Marrakech, Morocco

September 29 to October 5, 2018
Cost: $3400 - $4100

(If you paid a deposit only at registration, your balance is due by July 15, 2018.)

*Join us for the Adventure of a LIfe-time*

In a far away land of intricate patterns, saturated colors and secret gardens, join artists Mati McDonough and Faith Evans-Sills on the exotic journey of a lifetime.

Join us in Marrakech, Morocco for a week long retreat of opulent luxury, guided shopping, cultural exploration and workshops bursting with creativity and inspiration gathered on location as we journey in this exotic land. This will be a time to nurture the whole self, to slow down and soak in the environment with all of your senses. Mati & Faith will lead you through workshops on capturing inspiration with watercolor paint, providing you with the opportunity to meet the projects wherever you are in your art practice.

Inspiration Gathering with Watercolor Painting will be our jumping off point as together we'll delight each of our senses with fresh food, exotic tours, field trips down secret alleys, guided shopping, henna parties and so much more.

Consider this your invitation to join us on the adventure of a lifetime in Marrakech, Morocco, September 29 to October 5, 2018. 

 
Morocco painting retreat with Faith Evans-Sills and Mati Rose McDonough

WE WILL BE STAYING AT THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE...RIAD YASMINE

Photograph courtesy of Riad Yasmine

Photograph courtesy of Riad Yasmine

NESTLED IN ITS OWN PRIVATE GARDEN OASIS, RIAD YASMINE IS A STYLISH, CHARMING AND HOME-LIKE BOUTIQUE RETREAT THAT IS LOCATED WITHIN MARRAKECH’S MEDINA, IT IS THE PERFECT LOCATION FROM WHICH TO EXPLORE MARRAKECH ON FOOT. ONE GUEST ROOM IS SINGLE OCCUPANCY (this room is sold out), OTHER GUEST ROOMS ARE DOUBLE OCCUPANCY.

THE RIAD IS A FORMER PRIVATE HOME WITH MOORISH ROOMS AND SUITES OF REFINED ARCHITECTURAL BEAUTY DOWN TO THE SMALLEST DETAIL. IT COMBINES AUTHENTIC CHARM, DISCREET LUXURY AND A CONTEMPORARY ATMOSPHERE. ENJOY THE DIFFERENT RELAXATION SPACES THE RIAD OFFERS. FROM THE ROOF TOP TERRACE ENJOY BREATH-TAKING VIEWS OF THE MEDINA AND THE SNOW CAPPED ATLAS MOUNTAINS IN THE DISTANCE. THE WIDE SOLARIUM IS EQUIPPED WITH LOUNGE CHAIRS, TOWELS, HATS, GIVING YOU THE OPTION TO UNWIND IN THE SUN OR IN THE SHADE OF A PARASOL. IN ADDITION TO THE SPACIOUS LOUNGE AREAS, THERE ARE SEVEN DOUBLE-OCCUPANCY, AND ONE SINGLE OCCUPANCY, GUEST BEDROOMS EACH WITH SPACIOUS EN-SUITE MOROCCAN TILED BATHROOMS. THE ROOF TOP AND OTHER COMMON AREAS WILL ACT AS OUR CENTRAL MEETING SPACE FOR RELAXING, GATHERING, ART MAKING OR EATING. THE CARVED STUCCO AND MULTIPLE BALCONIES THROUGHOUT, CREATES A BEAUTIFUL EXOTIC ATMOSPHERE WITHIN THE INTERNAL COURTYARD AND CENTRALLY LOCATED TILED SWIMMING POOL SURROUNDED BY LOUNGES.
THE BEAUTIFUL DINING ROOM ON THE GROUND FLOOR, WHICH CONTAINS A LARGE MIRROR REFLECTING THE PATIO, IS FRAMED BY A LIVING ROOM IN THE MOROCCAN TRADITION WITH LOUNGE AND FIREPLACE, AS WELL AS AN EQUIPPED LIBRARY.

MODERN ETHNIC GLAMOUR IS THE THEME . ATTENTION TO DETAIL EMERGES AT EVERY TURN IN THE HAND-PAINTED DECORATIVE CEILINGS AND INTRICATELY CARVED PLASTER THROUGHOUT THE HOTEL ON THE BALCONIES AND FIREPLACE IN THE MAIN DINING ROOM, AS WELL AS IN THE CAFTAN-FABRICS CONVERTED INTO CUSHIONS.

Cost: $3400 (double occupancy) - $4100 (single occupancy-this room is sold out) airfare not included

$900 NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT REQUIRED TO HOLD YOUR SPOT. TOTAL BALANCE IS DUE JULY 15TH, 2018. PAYMENTS PLANS ARE AVAILABLE, PLEASE SEE FAQ'S BELOW FOR DETAILS.

