Thursday, January 10, 2013

COMING: Eden Andalou Spa & Resort, Marrakech

One out of two outdoor swimming pools. Photo: Hotel website 
In February I will return to Eden Andalou Hotel and Resort outside Marrakech. In February 2013 we booked a 40 square meter room incluing breakfast for €525, an absolutely great price. 

Hotel  rooms - detail . Photo: Hotel website
Last time finding a hotel in Marrakech was a struggle. We scrutinized a dozen hotels with the help of reviews given at TripAdvisor. We discovered that even 5 star hotels had mixed reception, and tried to find the best bargain for money.

This time it was easy. I have always dreamed top return to  Eden Andalou Spa & Resort. Funny enough the rating at has been reduced to a mere 6,6 out of 10. I just hope I will not be disappointed. Last time it was nearly too good to be true.

Spacious rooms with a view

Eden Andalou Spa & Resort is located outside the city, a great location as Marrakech is a very lively city. The hotel provides free transportation to the city several times a day, and if you should miss it, you will pay around 150 MAD / € 15 for a taxi for Djema el Fnaa square

Garden area. Photo: Hotel website
The hotel have large, spacious room from 4o square meters (430 square feet) in size, and up, some with their own terrace. We booked a junior suit, with a separate seating area, providing us more comfort during or vacation.

Gardens and amenities

Eden Andalou Spa & Resort is built in Andalusian style, set in a beautiful garden area with view to the snow capped Atlas Mountains. It has two outdoors and one indoor swimming pools, exercise room, spa and Hammam.

Eden Andalou Spa & Resort has three restaurants serving Mediterranean and traditional cuisine. You may enjoy a drink before dinner in three bars with different characters.

- A real bargain!

Traditional Moroccan tagine. Photo: Hotel website
We got a bargain price of NOK 3800,- (€ 525) on air fare and 7 nights in a hotel, including breakfast. It was even cheaper now than back in 2010.

That is a remarkable price, I am happy to say that we are leaving for Marrakech to relax far away from the Norwegian winter and to enjoy the exotic atmosphere of the Medina of the old walled city and the beautiful gardens of Eden Andalou 
(Photos: Hotel website)

Video presentation of Eden Andalou Resort & Spa

This is the way the hotel presents itself on YouTube. Enjoy! I bet you are a little bit jealous!

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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

COMING FEBRUARY: Marrakech, Morocco

View from terrace at Villa Flore
I have now booked my third trip to Marrakech. I will escape the Norwegian winter in February to sta for one week at one of my favourite retreats in Marrakech - Eden Andalou Hotel and Resort. If you stay in a resort outside Marrakech you will have a completely different experience from if you stay in a downtown riad. Both are charming. This time I have decided to retreat to the countryside as there you can get the best of two worlds. 
Here you find a map and published stories from Marrakech here on Enjoy Food & Travel.   

Bars and restaurants:
Lemon sorbet at Ristorante Casanova
Food stories:
Suite Khmissa at Riad Libitibito

Contrasting colours at Jardin Majorelle

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The Saadian Tombs

The entrance to the Saadian Tombs
The Saadian Tombs is a sight every traveler to Marrakech should visit. They are located in a secret enclosed in the Kasbah area, with old sights as the Mosque el Mansour, Bab Agnaou and the El Badi Palace close by.
The tombs are ornate and embedded into the ground
The tombs are named after, and holds the remains of the rulers of the Saadi or Saadian dynasty (Arabic: سعديون) of Arab descent that ruled Morocco from 1554 to 1659. There are around 60 tombs. 
The most important tomb is that of Ahmad al-Mansur, Sultan from 1578-1603, the sixth and most famous of all rulers of the Saadis and an important figure in both Europe and Africa in the sixteenth century.
One of three mausoleums
They tombs disappeared after the dynasty ended, and was rediscovered in 1917.
The Saadian Tombs is a remarkable and mysterious place to be. You enter through a narrow walk way and enter an enclosed garden with tall palm trees. The mausoleum holds three beautiful very ornate rooms.

The Tombs themselves are not remarkable, decorated traditionally with tiles and sunk into the ground they are strikingly different from many other royal toms I have seen. Here are no lavish display of the luxury they experienced in living life.

The Saadian graves are, in spite of this,  an important historic sight in Marrakech, and should be visited by interested tourists. It is certainly on the list when I return to Marrakech with friends in February 2013
Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1549-1603) is buried in the Saadi Mausoleum with 60 of his relatives

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Monday, January 07, 2013

Flybe Nordic close flights Oslo to Stockholm Bromma

Flybe Nordic had their last direct flight from Oslo to Stockholm yesterday, Sunday 6th January 2012 after just 8 months. 
Flybe Nordic is jointly owned by Finnair and Flybe. It had great plans and opened, then closed several non-stop flights between Scandinavian cities. It has now just three direct flights left. 

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Sunday, January 06, 2013

An Italian gift packet

Gift packet from Holte Vinlager with two bottles of beer, chocolate fish and cookies
This fall my friend Laila had visited Skagen, on the northern most tip of the Danish Jutland peninsula.  At Holte Vinlager in Skagen she bought a neat Italian gift parcel. It did not contain wine but beer (!). Did you know that Italian make rather decent beer like Peroni. Here were two other, rather refreshing varieties.
Light beer from Menabrea
Italy passed France as the world's biggeest wine producer in 2011, so guess if I was surprised that my friend and traveling companion Laila brought me a a gift packet of Italian beer (!) when she came to stay overnight in our summer home in November.

I would believe (and I have not checked yet), that beer is a northern Italian phenomena together with Parmesan cheese, polenta and Parma ham.
Checking I am pleased to say that I was right, as its origins is in the city of Biella in Piemonte, between Milan and Turin. The Menabrea brewery in Biella has made their brew since 1846.
Amber ale from Menabrea 
The gift packet contained two varieties. We started with the the one with the silver label and light colour. It was a refreshing and rather standard light beer. 
Pity it was opened during fall. It would have been far mot refreshing on a hot summer day.
The second bottle of Menabrea beer was an amber ale, much darker in colour, and is sweeter as our seasonal Christmas brew. I prefer these darkes ales, provided that they are not too sweet. The Menabrea amber ale had that hint of caramel that I like! 
The town of Biella in Piemonte is the home of the Menabrea breweries

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