Marrakech, Morocco | www.dar-ayniwen.com
Nestled within the endless palm groves of the Palmeraie, Dar Ayniwen is a postcard perfect Moroccan oasis. With perfectly manicured gardens stretching over 2 hectares and a sanctuary consisting of a collection of exotic birds, the resort is an ode to serenity and an exclusive gateway to an oriental dreamworld.
Our trip had started with a slight hiccup as we waited patiently by the carousel for Alice’s luggage to appear. As the crowd of travellers slowly receded and the number of suitcases dwindled, we looked at each other with the sinking feeling that her suitcase had not travelled with us. With Alice’s entire holiday essentials, not to mention her camera equipment, grounded somewhere else in the world, our carefully planned itinerary for our holiday quickly melted away along with what was left of our makeup on our faces. The last minute ticket scramble which forced us to travel with none of our familiar and trusted airlines, but Vueling, Iberia’s low-cost sister carrier, evidently back fired. Alas, at close to midnight, the only thing we could do was to hope that Alice’s luggage would turn up soon.
Stepping out into a candlelit garden of date palms, orange hedges and jasmines, our lungs filled with the sweetest of aromas as our worries disappeared into the darkness with our last breathe. We knew, at that moment, we had arrived to paradise (Alice’s luggage luckily arrived the following evening).
Complete with a heated pool, a spa, endless gardens, a fairytale mini bridge, wondering pheasants, and an array of sitting rooms decorated in the rustic Moroccan style with a hint of colonial influences, Dar Ayniwen was a resort tailor made for seekers of a slower pace of life. Our mornings began with breakfast by the pool followed by a lazy nap beneath the palms and parasols. The heated pool was set at just the right temperature for April’s spring temperaments and the winding paths through the garden gave our legs a change of scenery. With shuttles to wherever our hearts contented, our afternoons were spent wondering the streets of the Medina and exploring the vast palm groves. Providing an excellent selection of Moroccan and European cuisines, the restaurant delighted our pallets throughout the day.
Photography | Mariko Kuo and Form 42. Photo editing | Mariko Kuo. Art direction + layout | Mariko Kuo.