Known for his cool, androgynous styling and for unique digital storytelling for major brands like Louis Vuitton, Coach, Calvin Klein, Lexus and Montblanc, Tommy Lei is one of those delightfully un-boxable creatives. On his blog and Instagram, he curates high fashion, global jet setting, as well as personal reflections along the way. An LA resident, his most recent trip to Morocco creatively left him so creatively inspired: “I can’t shake these vivid images from my memory”, he says. Exclusively for The Chosen Club, he shares where inspired him the most…
La Mamounia, MARRAKECH
La Mamounia is not your ordinary 5-star world-class resort — it’s a palatial sanctuary. From wandering through its architecturally impressive courtyards to experiencing its heartwarming Moroccan hospitality, the experience will stay with me forever.
A place where I'd only read about and envisioned through movies/documentaries- it was an amazing experience to be staring right out at it.
Le Jardin Majorelle, MARRAKECH
Behind all the cactus and palm trees lies the one and only Jardin Majorelle. It took French painter Jacques Majorelle forty years to create it and Yves Saint Laurent's ashes are scattered here.
A hot air balloon
Soaring high above the Marrakech skies, time seemed to stand still and a wave of calmness overcame us. There's so much heaviness in the world, at this exact moment all I could feel was levity.
Built in the 17th century, Taourirt Kasbah is very memorable and just a day trip from Marrakech. The winding, maze-like paths filled with artisan vendors showcasing their hand-crafted goods and their inscrutable faces are irreversibly stitched to my mind. Now a UNESCO site, and home to a few remaining villagers, you may recognise the backdrop from the movies (Gladiators, Indiana Jones, Game of Thrones etc all filmed here.)
Souq Sebbaghine (Dyers’ Souk), Marrakech
There are many, many Souks one can choose from once they venture into the back alleys and smaller enclaves of old Medina. Depending on which one you go in, they may specialise either on beautiful, ornate carpets/tapestry or dried fruits and spices. The possibilities are as endless but I found Dyers’ Souk to be the most picturesque with freshly died wool hung to dry.
Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech
As one of the major and most prominent historic squares in Marrakech, this bustling marketplace is an essential destination on your itinerary. Completely immerse yourself and live like a local by getting imbibing some deliciously-squeezed OJ and picking up a loaf of freshly-baked bread.
Comptoir Darna, Marrakech
Theatrics. Ambience. Traditional Moroccan fare. The Comptoir Darna has all of that and so much more; it’s a place where culinary creation meets theatre performance. If you’re hoping for some amazing Tajine while having an unforgettable evening of entertainment, look no further. A great way to start or end your journey in Morocco!
Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech
An architectural marvel in its own right, the Ben Youssef Madrasa is quietly and unassumingly tucked away within the intertwining alleys of old Medina. Once discovered, you’re in for a treat of the senses. What makes this site particularly outstanding, like most Moroccan historical institutions, is how meticulously preserved every detail is down to the last brick and tile.
This is less of a destination and more of a travel tip when in Marrakech and Morocco in general. We had the privilege of having Massin, as our on-the-ground tour guide to this magical destination. Massin was able to coordinate the most incredible sunset camel rides, including all of our accommodations and lodging in the Sahara Desert- it wouldn't have been the same without him!