking, or 120 Dh / $12 US for mule ride)
Tips for our guides (Marrakech and Atlas Mountains), drivers, and hammam (bath house).
Extra snacks, beverages and tips on outings.
Wine, if we want, while in the Valley of the Roses and in Marrakech.
We encourage you to buy from local artisans and support beautiful Moroccan cultural arts.
At Peacock Pavilions, you are responsible for any beverages outside of the planned cocktail events.
All rooms are double occupancy.
Please indicate if you are registering with someone you would like to room with, and if you need one king size bed in the room, or two twin beds.
We are wholeheartedly an equality supporting trip. We love love. If you have any questions about travel in a Muslim country do not hesitate to ask.
We have payment plan options. See more details below.
First payment is made online, subsequent payments will be via email invoice.
Our Early Bird Pricing is $3,725 (per guest, double occupancy), $7,325 (two guests/double occupancy) in single payment.
Early Bird Pricing Payment plans: 1 guest: 4 equal payments of $936 or 8 equal payments of $471
2 guests: 4 equal payments of $1,836 or 8 equal payments of $921
Register by 10/31/19 to qualify for Early Bird Pricing.
Upon purchase, we will email you a receipt and confirmation. We request your mailing address at that time.
You will also receive travel arrangement suggestions and information. You can preview that here, if you wish. That page is still getting updates to accommodate the full itinerary information.
As we get closer to the trip, we'll share Pinterest pages and also a questionnaire, so that we can accommodate your dietary needs, arrange airport transport in Morocco, etc.
Please email or call with any questions.
Cancellation Policy: You may sell or transfer your registration to another person. If you do, please send us notice of your registration transfer, along with contact information for the new participant. Your same contract will then apply to them.
If you must cancel your trip, we require written notification of your cancellation. In addition, the following cancellation fees apply:
~ 120 days or more prior to the retreat: $1,500 per person.
~ 0-119 days prior to the retreat: 100% of trip cost.
By registering, you agree to purchase your own airfare, travel insurance, and you agree to the above cancellation policy.
Upon receiving your receipt, please add Square to your receiver emails, as otherwise your invoices may bounce.
Model Release: I understand that photos of me on the retreat may be used in future advertising and media and I consent to this use.