Marrakech Design Retreat 2020 (to be rescheduled)

(This retreat will be rescheduled after the lockdown has ended)

Explore Inspiring Marrakech with Adrienne and Alice

Join Adrienne and inspirational yoga and meditation leader, Alice Bowmaker, in Marrakech from October 28th to November 3rd 2020 and explore new creative outlets, access your inner goddess, and take home memories (and treasures too) from enchanting Morocco! Stimulate your senses and explore the abundance of creativity in the ‘Red City’ as you visit the talented artisans in the medina, explore hidden ateliers, shops and historic sites, design museums like the new Yves Saint Laurent Museum, the city’s best kept secret of the hidden flea market of Bab Khemis, learn about decorative design elements like gebs, tadelakt and zellige and the symbolism in Berber carpets through Adrienne’s inspirational talks, and participate in a Moroccan cooking class where you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labour over delicious lunch.

Adrienne fell under Morocco’s spell over 10 years ago and since then has returned year after year for design inspiration and to delve into its rich culture. Alice’s feminine approach to fitness has led her to the conclusion that we need to be nourished body, mind and soul. Her yoga sessions always focus on utilising breath, combining strength, flexibility & cardio, and relaxation.

You’ll stay at the charming riad, Maison 28, in the heart of the Marrakech medina, for this exclusive design and shopping retreat filled with special experiences. Five per cent of all fees will be donated to girls’ empowerment and educational charity Project Soar, based just outside of Marrakech. See for more information.

Each day will start and end with restorative yoga & meditation sessions led by Alice. Delicious breakfasts and dinners will be catered by Amal Women’s Training Centre, a non-profit organisation training and empowering disadvantaged women. Lunches and some dinners will be enjoyed outside Maison 28.

And, of course, there’s plenty of time to shop!

Included in this retreat

• Airport Transfers
• Private Transportation Throughout the Trip
• Guided Tours of the Marrakech Medina, Artisans’ Workshops, and Cutting Edge Design Shops
• Entrance to the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, the Museum of African Contemporary Art, the Berber Museum and the Boucharouite Museum
• Entrance to the Bahia Palace, the Ben Youssef Madrassa, and the magical Jardin Majorelle
• 2 Educational Talks by Adrienne Chinn on “The Symbolism in Moroccan Tribal Carpets”, and “The Elements of Moroccan Design – Gebs, Tadelakt and Zellige”
• Morning and evening yoga and meditation sessions
• Private Visits to Specialist Design Ateliers and Workshops
• A Guided Visit to the Hidden Marrakech Flea Market
• Guided Tour of the Newly Restored Garden Le Jardin Secret, Designed by Tom Stuart Smith
• A Visit and Lunch at Vanessa Branson’s Contemporary/Moroccan El Fenn Riad Hotel
• Moroccan cookery lessons and lunch
• Breakfast Each Day at Maison 28
• 5 Delicious Lunches including lunch in a Berber home
• 5 Delicious dinners including a ‘Tasting Marrakech’ tour of Jemaa el-Fna Square 
• Advice on Shipping from Marrakech
• One-Time Laundry Service
• Maison 28 Babouches (House Slippers) to Keep
• Planning Assistance for Your Free Time
• New Friendships and Cultural Experiences
• A Lot of Amazing Memories!

Payment and Terms

All Maison 28 rooms have en suite private shower rooms for your comfort and convenience.
• £2,275 – Private Queen Room (3 Available)
• £1,975 per person – Shared Twin Room (6 Spaces Available)

A non-refundable deposit of £650 is required to reserve your space. The remaining balance will be due over two additional equal payments from time of booking, and 3 months (July 28th) before the retreat commences. You will be emailed an invoice for each payment 2 weeks prior to the due date.  Please email Adrienne to book a place or with any queries. Payments should be made via bank transfer. 5% of all fees will be donated to girls’ empowerment and educational charity Project Soar, based just outside of Marrakech. See for more information.

Participants from outside the UK are very welcome! Just email Adrienne and she will advise you of the prices in your currency.

Please note that the following are not included and will have to be paid by participants:
• Airfare
• Proof of Travel Insurance
• Dinners and Tours Taken During Your Free Time
• All Shopping and Cost of Shipping (If Applicable)
• Alcohol Outside of Planned Dinners
• Staff Gratuities

Cancellation Policy

Keep in mind that your deposit and subsequent payments are a commitment and each payment becomes non-refundable at the time it is received. If you are forced to cancel prior to 3 months before the start of the retreat and your reserved spot can be transferred to another person, Adrienne will refund any previous payments less than the £650 deposit. However, no refunds or transfers will be available after your final payment. By registering for this trip with your deposit, you agree to the above Cancellation Policy and to purchase your own travel insurance, evidence of which is required. Please ensure you have a minimum of 6 months on your Passport before it expires.