DUE TO HIGH AMOUNT OF INTEREST, WE EXPECT THIS RETREAT TO SELL OUT QUICKLY, SPOTS ARE ALREADY FILLING UP.  WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO PUT YOUR DEPOSIT DOWN EARLY, THAT WAY YOU'LL HAVE THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF TIME TO COMFORTABLY SPACE OUT YOUR PAYMENTS. 

ONCE WE RECEIVE YOUR DEPOSIT WE WILL BE IN TOUCH AND SEND YOU TIMELY UPDATES AND TRAVEL TIPS AS NEEDED.

OUR LUXURIOUS 7-DAY ITINERARY:

saturday, sept 29 (day 1)- arrival and orientation

Arrive in Morocco. We suggest you plan your landing arrival time no later than 3pm local time. Transportation from the airport to Riad Yasmine will be provided. You'll have a chance to refresh yourself and settle into the beautiful Raid, take a dip in the pool, relax on the roof top terrace, or explore the neighborhood. The Retreat will begin with an Opening circle at 6pm, followed by a three course dinner at Riad Yasmine.

sunday, sept 30 (day 2)- workshop, tour of marrakech & guided shopping

Breakfast at Riad Yasmine, along with an inspirational workshop on Watercolor Painting. Then it's off for some adventuring. Guided tours of the Marrakech Medina and Souks will be taking place, along with excellent guided shopping. We'll have lunch at a magical restaurant in town. Dinner will be served at Riad Yasmine. 

monday, oct 1 (day 3) - workshop, majorelle gardens & camel riding

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Breakfast at Riad Yasmine, followed by the continuation of our Watercolor Workshop.

Lunch at Riad Yasmine will be served family style on the Moroccan tiled terrace. There will also be free time at Riad Yasmine to enjoy the grounds and pool and an afternoon trip to the Majorelle Gardens, followed by optional Camel Rides in the desert at sunset.

Dinner will be on your own upon our return to Marrakech, either at Riad Yasmine or at a fantastic selection of restaurants that we recommend in town.

tuesday, oct 2 (day 4)- day trip to the anima botanical garden & atlas mountains.

Breakfast at Riad Yasmine, followed by an early departure for our adventure in the atlas mountains. On this day we will be traveling to and exploring the beautiful foothills of the Atlas Mountains; about a 1.5 hour drive. On the way, we will stop to explore the gorgeous, inspirational Anima Botanical Gardens. We'll continue our journey into the mountains with a 30 minute hike up to Kasbah du Toubkal, a National Geographic Unique Lodge Retreat where we will have a delicious lunch, and we will visit a near by Berber village. On the way back to Marrakech we will stop to hand out school supplies to village children. Dinner will be enjoyed at Riad Yasmine in Marrakech upon our return.

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wednesday, oct 3 (day 5) - spa day, free time & henna party

Breakfast at Riad Yasmine followed by an optional trip to the spa for Moroccan Hammam & Massage Treatment. The afternoon will be yours to explore Marrakech as you wish with free time for additional shopping and sightseeing in town. Lunch will be enjoyed on your own in town. In the evening we'll reconvene at Riad Yasmine for a Henna Party, where local women will join us to paint our hands with Henna patterns. You'll enjoy dinner on your own at a fantastic selection of restaurants that we recommend in town.

thursday, oct 4 (day 6) - workshop, guided shopping, carriage rides & closing circle

Breakfast at Riad Yasmine, followed by a continuation of our Watercolor Workshop: Harnessing Local Inspiration with Watercolor. Lunch will be served family style at Riad Yasmine. In the afternoon we will have the option for a second guided shopping trip to the Souq market, ending in the central square at dusk. We'll end our evening with a horse drawn carriage ride through the streets of Marrakech back to Riad Yasmine. In the evening, we will have a beautiful closing circle, art viewing of our work from the week and celebration of our time together over a 3 course farewell dinner at Riad Yasmine.

friday, oct 5 (day 7)- farewell & departure

Breakfast at Riad Yasmine followed by check-out and transfer to the airport.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS OUR PROSPECTIVE ITINERARY. SMALL CHANGES MAY BE MADE DUE TO WEATHER, DESIRES OF THE GROUP AND UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITIES. 

 

:: FAQ'S ::

Are there payment plans?

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Yes! Upon receipt of your $900 non-refundable deposit you may divide your remaining total into up to 2 separate payments. Total balance is due July 15th, 2018.

What does the cost cover?

