Marrakech is the most popular destination in Morocco. The setting is stunning, with ocher stucco buildings on a dry, rocky plain and the snow-peaked Atlas Mountains as a backdrop (though they're not always visible).

Much of the medina is surrounded by beautifully restored pinkish-red ramparts, and lovely palm gardens are interspersed among the impressive buildings, including an ever-growing number of nicely renovated courtyard townhouses (riads) that now serve as boutique-hotels. The modern town has gracious, wide avenues and large, resort-style hotels.

With the airport in expansion mode and more low-cost airlines flying there than ever before, Marrakech is expanding its visitor profile from curious, luxury-seeking travelers to a broader audience with options at more affordable price points. Along with this growth, the city has exploded with construction, seeing the likes of shopping malls and budget hotels joining the ranks of bigwig hotels and resorts. Most of the construction is taking place in the newer section of town, known as Gueliz. Still, there is plenty of room for everybody, and this has not stopped the luxury boom here, either.

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