Sex and drugs first lured celebrities to Morocco in the swinging sixties. Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones were among the first to arrive in 1966, and it was in Tangier that Cecil Beaton took the famous snap of the 'Stones by the hotel pool. Now that the sex and drugs are for the most part gone, the cheap filming costs and bohemian lifestyle keeps Southern Morocco's celeb quotient high. However, you don't have to be on a celebrity budget to enjoy the A-list lifestyle that Morocco has to offer. Here's a list of the top five celebrity experiences in Morocco with something to suit every budget.
Taking Afternoon Tea with Richard Branson
Situated high in the Atlas Mountains, Richard Branson's exclusive 'Kasbah Tamadot' is a world away from the bustling souks and medinas of Marrakech. The retreat, which primarily is a luxury hotel in Morocco, is everything that you would imagine a multimillionaire's African hideaway to be. At night, you can sample the culinary delights of its two onsite restaurants, but Kasbah Tamadot is also open during the day for a traditional Moroccan mint tea, served the traditional Berber way with lashings of sugar and sickly sweet baklava.
Enjoy your tea whilst overlooking the famous reflected pool and afterwards be sure to take look around the luxury hotel in Morocco with its individually decorated rooms and onsite camel petting farm. After filling up on sugary tea, don't miss the opportunity to take a hiking tour to a nearby Berber village, those of you with under-12's or after a more relaxing Moroccan holiday, will be pleased to note that there's also the option of travelling there first-class by mule.
Visit Yves St. Laurent's Moroccan Muse
Inside the walled city where pollution producing transport is banned, the optimum way of getting out and about is by horse-drawn carriage. There is little more romantic than travelling by horse and visiting the beautiful blue-hued gardens of Yves St. Laurent. This garden was often cited as inspiration for Algerian born, Yves St. Laurent's garments and his ashes are sprinkled here on the grounds.
If you want to experience some Islamic culture during your Moroccan holiday, then return during the daylight hours and visit the Museum of Islamic Art, whose cobalt blue walls provide the perfect backdrop to Yves' Moroccan muse.
Above Par at a Course Fit for a President
Golf isn't usually the first thing to spring to mind when Morocco is mentioned, but yet many luxury hotels in Morocco aren't complete without their own golf course. Morocco is fast emerging as one of the leading golf destinations in the world, thanks to its perfect climate and stunning backdrops, and whilst new courses are opening regularly, Royal Golf De Marrakesh has been standing on the same spot since 1923. The course is situated at the foot of the snow capped Atlas Mountains and embellished by an aromatic blend of orange, apricot, eucalyptus and cypress trees. Winston Churchill, who described Morocco as 'simply the most beautiful spot in the world', returned to this golf course on now less than five occasions, he even brought American President, Ike Eisenhower along for a round.
Souk Shopping Sienna Style
With their fashionable take on bohemia, it isn't hard to see why Sienna Miller and Kate Moss are drawn to free-spirited Morocco. No Moroccan holiday is complete without fine-tuning your negotiation skills in one of Marrakesh's famous souks. However, if you're notoriously bad at haggling, make like Sienna and hire yourself her personal shopper, Laetitia. Laetitia fell in love with the souks during a family holiday to Morocco, and has now set up shop running a business that supplies Topshop with leather goods. Laetitia is a wealth of information on Morocco and with her knowledge you can discover hidden gems, such as a make-up shop declared a UNESCO world heritage site and the exact shop that Sienna Miller buys her bohemian belts from; she'll even barter the price down for you. Although if you're taking a luxury holiday in Morocco or are on Sienna Miller's budget, this is slightly less of a problem for you.
Staying in Angie's Luxury Hotel in Morocco
Back before Brad, and whilst filming Alexander with Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie fell in love with Morocco. Her preferred luxury hotel in Morocco is Le Meriden N'Fis and it was whilst filming Alexander that her co-star, Colin, famously racked up at $64,000 bill. The hotel is located in Southern Marrakesh, a destination favoured by film-makers due to its low filming costs and scenic mountain views. The hotel is set in 5 hectares of gardens and the highlight for guests is the serene olive waterfalls, which have been voted the best in the country. With an overflowing swimming pool and 24-hour babysitting duties, it's no wonder that Angelina returns to this hotel again and again with Brad and the family.