Force Majeure: In the event of national emergency, war, riot, Act of God, civil commotion, malicious damage, flood, storm, fire, adverse weather, failure of utility services or transport network, industrial dispute or strike, or any other act, omission, event or accident beyond the control of Adrienne Chinn, Alice Bowmaker, or Maison 28, we agree to notify you as soon as practicable. If the Force Majeure event continues for more than 14 calendar days, either party shall have the right to cancel the agreement. Where services have been paid for in advance but have not been rendered, you will be entitled to a refund less the initial deposit of £650 from the date of cancellation for all such services.

Exclusive Itinerary

Wednesday, October 28 – Arrival Day

Marhaban! Welcome to Marrakech!

Plan your arrival to Marrakech for late morning/mid-day. We’ll arrange airport transfer to the Medina where you’ll be met and guided to Maison 28. We’ll welcome you with Atay (Moroccan Mint Tea), your own pair of Moroccan slippers, the week’s itinerary and a riad map. Once you’ve settled in, we’ll take a walk through the nearby souk markets for an introduction and orientation to our neighbourhood in the Medina, followed by a short talk by Adrienne on “Moroccan Design Elements” which will prime you for the week’s visits. Evening brings a beautiful sunset, a relaxing yoga & meditation session with Alice, and a welcome dinner at Maison 28.

Thursday, October 29

Discover historic architecture and artisanal craftspeople….

Wake up for a morning yoga & meditation session with Alice, followed by your Maison 28 breakfast. Then we’ll be met by a professional guide who will lead us on a tour of the medina, including the architectural wonder of the Ben Youssef Madrasa and the ornamental beauty of the Palais Bahia. We’ll have a traditional Moroccan tagine lunch in the home of a Berber family, and afterwards we’ll visit specialist artisanal workshops, where you’ll have a chance to do some hands-on craftwork. In the evening, Alice will lead us in a yoga and meditation session, and we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner at Maison 28.

Friday, October 30

Treasure hunting and a tasting Marrakech food tour…

After our morning yoga session and breakfast, we’ll head to the local Bab El Khemis flea market to explore the hidden shops and bargain for vintage treasures. We’ll stop for lunch at Le Grand Café de la Poste, and round off the day with a visit to Moustapha Blaoui – a design shop extravaganza like none you’ve ever seen – and the concept stores and shops in the medina. After a restorative yoga and meditation session with Alice back at Maison 28, we’ll be meeting Canadian PR and Marrakech resident, Mandy Sinclair, who will guide us through a “Tasting Marrakech” food tour of the Jemaa el Fna square.

Saturday, October 31

Magic carpets, souk shopping and French food…

After our morning yoga session and breakfast, Adrienne will give a short talk on the symbolism in Moroccan Berber carpets. Then we’re off to the Musée Boucharouite to be inspired by the ingenuity and artistry of the Imazighen (Berber) women who craft some of these carpets, and a visit to the carpet souk to view (and shop for) beautiful Moroccan tribal carpets. After lunch at Café Arabe, we’ll visit the lovely Le Jardin Secret for a private tour to smell the roses and rosemary, and learn about the journey undertaken by its private owner to renovate this historic garden and tower. You’ll then have some free time to shop in the souks. We’ll head back to Maison 28 for our yoga session with Alice, then head out to dinner at the lovely Trou au Mur in the medina.

Sunday, November 1

Moroccan cooking and modern art…

After yoga and breakfast, we’ll head to the Amal Women’s Training Centre for a morning of Moroccan cooking lessons followed by a lunch of our creations. After lunch, we’re off to the Palmerie where we’ll visit the new Museum of Modern African Art. There will be some time to shop in the souks before our early evening yoga and meditation session. There’s no arranged dinner that night to give you a chance to explore the many wonderful restaurants Marrakech has to offer.

Monday, November 2

Majorelle Blue, Yves Saint Laurent and a designer riad…

After yoga and breakfast, we’ll head to the ‘new city’ Guéliz to visit the famously enchanting Majorelle Garden and the Berber Museum. The garden was designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle in the early 20th century (creator of the famous Majorelle Blue colour) and was later restored by designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé. After that, we’ll visit the new Musée Yves Saint Laurent and the local concept stores. Then, we’re off for a design visit and lunch at Vanessa Branson’s El Fenn riad hotel to see a contemporary take on Moroccan design. You’ll have a free afternoon to explore the souks, shop or rest. Back at Maison 28, Alice will lead the evening’s yoga and meditation session, before cocktails and a final farewell dinner at Maison 28, complete with musicians. Don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes!

Tuesday, November 3

Beslama…Goodbye, until we meet again…

Enjoy your last yoga and meditation session and Maison 28 breakfast before your private transport to the airport, full of design ideas and inspiration (and most likely some new treasures).

Please note that changes to the itinerary are at the discretion of the retreat leader, Adrienne Chinn.