  • 6 night stay at Riad Yasmine
  • Airport Transfer and Transportation to and from all destinations
  • Guided shopping trips and sight seeing in Marrakech with our expert local guide
  • A Welcome Gift Bag full of goodies upon your arrival.
  • Harnessing Local Inspiration: 3 Watercolor Painting Workshops with Faith & Mati
  • 6 Breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 Dinners at Riad Yasmine
  • Full Day trip to the Atlas Mountains & Berber Village (travel and guide)
  • Admission to the Majorelle Gardens
  • Admission to the Anima Botanical Gardens
  • Henna party
  • Evening Carriage Ride through Marrakech
  • Camel Riding
  • Hammam & Massage treatment at a local spa

What isn't covered in the cost?

Your airfare is not included in the cost. Any meals eaten off Riad Yasmine grounds (4 lunches, 2 dinners). Expect to pay $15-$20 for lunches and $30-$60 (depending on the restaurant) for dinner. Anything you buy in the markets or on various trips will not be covered as well as any extra tours or excursions that you choose during your free time if you choose to go.

Do I need travelers insurance?

We highly recommend it.

How much money should I bring for spending?

That is totally personal and depends on how much shopping you plan to do. ATM's are available to you and credit cards are taken at some major retailers.

Do I need immunizations?

Please see the CDC recommendations here

Do I have to share a room?

Yes. Riad Yasmine is a luscious and intimate retreat space, we will have the entire property at our disposal. Each of their rooms are uniquely beautiful with en-suite bathrooms. One of their rooms is single occupancy, which will be given on a first come first served basis (this room is sold out). Their other rooms are double occupancy with two beds per room. We will do our best to pair you up with someone we think you'll match well with. On our retreats the sharing of rooms has fostered close bonds of friendship within the group.

What kind of food will be served?

Riad Yasmine never uses processed foods and all meals are prepared the old fashion way – from scratch.  Vegetarian options are available if we inform the hotel before hand, other food sensitivities can not be accommodated. They provide a fixed daily menu that relies on fresh and organic ingredients.

Breakfasts - daily made bread from the local communal bread oven, homemade jams, eggs made to order, yogurt, fruit, just squeezed juice, coffee and tea

Lunches – light and fresh (soups, salads, quiches, etc.) served with cookies or fruit for dessert

Dinners – three delicious courses, served by candle light

How do I get to Riad Yasmine from The airport and back again?

We will secure transportation to and from using a transportation service. When booking flights please plan your landing arrival as close to 3pm local time as possible. On our departure day check-out is at noon. If your flight is later in the day, you are most welcome to lounge around Riad Yasmine as long as you need.

What airport do I fly into?

When booking your flight please fly into Marrakech Menara International Airport. We recommend booking your flights at least 90 days before the beginning of the retreat.

What will the weather be like?

Weather in October is likely to be in the 80's. It is expected to be a bit cooler in the evenings with highs in the 60's.

Is there anything special I need to bring?

We will send you a supply list once you register. Art supplies will be minimal and will include two 8 x 10 cold-pressed watercolor paper pads, a travel watercolor set full of your favorite colors and a roll of watercolor brushes. We also recommend that you bring an extra bag (a collapsible duffle) to bring home your goodies you have collected on our shopping trips. Morocco truly has some of the best shopping in the world! The temperatures will vary, so don't forget layers, pack a bathing suit, sweater and a light jacket!

How should a woman expect to dress in Morocco?

We recommend modest clothing for your time in Morocco. During our previous visits, we felt most comfortable in clothing that kept us covered from our knees and elbows up. Long skirts, dresses, pants and layers will work fine! While Morocco is a Muslim country, women are not expected to cover their heads in public. You will see many people of all different styles of dress throughout Morocco. We found this article very helpful on what to pack.

I'm not an artist is this retreat still for me?

Absolutely! This retreat is much more focused on adventure and gathering inspiration, taking notice of your surroundings and approaching your life from a creative and holistic point of view. Painting is just one of the tools we'll encourage you to explore on this retreat.

I've never been anywhere this exotic, will I like it?

We ask you to approach this trip with a sense of adventure in your heart. We think you are going to love this retreat! We encourage you to do a little research on the area and how to shop before you come. There are many articles available online to help with this. Here is a great one written by Maryam; an American who lives in Marrakech, Travel + Leisure. It will be a mix of laid back down time, exploration, pampering and immersion into a vibrant, lively culture. 

Do you offer refunds?

There will be no refunds for this Retreat due to the planning and logistics involved. When you register be sure to know all you can about traveling to Morocco.

 

come Take a peek and immerse yourself in all the beauty that we experienced on our 2017 Morocco Retreat.....

 

take a look at our fine print here. have more questions?
feel free to shoot us an e-mail.
see you in morocco!